Data backup is no longer just about operational fallback

Data backup has traditionally been in the operational domain of IT, while security teams have been responsible for threats to data from attacks. As these attacks have become more sophisticated, backups have come under threat and vendors have had to incorporate new features into their software to address attacks and protect data, according to Info-Tech Research Group.

data backup operational fallback

With many backup and recovery companies now referring to themselves as data protection (DP) platforms and with a list of new terminology and features representing a new paradigm in the backup world, staying on top of the new terms and features is complex. As well, repeated references to data security and data protection compliance make it difficult for IT teams to understand the impacts on the business and data protection strategy.

“There was a time when backing up data required separate premises-based infrastructure to ensure protection from data loss,” says Darryl Levesque, principal research advisor at Info-Tech Research Group. “However, things have changed with modern data centers today. It is time to stop thinking about data backup and start thinking about data protection. Newer technologies are making backup redundant.”

Although many vendors now provide numerous additional product features, it can be challenging for an organization to determine which product is best for their environment or whether there is a need for a combination of products.

The firm suggests that technology leaders keep up and understand the changes in the backup marketplace, considering what the new features can offer in terms of additional functionality. Info-Tech also stresses the importance of recognizing which of those functions suits the appropriate needs and then comparing the offerings of the different vendors to determine the best fit.

Researchers recommend that the new features offered by backup vendors be used as additional tools in the data protection armory rather than replacements for existing tools such as endpoint protection or effective security practices. To do this, organizations should consider the following key data protection features:

  • Continuous data protection (CDP): A data protection method that backs up information as it changes, without schedules.
  • Zero trust framework: Works on the principle of least privilege. Providers are leveraging the framework for backup and recovery.
  • Air gapping: Isolates one or several backups through various methods so malicious actors cannot access them.
  • DR orchestration: Provides a facility for automated, sequential recovery of systems after a disaster.
  • Threat prevention & detection: Detects malware during backups and interrogates existing backups.
  • All the other cloud: Enables support for Kubernetes, Office 365, Docker, Google Workspace, and many others.
  • Cloud to cloud: Copying from one provider to another; often used for SaaS applications.

These new features can help mitigate data loss risk and enable an environment to failover much more efficiently in a disaster. The cloud backup features provide enhanced confidence in the protection of offsite data. In general, the tasks that can now be performed are not only enhanced but also expanded.

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