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Why cloud data protection is a must in the time of COVID-19 crisis?

Just as Indian companies had begun recognizing cloud adoption as a crucial catalyst for business transformation, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a key enabler for ensuring business continuity

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By Bakshish Dutta

Data explosion in recent times has complicated data management for organisations in India. Perhaps that is reason why IDC’s Cloud Pulse 2Q19 estimates that 75% organizations in the country will invest in cloud-based infrastructure and applications to meet their business goals. Furthermore, Nasscom has predicted that the cloud computing market could hit $7.1 billion tripling to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30% by 2022.

Just as Indian companies had begun recognizing cloud adoption as a crucial catalyst for business transformation, the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has made it a key enabler for ensuring business continuity. The ability of the cloud to transform backup data into an asset, making it more open and accessible can help organisations gain critical insights to uncover opportunities and expedite decision making in these challenging times.

However, as more employees connect remotely to work from home, cloud adoption could be ineffective without data protection. Cloud data protection systems are a must as they can ease increasing data complexity, provide a central access point, bring greater data visibility, lessen legal and regulatory risk, and save costs. Let us look at some key reasons why this is vital now than ever.

Simplify backup and recovery
Businesses have to be agile in their functioning. These unprecedented times are a real test of time. Companies are encouraging employees to work from home so that they ensure safety and business continuity. Simplifying data backup and recovery is one of the steps to ease and quicken the process of data management and accessibility, especially when the entire organization is connecting remotely. While traditional backup systems are cost intensive as well as time-consuming, a cloud data protection system expediates the backup process. As a single secondary copy of all data is stored in the cloud infrastructure, backup hardware is no longer needed locally. It also eliminates the whole concept of performing a traditional backup as it is being constantly updated accordingly to a configurable schedule. Hence, backups from any point in time, are always available and accessible from anywhere in the world.

Identify trends
To function effectively in a highly competitive environment, businesses must identify not just consumer trends, but also data trends from within the organization. Deploying a cloud system indexes the complete text of each data file, thereby enabling organizations to identify trends in data usage. For instance, it helps to track whether the sales team in a particular region is writing fewer contracts after a new regulation went into effect? An access to the entire data protection system hosted on a single dashboard provides decision makers with summaries of activity by service, by user, by device, and by date. This enables efficient top-level decision-making and impacts business growth positively. In the times of a pandemic, data trends are useful from the point of view of ensuring open communication with employees, most of whom are connecting remotely and at the same time offer them relevant information about the constantly evolving situation.

Easier malware/ransomware recovery
Malware is a real threat to organizations as it can result in grave loss of business data. Educating users and putting robust anti-malware tools in place can help with prevention, but they cannot help you once an infection occurs. A complete malware attack recovery needs the recent, comprehensive backups from the time before the attack occurred. The flexible backup capability of a cloud-based data protection system provides the most reliable, most thorough, most recent backups for easy recovery. At a time when employees are working from home, some of them even on their personal machines, there could be higher chances of data breach. Having a foolproof recovery system in place could put companies at ease in these difficult times.

Detection of data abnormalities
Just as staying at home is the best precautionary measure to contain the spread of COVID-19, when it comes to data protection, prevention is always better than cure in most cases. There are certain patterns before the occurrence of any threats such as renaming or encrypting mass files, abnormal traffic from a site, and deletion of thousands of database records at once. However, manual monitoring of company’s data systems can prove to be inefficient, tiresome, and expensive. With cloud data protection system in place, organizations are immediately alerted in case of any unusual activity.

Cost effective
In times when revenues and profitability have taken a serious hit, companies will look at cost-effective options to ensure smooth operations. IT budget will also be under scrutiny. However, with cloud-based data protection, they do not have to buy and maintain backup and other data system hardware and software. It eliminates the need to physically store backup media off-site and deliver it to or from that site daily. IT teams are not required to manage multiple data systems hardware and media. In case of a server or website crash, there is quick recovery, which means less business interruption and less revenue lost. Increased data visibility empowers organizations to make better managerial decisions.

(The author is the Country Manager – India & SAARC, Druva)

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