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Why data backups are in the spotlight in 2021

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By Mikey Molfessis, cybersecurity expert at Mimecast

With the increasing volume of cyber attacks – especially since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic – ensuring business continuity and recovery in the event of a disruption has never been more important.

Businesses face a plethora of cyber threats that could interrupt their productivity and lead to data loss, which could spell disaster for businesses that rely on data.

According to data from the Mimecast Threat Intelligence Center, detections of identity theft attacks, known and unknown malware, spam and click-blocked increased by 41% in sub-Saharan Africa from 2019 to 2020, with no sign of slow-down.

In fact, looking at the data for 2021, the number of blocked clicks detected in February of this year was 18 times higher than in 2020.

The rise of working from home has also placed organizations and employees at increased risk.

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Mimecast researchers have seen a tripling of clicks on malicious URLs in emails around the world, around the time when social distancing and lockdowns took effect last year.

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In the event of a successful data breach, businesses could suffer devastating losses in terms of revenue, reputation and trust.

Additionally, without the proper business continuity and recovery measures in place, organizations that fall victim to an attack such as ransomware could experience days or even weeks of disruption in business productivity. , which could ultimately wreck the entire company.

As we mark World Backup Day on March 31, now is the time to better understand the role that backups and data archiving can play in improving an organization’s cyber resilience.

With the right solutions in place, organizations are more likely to recover from a successful attack, with minimal disruption to the business, its employees, and its customers.

Here are three reasons why data backups are in the spotlight in 2021:

More data = more risk

While all organizations are exposed to the growing wave of cyber attacks, organizations that keep high volumes of transactional data in their systems are particularly vulnerable.

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By backing up historical transactional and other data in an archive in a secure environment independently, organizations can keep data low and reduce the attack surface. It also simplifies some aspects of complying with privacy regulations.

The growing volume of unstructured data – which already accounts for 80% of global data – adds additional risks.

Organizations need ways to protect and manage unstructured data – including data contained in emails and collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams and Slack – in order to fully comply with legal requirements such as the Personal Information Protection Act (POPIA).

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POPIA compliance

The implementation of POPIA has put additional pressure on any organization that processes or stores personal information in order to provide greater transparency and better control over how that data is stored, processed and used.

In addition, in accordance with POPIA, organizations may be required to delete personal information (“Right to be forgotten”).

Organizations can improve their ability to comply with some of the requirements of POPIA by backing up their data in a cloud archive.

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This has the added benefit of providing businesses with an information governance platform that provides retention management, email encryption, data discovery and recovery to ensure comprehensive litigation preparedness and control. of compliance.

Data is gold (and criminals want it)

Data is a very valuable commodity, especially for cybercriminals. Once they gain access to an organization’s systems, they can hold data for ransom, modify it, or even destroy it.

As the number one business productivity tool, email remains the most widely used attack vector by cybercriminals.

An accurate and restorable business email repository can enable quick and easy restoration of original data that may have been lost as a result of a successful cyberattack.

For example, when an organization suffers a ransomware attack, it can easily restore its data and systems without having to bear the cost of paying ransom money from cybercriminals or suffering a significant loss in business productivity.


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