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World Backup Day is a reminder to build cyber resilience and protect data

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By Sathish Murthy, Senior Systems Engineering Lead, Cohesity ASEAN & India

With this year’s World Backup Day being celebrated this week, it is worth noting that the importance of
backups to business continuity has grown as data security risks and the frequency of cyberattacks has grown. A recent report from the Data Security Council of India (DSCI) revealed that India encountered over 400 million cyber threats across 8.5 million endpoints in 2022, with an average detection rate of 761 threats per minute. With cybersecurity incidents in the country have escalated significantly in recent years, with a compound annual growth rate of over 60% from 2018 to 2022.

Therefore, the key to ensuring cyber resilience—the ability to maintain business functions, operations, or revenue generation while responding to an adverse cyber event —lies in establishing a modern backup and data recovery strategy that relies on new-age capabilities, to safeguard against potential threats. Without cyber resilience, organisations’ business continuity is at risk in an era where cyberattacks are no longer a case of if but when Amid this stark and unfortunate reality, it is critical to ensure backup, data management, and recovery strategies are focused on being able to not just recover data but restore critical business processes from these data backups. At the same time, by identifying this most critical data (often personal identifiable
information [PII]), organisations can determine the data protection, security, and recovery, capabilities
they need to safeguard their data.

In the face of evolving cyber threats, two critical aspects underscore the efficacy of data recovery technologies: the capacity for partial recovery and the characteristic of immutability. Partial recovery allows organisations to swiftly access essential data without necessitating a full system restore, facilitating a quicker resumption of operations post-cyber incident. While, immutability guarantees that backup data remains unaltered and impervious to unauthorised changes or deletions, thereby ensuring its integrity. Together, these features not only streamline the recovery process but also bolster the resilience of backup systems against potential cyber vulnerabilities.

This World Backup Day, organisations should also consider how to leverage generative artificial intelligence and machine learning (ML) to improve backup data systems, as generative AI capabilities and platforms offer the ability to traverse throughout an organisation and its technology stack. Here are three considerations when it comes to generative AI and data management, protection, and recovery:
● Build cross-functional internal committees to help govern access, procedures, and policies around AI/ML and generative AI. The involvement of these key stakeholders will foster a greater focus on the classification of data, types of data being managed and stored, applications and their access to data, and the organisation’s data estate
● Determine where data exists, consolidate it where possible through capabilities like de-duplication, and identify data backup copies that are the right ones to restore from or leverage in test & development scenarios.

● Decide on data access, if you know which data is your single source of truth, then you’re able to decide whether it should be allowed to be used externally with models. If it is to be accessed, what sort of governance is applicable, and who should be allowed to access this?

As cyber threats continue to evolve, World Backup Day stands as an important reminder of the pivotal
role data backups and recovery plays as not only the backbone of cyber resilience but a core component of business resilience and continuity. So, this World Backup Day, don’t lose sight of what backups can do to help your business strengthen cyber resilience, prioritise data management and protection upfront to ensure your backups’ integrity, and implement modern data security capabilities -and you’ll be best-positioned to thrive in a worsening cyber threat landscape.

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