World backup day – a reminder to always consider data safety

With World Backup Day having recently passed, it is prescient to reflect on the sheer volume of data in the modern enterprise, and consider the enormous risk that it poses – both to operational stability and customer trust.


In today’s digital landscape, safeguarding data has become an increasingly critical endeavour. As cyber threats continue to evolve in sophistication and frequency, the importance of robust backup and recovery measures cannot be overstated. In the aftermath of World Backup Day, it’s imperative to reflect on the significance of protecting vital information against a backdrop of escalating cyber assaults.


Martin Creighan, Vice President for APAC at Commvault, points out that cybercriminals not only infiltrate and compromise enterprise data but often also implant malware within backups. This tactic captures the organisation in a cycle of attempting to restore functionality, only to inadvertently reinstate the assailants’ access. Sadly this tactic often leaves ransom payment as the only viable option.


Creighan emphasises the gravity of the situation, citing research indicating that 65% of Australian companies feel they could sustain business operations for only five days without access to their critical data. However, fewer than half have confidence in their capacity to fully restore data after ransomware activity.


These sobering statistics underscore the urgency for robust cybersecurity measures to safeguard resilience in the face of escalating cyber threats.


The Australian Signals Directorate (ASD) responded to over 1,100 cybersecurity incidents from local entities in the last financial year, coupled with nearly 94,000 reports filed via the government’s ReportCyber portal. This paints a vivid picture of the magnitude of the challenge at hand, with incidents occurring at a rate of one report every six minutes.


“The cornerstone of effective cybersecurity lies in prioritising the security of backups and streamlining recovery processes to swiftly restore operational functionality post-attack,” says Creighan. “It is necessary to integrate anomaly detection systems and early warning mechanisms, which are indispensable tools for pre-empting cyber intrusions into backup repositories.”


Moreover, Creighan underscores the critical importance of testing recovery plans within controlled, malware-free environments. “Traditionally, such endeavours have been beset by exorbitant costs and logistical complexities. However, with the advent of cloud technology and AI, the tide is turning, enabling organisations to execute robust testing protocols at minimal expense and scale.”


Daniel Dale, Operations Director at Leaseweb, echoes this sentiment, emphasising the need for secure and readily available data amidst rising reliance on digital information. “Backups provide a way of recovery in today’s world where every minute matters,” says Dale. “Ensuring you have a solution in place which is tried and tested is imperative.”


Recent statistics underscore the severity of data loss incidents, with small businesses without recovery plans facing up to 75% risk. The average cost of a data breach globally stands at $4.45 million, with hardware failures accounting for 43% of data losses. These figures highlight the dire consequences organizations face in the absence of robust backup and recovery strategies.


“In summary, losing data, for whatever reason, is not something any user or corporate should take lightly,” concludes Dale. “As the growth of online data and the demand for cloud and AI services continue to rise, backup and recovery should not be overlooked.”


Ultimately, World Backup Day serves as a reminder of the critical role data protection plays in organisational resilience and continuity. By prioritising cybersecurity measures, implementing robust backup solutions, and conducting regular testing, organisations can mitigate the risks posed by escalating cyber threats and ensure business continuity in an increasingly interconnected world.