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World Backup Day 2018: Lineup of experts share their opinions
Fri, 30th Mar 2018
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Saturday March 31 marks World Backup Day – a timely reminder of the importance of ensuring you're prepared in the case of data loss.

The day has been celebrated since 2011 to help raise awareness of the sheer impact data loss can have on organisations and people. The causes of these incidents are near endless, including hardware or system failure, human error, a malicious insider or a cyberattack.

We've collated opinions from experts in the cybersecurity and data storage fields to celebrate the event and raise awareness to help ensure you're not left an April fool.

Commvault EMEA solutions marketing director Nigel Tozer

"Many organisations are turning to the public cloud as an enabler for data services and applications to provide customers with the best possible service. But equally, many are also forgetting that they also have their own responsibilities with regard to security and importantly, backup. There's no use collecting and using ever increasing amounts of data to drive new business and services if it isn't properly protected.

World Backup Day serves as a reminder for businesses that the most important part of looking after their data is backing it up. Today, I urge every business with data in the cloud to check their contracts and find out exactly what is in the small print. It will normally state ‘your data, your responsibility'. Thinking that cloud availability is the same as backup could mean that you're actually less protected than you ever were with your own on-premises systems. Availability won't help with human error, corruptions or indeed, ransomware. Organisations needs to think about going 'back to backup', or face up to the consequences.

Aeriandi CEO and co-founder Matt Bryars

“With less than two months to go until GDPR comes into force, World Backup Day this year holds a particular significance. Storing sensitive customer data will soon be a more complex issue, and companies will be facing wider management and reporting responsibilities. We're going to see a greater appreciation of RegTech – technology specifically designed to help companies meet compliance requirements. RegTech is already showing its worth in complex compliance areas. The voice space is a great example. For companies that manage huge volumes of call recordings and 'card not present' customer payments, RegTech has become the only effective way of achieving compliance.  GDPR will give people new rights to access, view and delete their personal data. How will companies ensure they can offer this capability? How will they even know what data they hold? RegTech solutions will likely be the only way many organisations will be able to address the storage, backup and access challenges they'll be facing in just a few weeks time. Those that fail to take securing this data seriously will not only be risking the safety of their customers' most sensitive information, but also gambling with their own business reputation.

Quest senior consultant of product management Adrian Moir

“From cybercrime to natural disasters to shadow IT, businesses today have a lot to contend with in order to mitigate data loss and keep their systems and data up, running and available at all times. Disruption these days is no longer a matter of ‘if', but 'when', and companies who fail to have a backup and recovery plan in place when disaster strikes are quite literally putting their business on the line. In fact, it's estimated that unplanned application downtime costs the Fortune 1000 up to $2.5 billion per year (AppDynamics).

“World Backup Day serves as an important reminder to businesses to stop and think about their data backup and recovery posture and ensure they're employing the right data protection plan, processes and solutions across the business. The goal should always be to have the ability to instantly and cost-effectively recover all data across on-premises, virtualised, cloud and hybrid-based systems and applications with zero impact on the end user. If businesses are not meeting this goal, it's time to reassess those plans, processes and solutions -- and there's no better time to start than today."

Skillsoft EMEA MD Steve Wainwright

"Data storage has changed quite dramatically in the last decade. The typical data server in many companies has evolved from a single physical server into arrays of virtual servers and cloud-based storage. It's important that any IT team has a broad understanding of new storage technologies and capabilities to know how best to select the right solution to meet the company's business needs.

As data integrity is of key concern for all companies, ensuring backups are securely stored and immediately accessible if a restoration is needed requires IT staff to be routinely trained. Choosing a training route that provides a current in-depth understanding of storage configuration, disaster recovery solutions and resilience will ensure the skills are in place to keep data safe, secure, available and recoverable.

Scale Computing co-founder Jason Collier

“Backing up business critical data is more complex than many people realise which may be why backup and disaster recovery plans fall apart in the hour of need. World Backup Day is an important reminder of this reality, and many fall short with a few common missteps. The closer your backup is to the primary data, the more likely it is to suffer the same fate as your primary data.

Additionally, performing backups as frequently as possible often falls by the wayside of priorities, but this is a very effective way to prevent data loss. Lastly, while emphasis is frequently on the recovery point of when your last backup was taken, recovery time is just as important. The bottom line is that we all need to take some time to review backup plans and find out if you need to be doing more to prevent the next data loss event lurking around the corner.

Six Degrees sales and marketing director Dave Ricketts

"According to findings from the World Economic Forum's Global Risk Report 2018, cyberattacks are the third most likely global risk this year. This statistic should make all organisations feel a lot more precious about their data and conscious of their backup processes.

However, for many businesses, the cost of investing in data backup systems can be high, not to mention being operationally intensive and a long-term investment. One option that can alleviate these issues while still providing a high level of protection is, Backup as a Service (BaaS). A good BaaS provider is designed to offer a cost-effective off-site backup solution that is secure, compliant and scalable.

Whether you opt to backup internally or outsource it to a provider, take the pledge this World BackUp Day to protect mission-critical data. The day will come when you'll need to be able to restore it.

Cloudian VP of global systems engineering Neil Stobart

"The world is obsessed with unstructured data. Growth rates are mind boggling, as we all collect and keep data from just about everywhere and everything, from images and videos to social media and email. But to keep all this data safe, it's really important to adopt storage technologies which are geared to our shared, scale-out, unstructured future. Traditional, hierarchical file storage, for example, is limited by its ability to grow compared to alternatives such as object storage, which is favoured by the biggest cloud providers around the world. A safer world for our data is one where we embrace the rapidly changing data landscape."

VP and GM EMEA Hubert Da Costa

"We are all familiar with the need to back up our data, but often a back up plan for the network is given less thought. No wired connection can deliver 100% uptime. The question is not whether your business will lose Internet connectivity, it's when.

So how do you protect your organisation from loss and disruption when it happens? When your wired Internet connectivity experiences a service disruption (in some areas this happens several times a month) your business is exposed to risks of lost revenue, productivity and customer experience issues. Upgrading to a more robust wired connection is one possible solution – but it's expensive and is still susceptible to outages and service disruption.  An alternative option is to bridge the inevitable gap with wireless WAN failover. This option is quick and easy to deploy.

Ultimately when network connections fail, there will be a loss of productivity, brand credibility and revenue. In my experience, there are few businesses that can afford to take that risk.