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Research Firm Reviews Content Indexing and Data Classification as Part of Cyber Resiliency Strategy for Backup

April 2021 by ESG

With an increased focus on bolstering cybersecurity, the traditional backup and recovery space is changing, according to analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG). It is moving toward its next phase of evolution—to foster intelligent data management and data reuse.

Backing up the data is not enough, ESG Stated in Showcase: The Criticality of Data Integrity for Successful Cyber Resilience...and More, commissioned by data resilience experts Index Engines. Gaining a good understanding of that data is also necessary, not only to support recovery efforts, but also to leverage the data for other purposes. Cyber-criminals regularly target the backup infrastructure itself, which is why the requirement for meta content and context about data is becoming more urgent.

“The pandemic crisis accelerated digital transformation programs on a broad scale, and we have witnessed increasingly frequent cyber-attacks as a side effect of that evolution,” said report authors Christophe Bertrand, ESG Senior Analyst and Monya Keane, ESG Senior Research Analyst.

To put it simply, data has to be more intelligent, the report continues. It’s really about achieving business-level outcomes—embracing the notion that data is a true asset that can be leveraged to create profit and help avoid cost and risk. It is imperative that organizations not only protect their data from ransomware, but also understand the content and ensure it is safe and protected if it could otherwise be used to harm the business.

When a cyber-attack succeeds, real-time cyber security protection solutions may not by themselves be enough to fend off the enemy or minimize the damage. Data gets corrupted and must be recovered. Notably, cyber-criminals are now specifically focusing on accessing and infecting months’ worth of companies’ backup datasets (in addition to corrupting the primary production data), making these attacks even more damaging and high risk.

Nearly half of the organizations surveyed by ESG view fortifying cybersecurity as a business issue driving their technology spending, with 47% of respondents identifying improving cybersecurity as a top IT investment justification.1 That’s likely why experts with cybersecurity skills are in such high demand.

In fact, cybersecurity is an area of IT in which organizations frequently indicated that they have a problematic skills shortage. 80% of surveyed IT decision makers regard data reuse as an extension of or even a replacement for their data protection strategy moving forward.

“Cyber criminals are now utilizing advanced techniques, including artificial intelligence, to penetrate the data center and corrupt critical data assets,” said Jim McGann, vice president at Index Engines. “Organizations need to be smarter and more aggressive in combatting these attacks instead of using common and predictable approaches, which have not worked in the past. These new approaches include protecting the backup data, checking the integrity, and ensuring that when they are attacked, they can recover quickly with a known good backup.”

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