Q&A: Too many data protection vendors increases downtime costs for businesses, says Dell

January 22nd, 2021 | by Alfred Siew
Q&A: Too many data protection vendors increases downtime costs for businesses, says Dell
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Saravanan Krishnan, director of data protection solutions for South Asia at Dell Technologies. PHOTO: Handout

In a bid to protect their precious data from being stolen in a threat-filled cyber world, many businesses have kept buying solutions from multiple vendors to bolster their defences.

Unfortunately, this could end up making things worse, by increasing the costs of downtime or data loss, according to a recent study on data protection by Dell Technologies.

Instead, businesses should do their risk assessments and stick with one trusted vendor, which brings a portfolio of solutions, says Saravanan Krishnan, director of data protection solutions for South Asia at Dell Technologies.

In this month’s Q&A, he adds that they have to invest in a cyber resilience strategy to reduce the risk of downtime, especially with the pandemic causing changes in workstyles. There is greater risk in doing nothing, he argues.

NOTE: Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Q: Businesses are buying more security services and products but yet many are still feeling vulnerable about losing their data. What are they doing right and wrong?

A: Organisations were relying on bolted-on products and services to meet holistic cybersecurity and cyber-resilience requirements.

Instead, what organisations need today are new IT infrastructure solutions integrated with systems, and a single data protection vendor with a comprehensive portfolio of solutions that can protect data in all forms.

Organisations must be able to withstand and recover from a cyberattack, adopting a framework to protect, detect and recover. This is especially true as we transit into a remote workforce where data management solutions to ensure data safety and cyber resiliency must be prioritised.

Organisations must conduct a review of their security posture to ensure that there are no gaps or loopholes for cybercriminals to exploit. This includes a plan to schedule regular risk assessments to identify any weaknesses in data processing systems and infrastructure readiness in ensuring continual data security.

Q: Data loss is one risk that any business has to undertake. Briefly, what are the remedies available should one lose critical customer or employee data?

The remedy lies in being prepared and having a robust data management strategy.

In a connected world, downtime as well as data loss have a huge impact and can have a crippling effect on businesses. They may incur hefty costs of recovery, reputation damage and revenue loss.

A data protection solution that can protect a business today must balance the ability to scale and flex for future needs.

Organisations would do well by ensuring that their data is protected and recoverable, no matter where it resides – on-premise, in edge locations or across hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures.

Another practical step that can be taken to reduce costly disruptions is to partner with a single data protection vendor.

According to the Dell Technologies Global Data Protection Index (GDPI) 2020 Snapshot, on average, organisations using more than one data protection vendor experience nearly four times higher downtime-related costs and almost 12 times higher data loss costs.

Considering a single data protection partner with an extensive portfolio of solutions that can protect data in all its form is a surefire way to reduce complexity and mitigate the risk of downtime during an outage.

Q: Hackers today have turned to exposing victims’ stolen data instead of simply locking them out of it. How well are businesses responding to such threats?

Besides pursuing legal recourse, organisations are increasingly aware that they must look into proactive preventive measures, such as comprehensive risk assessments or updating existing cybersecurity policies.

Leaders also understand that they must drive home the importance of data protection for business success.

This includes providing the right security education and training for employees to develop good cyber hygiene practices to reduce non-malicious internal threats.

Q: 2020 has been said to be a year of accelerated change. How will data protection evolve in the next 12 months against new threats?

Data protection and cyber resiliency will continue to be top-of-mind for business leaders as they seek to protect their intellectual property and assets.

Our GDPI 2020 research found that at least seven in 10 organisations in the Asia Pacific and Japan region do not think their existing data protection solutions will meet all future business challenges, including cyberattacks and data loss incidents.

Moreover, the shift to a remote workforce has underscored the importance of digital transformation for organisations – to innovate and rapidly put technology to work.

In 2021, it is critical that companies and governments invest in even more secure and scalable IT resources to support high volumes of virtual, online business.

There is a great risk in doing nothing. Organisations have to invest in the right cyber resilience strategy so they can focus on their core business and revenue growth without disruptions.

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