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Cybercriminals are changing their tactics to compel quick action from victims

Is it time for businesses to invest in disaster recovery as a service?

Photo: © AFP
Photo: © AFP

The FBI’s cybercrime statistics for 2021 suggest that business email compromise is by far the largest digital crime, making up nearly 58 percent of top category cyberattacks.

The disruption and financial burden of these attacks have only amplified the importance of data backups to ensure business continuity. The importance of frequent data backups has only increased over the past year as more employees work from home.

Joe Noonan, Product Executive, Backup and Disaster Recovery for Unitrends and Spanning, explains to Digital Journal about these increased vulnerabilities that have resulted as cyberattacks. Noonan notes that such attacks have continued to rise.

Noonan also notes the importance of frequent data backups to combat these increased risks and the downfalls of waiting too long.

Noonan says that organisations should endeavour to “take a closer look at their full business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR) plans—which includes everything from the solutions they use to their disaster recovery run book.”

The changing world of work has altered the vulnerability landscape, says Noonan, noting: “The shift to remote working completely transformed the way organizations protect and store their data. Today, there is a greater focus on protecting data no matter where it lives — on-prem, on the laptops of remote employees, in clouds and in SaaS applications.”

There’s a further trend too, Noonan says: “Recovery time objectives (RTOs) are increasingly shrinking in today’s always-on world, with goals being set in hours—if not minutes.”

The implications of these alterations are significant, notes Noonan: “Cybercriminals have taken advantage of the remote and hybrid work environments to conduct increasingly sophisticated cyberattacks, and the data recovery process post-incident has become more complex due to new cyber insurance requirements. These new regulations include critical audits and tests that businesses must comply with in order to restore their data and receive a payout after an attack—which can slow down the recovery process.”

Regulations are also fogging the process. Noonan finds: “With data protection becoming increasingly complex, more organizations are turning to vendors that provide Unified BCDR, which includes backup and disaster recovery, AI-based automation and ransomware safeguards as well as disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS).”

Important questions for businesses to pitch internally are identified by Noonan as:

  • What data and applications are critical to ensure business productivity?
  • How much downtime and data loss can be sustained?
  • How will they test their solution for completeness and performance?
  • What immutability safeguards are in place to eliminate ransomware risks?
  • What is the process to failback to the production environment once the disaster is averted?

Noonan recommends: “Unified BCDR has become a necessity due to the growing amount of data organizations must protect and the increasing number of cyberattacks taking place against businesses of all sizes.”

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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