Is backup really dead?

Ten years ago, in the days when all we really worried about was losing our laptop – along with the work we’d been doing on it – backup was enough. If you had remembered to backup, you knew there was another copy of your work on a hard-drive or, if you were a trendsetter back then, you’d have backed it up to the cloud.

These days, we use not only laptops but also phones and tablets to organise many areas of our lives. This includes work away from the office. We use them to order clothes, buy food, connect with others by teleconference, videoconference, message chat and social media platforms. We use our devices for “everything” and while we’re doing so, we’re creating data. Every day.

As a result of so many people around the world using devices and creating data, the value of data has skyrocketed. I’m talking about digital data, everything we generate on our devices and online.

That data is vital to companies who need the data to communicate with their clients, suppliers and partners and it’s valuable to cyber attackers who know how much the data means to them, who can sell the data they steal on the dark web or, in more cases, ask a high ransom for it.

Why cybercrime is skyrocketing

Cybercrime has taken off for a few clear reasons: it requires little capital outlay from criminals, it carries little to no risk of being caught and it requires minimal effort.

Cyber criminals can attack many businesses at once and the process can be managed by artificial intelligence. Add to this the ease and anonymity that comes with cryptocurrency payments, and it really is easy to hold a company to ransom and request payment in untraceable Bitcoin.

As a result, malware is rife, and ransomware, in particular, is the biggest cyber security threat to enterprises, SMEs and individuals to date.

Data backup vs data protection

Data backup has long been used by businesses to protect their vital data, and it’s played an essential role in keeping a copy of important files safe in case they become corrupted, lost or stolen. But data backup doesn’t stop cybercriminals from entering a network and spreading to remote office locations.

Backup therefore doesn’t qualify as data protection in the broader sense; it only qualifies as protection from data loss.

Data protection tackles broader concerns such as the accessibility of data, data privacy and authenticity, and secures it from theft and breach. It’s a multi-tiered approach to securing data against cybercrime. Indeed, data protection now has to be factored into a business’s cyber security strategy. And this comes in the form of full-system backups as well as proactive protection or perimeter defence.

What does the future look like for ACTIVE data protection?

Backup providers are evolving into providers of data protection as a function of cyber protection. Whereas in the past they provided automated data backup as a single, stand-alone service, they’ve had to address the growing threat of cyber attacks, and how to help businesses prevent them, respond to them and recover from them if the attackers succeed.

While data backup is vital, in the event of a cyber attack there’s no use in restoring backed up data if your system is still infected. The whole system would need to be restored in an unaffected environment for a business to be able to continue operating, or your backed up data should be able to disinfect itself.

IronTree’s business development and strategy director Steven Cohen, says that the convergence of data backup, system backup and cyber security into one comprehensive cyber protection service has become inevitable.

It’s the reason why IronTree now offers a unified product to manage a cyber security strategy that includes data protection at its core. IronTree Protect is the first cyber protection solution to incorporate automated data backup, disaster recovery, next-generation anti-malware, anti-virus, cybersecurity and management tools all in one.

To answer the question if Backup is really dead?

There is talk that traditional backup is dead because it isn’t secure enough, and that traditional antiviruses don’t protect data from cyber threats. What is certain is that these legacy solutions are no longer able to prevent the modern dangers businesses face in the way that cyber protection can.

So, is backup dead? Well, no, here at IronTree we don’t think so, but it’s not the main player anymore. It needs the support of disaster recovery, ransomware protection and cyber security to keep it alive and relevant.

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