Data Protection Efforts Among Businesses Need Improvement

When it comes to protecting data born in the cloud, an EMC survey revealed less than half of all organizations are currently protecting cloud data.

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Businesses are failing to appreciate the growing challenges of protecting their data and, as a result, are experiencing the economic impact of data loss. That’s according to EMC’s Global Data Protection Index 2016, an independent study by Vanson Bourne of enterprise backup in 18 countries around the world.

The study identified three major emerging data protection challenges:

-- Thirty-six percent of businesses surveyed have lost data as a result of a security breach

-- Less than 50 percent of businesses are protecting cloud data against corruption and less than 50 percent are protecting it against deletion, and

-- Seventy-three percent of businesses admitted they were not confident their current data protection solutions will be able to keep pace with emerging technologies including flash storage.

"The findings in this year’s Index are a classic case of good news/bad news. Good news: The study found that organizations have reduced the frequency of the top four traditional causes of data loss—hardware failure, power failure, software failure and data corruption," Peter Smails, EMC’s vice president of product marketing for core technologies, told eWEEK. "The bad news is there are new, emerging data protection challenges that are having a significant impact on their businesses."

When compared to the 2014 index, he said, 13 percent more organizations have experienced data loss or disruption in the 12 preceding months, costing them an average of $914,000.

"Businesses need to more vigilant than ever when protecting their data, no matter whether it is on-premises or in the cloud," he said.

When it comes to protecting SaaS data born in the cloud, the survey revealed that less than half of all organizations are currently protecting cloud data against corruption and less than half are protecting it against deletion.

"This speaks to the largest hurdle that businesses are facing when it comes to cloud data protection—many businesses believe that their cloud provider is responsible for protecting their data," Smails said. "The key message is it’s just as critical to plan your data protection strategy in cloud IT environments as it ever was for on-premises environments. For example, if an employee accidentally deletes files or introduces a virus, that’s generally not covered by a cloud provider."

More than 80 percent of survey respondents indicated that their organizations will run at least part of eight key business applications in the public cloud in the next two years and, overall, respondents already had on average 30 percent of their IT environments based in the public cloud.

"Organizations are looking for solutions that will help them to isolate protection instances of data from the network in the event of a security breach, and they’re rethinking strategies for data protection and embracing modern solutions that eliminate traditional backup and are more tightly integrated with their storage, applications, and IT infrastructure," Smails said.