Data Resilience Predictions: Using the Economy to Inform Security Strategy

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Stephen Manley, chief technology officer at Druva, discusses the changing face of the economic downturn headed into 2023 and how IT teams should interpret their position in their organization to radically simplify solutions and ensure data is resilient in the face of growing threats.

2022 was the year of cyberattacks. Ransomware attacks compromised entire IT environments, encrypted data, and exfiltrated information. Regardless of the industry or motivation, we were all affected by ransomware this year, and 2023 does not look any different. Protection against the most vicious and careless attacks became a top priority as businesses looked to protect themselves from data loss with dwindling budgets.

This was a year of “doing more with less.” In addition to cyber-attacks, the pandemic permanently shifted how we work, economic challenges emerged, and IT talent is becoming harder to find. 

As we look towards 2023, I believe we can anticipate priorities to shift from “security” to “risk” as organizations weigh data security, costs, and system complexity, and data resilience pushes its way into the spotlight.

Data Protection Will Integrate with Data Security

Increasingly, customers need data protection solutions to weave into their existing data security strategy. Organizations are looking to “tighten the belt”, as the economic downturn continues to shake up IT budgets, and many will likely not have the resources to set aside for multiple siloed products. Many will seek solutions that effectively bridge the gap between security posture, recovery, management, analytics, and integration with third-party tools.

All the while, cybercriminals aren’t getting bored. Cyber attackers target backups before the production environment so that their victims cannot recover their data without paying the ransom.

We can expect cybercriminals to continue targeting cloud workloads as data centers work to become more secure. True data resiliency efforts will force companies to expand on their promise of cyber resilience beyond a physical data center.

With these additional requirements, organizations will need to seek solutions to help customers solve more problem solving with fewer resources. The need for autonomous data resilience solutions will increase, where customers’ data is automatically secured and protected.

I recommend that executives educate themselves on creating a strategy to assess their organization’s approach to risk management. Next, teams dedicated to data protection and security separately must work together to ensure that both aspects of their backups are secured. Lastly, these two teams must connect to truly understand their roles in preparing for and recovering from an attack.  

See More: Unstructured Data’s Moment Has Arrived: 3 Key Predictions for 2023

Mergers and Acquisitions Will Complicate Data Protection Efforts

These days, data sprawl is everywhere we go.

IT teams should prepare to watch the fluid market and how it has the potential to affect them. Due to the incoming economic challenges that lie ahead, shadow IT, and Mergers & Acquisitions are expected to surge, creating even more data silos. Organizations will need a simple, effective, and scalable way to manage and protect their data.

Even when businesses work to centralize their employee data with Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and other virtual desktops, individual business units are building spaces where corporate data lives as well, contributing to internal data sprawl. We will continue to see an expansion of cloud-native workloads as organizations seek out SaaS tools to retain data.

Naturally, mergers and acquisitions come with economic circumstances like we are facing. For all companies involved, this means that these large transactions will need to be secured from end to end. However, while organizations discuss unifying back-end infrastructure, data and application gravity can make uniformity goals difficult. Since it can take months or years to fully integrate environments, IT cannot wait to secure the acquired company’s data.

IT teams will need to get creative in less-than-ideal circumstances and find a surefire solution to protect and secure data without increasing the hiring of expertise or investing in new solutions.

In a Challenging Economy, Shrinking Budgets Will Cause Concern

In the new year, IT teams will need to use tools they already have to cut out economic waste of resources.  

Companies will look towards the cloud to leverage most of their new initiatives since they want to keep their bets safe in the uncertain outlook of 2023. Cloud-based solutions and projects typically don’t require large onset investment, charge for what is consumed, and have the option to be decommissioned quickly. Conversely, if they are successful, they can also be rapidly scaled.

Teams will need to crack down on IT projects based on rapid ROI (return on investment) in order to prove value which is of utmost importance when the economy is concerned. Furthermore, they will expect the ROI to deliver savings on people and infrastructure spend. This is a year that the business focuses on rapid efficiency.

As the market growth slows and begins to recede, the vendors will need to deliver an end-to-end solution to remain competitive because businesses will expect to buy solutions, not technology.

I believe that organizations need to become comfortable within their given parameters. Most organizations are inefficient in using both cloud and data center technologies. In the new year, they will begin to use tools, solutions, and processes to cut down on waste. Specifically, they will begin to offload outdated functions that can be delivered as-a-service.

Looking Toward a Data-resilient Future

There is no way of knowing what 2023 truly brings for any organization, so all we can do is look at the past to inform us of what is down the road. Ultimately, to thrive in 2023, customers will need technology solutions to do the work for them. With more threats, more data, and fewer people, businesses will be expecting more integrated value stacks rather than having to stitch pieces together themselves. My experience tells me that solution-providers are able to give more to organizations, including peace of mind in a single, comprehensive platform that is the most effective in uncertain times.

The start of a new year allows us a chance to reflect on what we value and prioritize – especially as organizations undergo the ebb and flow of what 2023 is set to bring. The way I see it – when organizations seek to prioritize the simplification of their data, they give themselves the best opportunity to combat bad actors and anything that might threaten the safety and security of their data.

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