World Backup Day 2023 Commentary


Words by Johnny Karam, Regional Vice President, Emerging Region at Veritas Technologies

“World Backup Day serves as a timely reminder that all organizations must prioritize effective data security procedures, to safeguard against ransomware attacks, internal leaks or other attacks targeting sensitive data. Adopting multiple cloud services is giving businesses a significant competitive advantage, including increased speed and resilience. However, with this advantage comes more complex threats targeting on-premises and multi-cloud environments. It’s more important than ever for organizations to make secure data backup from edge to core to cloud a top priority.

“In the UAE, the government has recognized the importance of data protection and has implemented policies to ensure the safe and secure backup of important data. The UAE government’s National Electronic Security Authority (NESA) has issued guidelines for organizations operating in the country to help them protect their data from cyber threats and ensure business continuity. Data backup is a critical part of any organization’s cybersecurity strategy. By regularly backing up data, organizations can ensure that they can quickly recover from data loss or system failures, reducing the risk of downtime and the potential impact on business operations.

“At Veritas, we recommend all business and IT leaders take the opportunity to evaluate their organisation’s current backup practices and establish stronger protection strategies and protocols. To get them started, here are some top tips to consider when planning their backup and security infrastructure:”

  • “Start the backup process with comprehensive data classification and implement deduplication. IT departments can’t afford to save their data indiscriminately as they face tight budgets and scrutiny over cloud spend ROI — 99% of UAE organizations overspend on cloud budgets. Organizations should implement comprehensive classification systems to understand the kinds of data they have and therefore where and how it should be stored and for how long. Implementing identification, categorization and retention policies will help organizations organize their data and ensure that the critical and sensitive data is retained appropriately. Also, they can reduce their attack surfaces by establishing policies, technologies and auditing that reduces their data footprint through methodologies like deduplication.”
  • “Double down on backup at the edge. Organizations often don’t apply the same level of protection to the edge as they do in the data center, often due to skills and staffing shortages. Each edge device needs to be protected and backed up and the resulting edge data needs to be assessed, categorized and protected accordingly.”
  • “Your data isn’t inherently safer in the cloud. As part of their standard service, most CSPs only provide an uptime guarantee of their service, not comprehensive cloud data protection with guarantees. In fact, many include a shared responsibility model in their terms and conditions that a customer’s data is their responsibility to protect. The same rules apply to your cloud data that apply to all your other data: you must assess, categorize, protect and recover it. Never just assume someone else is doing that for you. The easiest way to accomplish this is to ensure that the enterprise data protection capabilities you expect and use today can be extended to hybrid cloud and cloud-native.”
  • Automation is key to secure and cost-effective backup and recovery. Enterprises are dealing with an unprecedented quantity and variety of workloads and data that they need to manage. AI-based methodologies and technologies that automate provisioning, lifecycle optimization and smart usage of resources like storage are necessary to keep up with these challenges, and they free up IT staff to focus on more strategic and transformational activity.”

“By adopting best practices in back-up today, organisations are creating resiliency for business sustainability in the future.”