We’re reaching the end of the year, and following on from 2016’s year of Ransomware, 2017 appears to have been a year of large-scale data breaches. Multi-national organisations, who would have once been considered technical strongholds, have suffered at the hands of hackers and cyber-criminals, a reminder that all IT environments can be put to risk if not properly maintained. Now is the time to start health-checking your data management regime and preparing to add some protective muscle.
Technology is getting faster, quicker and stronger, unfortunately so are the threats. Maintaining a healthy data management regime, much like getting fit in the gym, requires time, dedication and a solid plan.
Whip your data management into shape
Protecting against cyber-threats and staying compliant with the latest data protection laws, is an ongoing task. It is near-on impossible to say that any system is completely protected at any time, especially with threats evolving at a rapid rate. With so many technologies and solutions available, no two environments are the same but the principles behind securely protecting them remain.
Get a health check
Before starting or improving on any regime, it is important to have a benchmark to work from. Health checking your current environment will give you this benchmark and raise important questions around what can be improved and where threats may come from. Identifying and mitigating internal risk is likely to give quick-fixes to issues that you may not even know you had.
Getting sign off on IT projects can be difficult enough at the best of times, if there are multiple projects on the go, projects like backup often get put on the shelf. Identifying objectives and tying them to how they will help the business meet its objectives will help show tangible benefits to non-technical stakeholders. They will also help to identify which projects are most important.
Find a gym
Researching the best way to meet both technical and business requirements is vital to beginning to improve. Problems with data management could arise from many places and take many forms, finding the right solution is like finding the right gym. With so many solutions in the market place it’s vital to ask the right questions before selecting one.
Create a fitness plan
What’s a great gym without great personal trainers? Finding a solution to meet your criteria is one thing, but putting that solution in and working in the right way is another step. Working with software vendors or managed service providers (your personal trainers), you can come up with a detailed plan on how best to implement solutions and meet your requirements in a suitable timescale.
Once your plan is created, it’s time to start exercising; implementing new technologies or solutions can take time and the benefits may not be apparent immediately. It’s important to regularly refer back to your benchmark to test how effective solutions are and keep your data management regime moving from strength to strength.
Don’t forget to stretch
If your data management is outdated, tired or unfit, it is important to work on core strength. Ensuring that data is securely managed and protected throughout its lifecycle, will help mitigate risks around data breach. Backing up data should be one of the first priorities for organisations of all sizes in protecting data. A secure, off-site backup will allow an organisation to recover data in its time of need, whether that be a daily restore, a ransomware infection or a full-site disaster. Archiving data will help free up primary storage, give insight into what data is irregularly accessed and can help define and determine policies around how long data is held for.