A world of risk

Editorial Type: Feature Date: 2020-06-01 Views: 1,022 Tags: Storage, Research, Data protection, Backup, Cyber Crime, Cloud, Acronis PDF Version:
New research from Acronis has revealed that over 40% of organisations globally suffered data loss resulting in downtime last year

Acronis marked its recent inaugural World Cyber Protection Week by revealing that 42% of companies experienced a data loss event that resulted in downtime in 2019. That high number is likely caused by the fact that while nearly 90% are backing up the IT components they’re responsible for protecting, only 41% back up daily – leaving many businesses with gaps in the valuable data available for recovery.

The figures revealed in Acronis’ 2020 World Cyber Protection Week Survey illustrate the new reality that traditional strategies and solutions to data protection are no longer able to keep up with the modern IT needs of individuals and organisations.

The survey, completed by nearly 3,000 people, gauges the protection habits of users around the globe. The findings revealed that while 91% of individuals back up data and devices, 68% still lose data as a result of accidental deletion, hardware or software failure, or an out-of-date backup.

Meanwhile on a global level 85% of organisations aren’t backing up multiple times per day, only 15% report that they do. 26% back up daily, while 10% aren’t backing up at all, which can mean days, weeks, or months of data lost with no possibility of complete recovery. In the UK specifically, based on almost 300 respondents, only 13% back up daily and 10% admit to never doing it.

Of those professional users who don’t back up, nearly 50% said they believe backups aren’t necessary, a belief the survey results contradict: 42% of organisations reported data loss resulting in downtime this year and 41% report losing productivity or money due to data inaccessibility. Furthermore, only 17% of personal users and 20% of IT professionals follow best practices, employing hybrid backups on local media and in the cloud. In the UK, 51% of the organisations surveyed have admitted a data loss in 2019 that resulting in business downtime.

These findings stress the importance of implementing a cyber protection strategy that includes backing up your data multiple times a day and practicing the 3-2-1 backup rule: create three copies of your data (one primary copy and two backups), store your copies in at least two types of storage media, and store one of these copies remotely or in the cloud.

Changing the game

With increasing cyber-attacks, traditional backup is no longer sufficient to protect data, applications, and systems, relying on backup alone for true business continuity is too dangerous. Cyber-criminals target backup software with ransomware and try to modify backup files, which magnifies the need for authenticity verification when restoring workloads.

The survey indicated a universally high level of concern about cyber-threats like ransomware. 88% of IT professionals reported concern over ransomware, 87% are concerned about social engineering attacks like phishing, and 91% are concerned about data breaches. In the UK however, these numbers surprisingly lower to only 15% being highly concerned by ransomware threats or social engineering attacks.

The survey also revealed a lack of insight into data management, exposing a great need for cyber protection solutions with greater visibility and analytics. The surprising findings indicate that 30% of personal users and 12% of IT professionals wouldn’t know if their data was modified unexpectedly. 30% of personal users and 13% of IT professionals aren’t sure if their anti-malware solution stops zero-day threats. Additionally, 9% of organisations reported that they didn’t know if they experienced downtime as a result of data loss this year.

“Individuals and organisations keep suffering from data loss and cyber-attacks. Everything around us is rapidly becoming dependent on digital, and it is time for everyone to take cyber protection seriously,” said Acronis Chief Cyber Officer, Gaidar Magdanurov. “Cyber protection in the digital world becomes the fifth basic human need, especially during this unprecedented time when many people must work remotely and use less secure home networks. It is critical to proactively implement a cyber protection strategy that ensures the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security of all data, applications, and systems – whether you’re a home user, an IT professional, or an IT service provider.”

More info: www.acronis.com

World Cyber Protection Week Recommendations

Whether you are concerned about personal files or your company’s business continuity, Acronis has five simple recommendations to ensure fast, efficient, and secure protection of your workloads:

  • Always create backups of important data. Keep multiple copies of the backup both locally (so it’s available for fast, frequent recoveries) and in the cloud (to guarantee you have everything if a fire, flood, or disaster hits your facilities).

  • Ensure your OS and applications are current. Relying on outdated operating systems or apps means they lack the bug fixes and security patches that help block cyber-criminals from gaining access to your systems.

  • Beware suspicious emails, links, and attachments. Most virus and ransomware infections are the result of social engineering techniques that trick unsuspecting individuals into opening infected email attachments or clicking on links to websites that host malware.

  • Install anti-virus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware software. Be sure to also enable automatic updates so your system is protected against malware, with the best software also able to protect against zero-day threats.

  • Consider deploying an integrated cyber protection solution.It should be a solution that combines backup, anti-ransomware, anti-virus, vulnerability assessment and patch management in a single solution. An integrated solution increases ease of use, efficiency and reliability of protection.