Data Protection in a Cloud-Connected World

Why environment and workflow matter for your organization’s resilience

Data protection has been historically focused on monolithic data sets rather than dynamic data workloads. Backup and disaster recovery plans were often seen as boxes to be checked off, rather than ongoing strategies implemented throughout the entire organization.

Today, data protection has evolved based on the increasing need to limit risks and safeguard a business’ greatest asset—its data. Organizations have a heightened focus on consistently securing data in more granular, intelligent ways. In an increasingly mobile, cloud- and internet-connected world, where loss of data integrity can take many forms, organizations are prioritizing how they protect and back up this crown jewel. When leveraged correctly, data unlocks valuable insights, reveals room for growth, and more.

This is why it is critical to develop a data protection strategy designed for your organization’s business purpose. As you develop this strategy, it is essential to keep these key questions in mind:

  • What environments do your workloads reside on, and what are the resiliency needs for these environments?
  • Do you have a strategy in place that protects not just the data, but the workloads dependent on that data; regardless of their design?
  • Does your resiliency plan address availability, data protection, reliability and recovery for on-premise, off-premise and hybrid workloads?

Take a look at how Evolving Solutions has helped clients deploy data protection strategies:

Environment Matters

Whether your data is on-premise, on a public cloud, fully cloud-native, or part of a hybrid cloud environment, these factors directly influence your data protection strategy.

Whether your data is on-premise, on a public cloud, fully cloud-native, or part of a hybrid cloud environment, these factors directly influence your data protection strategy.

For example, if you leverage microservices as part of a cloud-native application approach, your data and services may be spread across multiple clouds and multiple zones. As a result, you must use code (or scripts) to recreate infrastructure and reestablish data connectivity to get the same resilience you might have in a traditional environment. Additionally, the code used to provision your infrastructure must also be protected and available. In short, your environment directly impacts your data protection strategy.

In an increasingly hybrid cloud and cloud-native world, it is paramount to remember to protect not just the data in your environment, but also the data “of” and “about” your environment.

More about how Evolving Solutions has helped clients:

Create an Agnostic Data Protection Workflow

4 Steps to Increase Data Protection and Guard Against Data Breaches

Although ransomware is a hot topic that often captures public attention, there’s much more to data protection than guarding against ransomware alone. Data breaches can take many forms—from inadvertent data deletion to unexpected downtime.

Fortunately, there are numerous approaches your organization can use to mitigate data corruption. Here are four steps to help increase data protection and guard your organization against data breaches. These steps work best in combination, creating a comprehensive approach:

Consistently create and update data copies: Backed up data copies allow you to restore data back to a point in time before data integrity loss.

Establish complete traceability and visibility: Seamless traceability from the controls to the policy to the tools that implement the policy creates an ideal environment in which you can quickly map issues or data integrity problems to the business impact. Data managers should also have complete visibility into the security patterns of users for logging, encrypting users’ data and stopping potential outbreaks. This will make it easier to know when a data integrity issue occurred.

Constantly monitor your data environment: From the firewall to your organization’s internal components to data access patterns, everything must be monitored. Automating security helps enable constant monitoring as well.

Implement strong security policies: The need for consistent, strong security policies has become more pressing when it comes to keeping track of different environments. As a result, an effective, end-to-end strategy starts with maintaining consistency across security policies.

Addressing Data Protection Misconceptions

It is also important to identify and correct any data protection misconceptions before developing your organization’s strategy. Here are a few common ones:

  • Public cloud is automatically safe and secure: Just like any environment, you must attend to your organization’s cloud security strategy. Cloud providers do not have this responsibility—you do. Make sure levels of security are appropriate for your business workloads and understand what your responsibilities are in a cloud provider’s shared security model.
  • Data protection is an “all or nothing” undertaking: In many cases, organizations believe they should either backup and restore absolutely everything or nothing at all. There is a middle ground here. Your organization should do what it can to protect its data and evaluate the cost and complexity against business risks and impacts.
  • Data should only be backed to guard against disasters: The fact is, data integrity can be damaged through small breaches and inadvertent data deletion—not just full-on disasters or ransomware breaches.

Action Recommendations

Your data protection strategy will depend on your business needs, your industry, your data environments, the risks you might be exposed to, and more. There is not no “one-size-fits-all” approach that will meet all your needs, but you can follow these steps to develop a data protection strategy that is fit for your business:

Evaluate your data environments and the processes you need to keep this data protected

Automate where possible, and create an environment-agnostic data protection workflow that works on-premise, in the cloud or in a hybrid environment

Ensure you have data protection best practices in place that you monitor and update regularly—from traceability to security policies to data encryption

Create a plan to consistently maintain your data resiliency strategy

More about how Evolving Solutions has helped clients:

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