Would your critical data survive a major cyber attack?

Read time 4min 10sec

The possibility of catastrophic cyber attack is a very real threat for business leaders, as the skyrocketing growth of data and digital-first organisations greatly increases the attack surface.

“The channel must be prepared to support customers along their security journeys, with cutting edge consultancy and solutions,” says Vangelis Lagousakos, GMof channel sales, Middle East, Russia, Africa and Turkey (MERAT) at Dell Technologies.

According to Dell Technologies Global Data Protection Index 2020 Snapshot, EMEA organisations are managing 16.40 petabytes of data on average these days, a whopping 975% increase since 2016.

The report revealed that the majority of regional organisations (80%) have suffered a security event in the last year, up from 77% in 2018. In addition, organisations admitted they are struggling to find adequate data protection solutions for emerging technologies like 5G and edge infrastructure (61%) as well as AI and ML platforms (51%).

“This is the state of the enterprise’s frontlines – and they need to be addressed,” says Lagousakos.

A risk report by the World Economic Forum ranks cyber attacks as the second major risk to businesses in the next ten years. 

“As the tools of the Dark Web become more sophisticated and accessible, cyber attacks are increasingly borderless, taking advantage of jurisdictional constraints of regional authorities. We’re seeing more and more large-scale data loss and the rise of ransomware attacks, making resiliency planning key to survival. In 2019 alone, there was a ransomware attack every 14 seconds around the world.”

Act now

Lagousakos says these figures are concerning and are proof that reacting in real-time to a security event is already too late. 

“Managing the risk requires agility, meticulous alignment across the business and testing to maintain awareness – it’s about being proactive rather than reactive. Cyber resilience is now more important than ever, and channel businesses have a role to play in helping their customers assess the risk of attack, whether at the hands of criminals or as collateral damage in cyber warfare.”

He believes that defending a customer requires the support and cyber security expertise of channel businesses, as well as a holistic approach to resilience.

In the same way that we would only carry our most essential belongings from a burning home, businesses must decide upon their most prized data.

Vangelis Lagousakos, Dell Technologies

“Through channel consultancy, customers can build awareness across their business – along with the understanding that this is not just a tech problem, synergy between technology and business processes is where true resiliency is attained. Meanwhile, leaning on the channel’s cyber expertise when it comes to planning and implementation will help customers to identify key applications, recovery times and hone objectives.”

It is also crucial that every department within the customer’s business understands where its most sensitive data and services sit, as well as the level of risk around them, he says. “This is something channel partners can help to maintain. To understand the level of risk an agile approach is needed, because risk changes along with the business landscape. For this reason, regular scans and analysis of the internal landscape are essential to understand these changes and their impact – and by virtue a close collaboration with channel partners.”

Critical ‘DNA’

It isn’t easy to protect a huge portfolio of assets, particularly as it grows. However, all businesses need to understand what their DNA is, or the critical 10 to 15% of data that must be protected at all costs, says Lagousakos. 

“This is the life-blood of an organisation and, in the event of a cyber-attack, is the difference between its life and death. It is business-critical and must be decided upon with a holistic view. For some, this can often lead to analysis paralysis, or the desire to save it all. In the same way that we would only carry our most essential belongings from a burning home, businesses must decide upon their most prized data so that it can be protected and used to recover the business in the aftermath.”

He says this process can be simplified through data protection and cyber security services that enable organisations to establish policy-driven automated workflows to move business critical data into an isolated environment and lock it down in less than five steps.

“This is called a cyber vault, the ultimate protection for a business’ DNA. In the event of an attack, this data will help businesses to recover. When responding to cyber incidents and working to bring critical systems and data back online, accuracy and simplicity matter. A cyber recovery plan must be fully integrated within the business and align with its cloud strategy over the following five years.”

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