Blog | Protect your business from cyber attacks

By Ronnie Latinazo

ronnie

Enterprises globally are grappling with change. Evolving market disruption from agile new entrants and shifting consumer behavior boosted by mobile and online apps aren’t making the task easy.

According to the 2016 Asia-Pacific Defense Outlook released by Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (DTTL), despite having higher technological maturity as compared to younger nations in the region, Asia Pacific’s ‘Cyber Five’ – Singapore, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand and Japan — appear nine times more vulnerable to cyberattack than other Asian economies.

The same report also revealed that the Philippines has more than doubled in its vulnerability to cyber-crime attacks, from 32 points in 2008 to 68 points in 2014.

Fortifying your enterprise against a breach is critical to survive and sustain. Protecting your data is a vital first step towards this goal.

Dell EMC sponsored a study to determine the state of data protection preparedness globally including the Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ). We surveyed 2,200 respondents across 18 countries as part of the Dell EMC Global Data Protection Index 2016 and measured the impact of data disruption and confidence levels among enterprises to meet current and future challenges.

Alarmingly, businesses in APJ recorded unplanned data losses and downtime in excess of $2 million in the last 12 months our study found. It is also equally worrying that over 75% of APJ organizations surveyed stated they were not fully confident of their ability to recover after a disruption.

Given the increasingly complex threats to data, and the resultant high cost of data loss, what can businesses do to protect their data and the bottom line? Here are three ways:

  • Protect your cloud, as you do your on-premise IT

As enterprises across the Asia Pacific move forward on their digital transformation journeys, cloud technologies will be a key element in their business strategy. In fact, 47% of APJ organizations we surveyed are currently using cloud technology for long term retention of data.

Yet currently just less than 50% of our respondents said they protect cloud data against corruption and again less than 50% are protecting against deletion. Why? Because these businesses believe that their cloud provider protects their data for them. However this is a fallacy. Truth is, if an employee accidentally deletes files or introduces a virus, that’s generally not covered by a cloud provider.

To avoid these issues, it is just as important to plan your data protection strategy in cloud IT environments as you do for your on-premise. Software defined backup solutions will enable you to take scheduled backups of your in-app data, both on and off-premise, to ensure you always have a fallback version of your files if one is required.

It also gives you the flexibility to provide cloud-cloud and on-premise-to-cloud data protection, while driving down costs.

  • Prepare for the worst

Business continuity planning has become ever more critical, particularly with rising threats – not just to primary data, but also to backup and protection data. 33% of APJ organizations we surveyed have lost data as the result of an external or internal security breach.

A report by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, (BSP) said that more than P200 million was lost to ATM card hackers in 2013, up from 175 million pesos in 2012.
One way to prepare for accidental data loss is to create protection copies. But the problem is that when hackers deliberately try to take down a business, they can attack those protection copies too.

To address these rapidly changing threats, using a solution that will create a virtual panic room for your most valuable data will isolate it from networked systems that could be compromised in a cyberattack. This will also make sure data can be restored even from the most extensive attack.

Whether combating cyber extortionists demanding cash to unlock data encrypted by ransomware, or other risks posed to backup and protection data, be prepared so that your ‘data of last resort’ is beyond harm’s reach.

  • Plan for the future

Over 88% of APJ organizations in our study said their data protection solutions will not be able to meet all their future business challenges. If you’re struggling with low confidence levels, it’s time to relook at your infrastructure and invest in technologies that combine disaster recovery with business continuity and data protection.

By cutting backup times and restore times, these solutions will ensure mission-critical applications are always available and responsive, letting your business focus on innovation instead of infrastructure.

As you embark on your next phase of business growth and as you continue to transform the enterprise, it is time to prepare for newer challenges in cyber threats by planning your data protection strategy.

Are you ready to face the forces of change?

The author is the country manager of Dell EMC Philippines

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