Security predictions for 2017 are coming thick and fast – and there’s little for businesses to be cheery about.
“A major bank will fall as a result of cyber-attack,” the BBC relates in this article, whilst, at the other end of the scale, a solicitor has found itself embroiled in an email fraud scam that has, to date, left a homeowner £67,000 out of pocket.
But it’s perhaps ransomware, explored in a previous post, that will see the most noticeable growth in 2017, and it’s a major factor driving businesses’ and security partners’ interest in business continuity solutions like backup and recovery.
After all, if a business can reinstate critical backed-up data at will, ransomware loses much of its bite, and therefore its attractiveness to those who perpetrate it!
So what does an effective business continuity solution look like?
Business continuity solutions – what to look for
True business continuity is about more than just security applications – there’s a whole host of cultural and organisational requirements too, as this basic guide from CSO Online explains.
But from the solutions point of view, business continuity is basically about two things: reliable and bomb-proof (perhaps literally!) data backup, and rapid data recovery.
Two metrics are critical, here: Recovery Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO).
The former dictates how much data a business could afford to lose before it caused any real and lasting damage – and therefore reflects considerations like how often backups need to be performed, what volumes and formats of data need to be involved, and how robust the backup environment is.
The latter dictates how rapidly that backed-up data can not only be accessed (hint: off-site tapes just don’t cut it any more!) but actually redeployed in a form that the business’s hungry systems can once again get to work on – not just files and folders, but settings, too - to get the business back on its feet post-incident.
Between them, these two metrics hinge on a host of solution capabilities that can be problematic.
For example, one oft-cited issue is that when backup and recovery data is being streamed back into a stricken business, the data can’t be accessed or used until the recovery process is complete – and that can take many precious hours, days, or even longer. Unhelpful.
Reliance on recovery via hardware is also a sticking point, since it may be impaired by the very hack that caused the data incident in the first place (ransomware is a very good example of this!)
What’s the appetite for business continuity solutions in 2017?
Nonetheless, business continuity has been a problem crying out for a solution for a long time before 2017; ransomware has simply put an especially shrill edge on it!
Scary statistics abound; did you know, for example, that according to a study by Onyx Group, 71% of UK SMEs only ever manage to back up part of their data?
Or that 75% of SMBs have no disaster recovery plans in place at all?
But even more terrifying, when considered in the light of the ransomware issue, is that, according to one estimate, 58% of small businesses could not withstand any amount of data loss whatsoever!
Think about that for a moment. It means the hackers’ job is made much, much easier. Even holding the slightest amount of a business’s data to ransom could easily provoke a payout. Minimum effort, maximum return – which means more hackers getting involved in this kind of activity in the future, of course!
Not for nothing is the Business Continuity Institute’s agenda focused “overwhelmingly” on cyber-resilience in 2017.
(And in case you’re wondering, the disaster recovery-as-a-service market, in which backup will play a key role, is estimated to be worth $11.11 billion - £8.83 billion - by 2021. Ripe for the picking!)
Where can I check out the latest business continuity solutions?
Clearly, what we’ve said above also means that the competitive landscape for security partners in this space is going to become challenging.
But for an insight into how one backup and recovery solution is evolving to deliver both strengthened protection to end-users and a more compelling proposition to the security partners who sell to them, take a look at this data backup and recovery features update.
And keep watching this series of blogs – we’ll be looking at a whole range of security solutions for 2017, covering email, web, cloud, data centre, and Office 365.