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As the data-sphere expands in size and value, it becomes even more vulnerable to data loss from such things as cyberattacks, natural disasters, and human error. This has prompted organizations of all sizes to rethink their strategies for achieving both data resiliency and data protection. So, what is the difference between the two?
Both terms relate to digitally preserving organizational assets in the event of a disaster or data corruption; however, the means of accomplishing it are different. Data resiliency in its simplest form refers to data’s ability to “spring back” in situations where it is compromised. For instance, the cloud enables data resiliency because data can be stored in multiple locations, with no one location being better than the other as long as the data is uncorrupted and easy to retrieve in the event that a location fails. Data is considered resilient if the second location enables complete data access, and so on. If all locations go down, then the organization loses access to its data and, at the very least, incurs the expense of downtime. Clearly, the data is no longer resilient.
Data resiliency is like having many spare house keys. The more keys you have in different spots, the less likely you are to get locked out of your house. If you hide a key outside, have a key on your keychain, and give your neighbor a spare key, it’s unlikely you will be locked out of your house.
Like data resiliency, data protection is also about having access to data – but data protection includes other steps to ensure that the entire data ecosystem is safe for as long as needed. A good data protection plan guarantees that data will remain uncorrupted and in compliance with all required applications. Key elements of a strong data protection plan include regular backups, data retrieval, and replication. Reliable data storage solutions create a secure IT environment where data is safely stored and provides the first line of restoration in case of a disaster or attack. A layered data security strategy that protects an organization’s data with multiple copies, in multiple locations, and on multiple types of media can be very effective.
Data Resiliency to the Rescue
The temporary and permanent loss of data through malware or ransomware is a bigger threat than ever before, particularly with the uptick in global cyberattacks in recent years. The restoration of data with little to no downtime or disruption to users is critical to preserving data and, therefore, establishing business continuity long-term. In the event of an attack, it is imperative that data is resilient, allowing users to continue to access data, perhaps being directed to a secondary location where the same data is available and not compromised. In a truly data-resilient process, users never know that a disruption has occurred. Resilient systems also enable organizations to avoid downtime when performing upgrades, data migration, and planned maintenance.
Data Protection Plans a Must
In the most impermeable data protection plans, IT professionals leverage several technologies, such as disk, tape, and cloud, along with a robust data lifecycle management software, with copies stored in various locations and in various states of accessibility (online, remote air-gap, physical air-gap, or fully offline). Good data protection plans also meet compliance requirements and ensure that data is stored on reliable storage platforms according to retention policies.
Fending off threats from all forms of attacks as well as protecting against damage from natural disasters is an ongoing job for organizations. Having to keep up with the latest cyberattack or malware method can be made easier by ensuring that a stable, regularly tested, and adjustable data protection plan is in place for mission-critical workflows.
It is essential that organizations take steps to ensure that data is always available and is never permanently lost. In case of equipment failures, power outages, cyberattacks, operator mistakes, or other compromises, organizations that have done the hard work upfront of making sure their data is both resilient and protected will see their business operations continue without interruption and their bottom lines and reputations remain on track.