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2019 definitely kept IT professionals on their toes. As we close out the decade, we should anticipate new data challenges, cyber threats, and increases in complex IT environments to continue. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t answers to these challenges on the horizon. New technologies are coming to market that will help companies more directly address and prepare for ransomware threats, cloud migration projects, and compliance needs.
Here are three top business continuity and disaster recovery predictions about what will shape the year to come:
Ransomware Attackers Play Dirtier
We should expect hackers to play dirtier in 2020, especially as cybercriminals take a more tailored approach to target their victims, oftentimes attacking backups themselves so that organizations are left with nothing to recover.
To prevent these scenarios, IT teams need to ensure security and backup and disaster recovery plans are known throughout the entire organization, from system administrator to CIO. There needs to be clear documentation outlining remediation and recovery responsibilities if the company is attacked. C-Suite execs that openly communicate with IT teams will be less likely to panic and pay a ransom when they don’t need to.
Further, companies must also prepare by taking a two-pronged approach to ransomware mitigation to avoid having to pay to get their data back. Investments not only need to be made in more advanced threat detection and remediation software that can detect both known and unknown malware but also in data backup technology that meets modern IT needs. There are cybersecurity and disaster recovery technologies that are designed and fine-tuned to integrate easily with one another, which helps prevent vulnerabilities that may arise by disparate software that could easily be misconfigured. Staying on top of this technology, patching as needed, and orchestrating it in a way that there are no accidental gaps is key to keeping data safe.
Solutions Emerge to Facilitate Easier Cloud Migrations
Analysts have predicted that worldwide public cloud revenue will grow by 17% in 2020, so we should expect migrations to the cloud to increase heading into the new year. The decision-making around cloud is maturing, as IT professionals are now weighing whether to deploy hybrid and multi-cloud strategies, especially as cloud-born SaaS solutions become more common.
However, many still face challenges in determining which data, applications, and workloads are best suited for the cloud over on-premises environments. And as they start to manage multiple clouds, they need their teams to be knowledgeable about the differences in functionalities between each environment and ensure training is made available so the IT team can develop its skills.
To overcome these challenges and ensure the cloud deployment is improving IT resilience, companies will make a concerted effort to standardize security models that work across different cloud vendors. This will help the IT team protect critical data, workloads, and applications and reduce security gaps that could arise from misconfigurations. It’s also likely that we’ll see offerings being introduced into the market that make it easier to complete a cloud migration. This emerging technology will remove the manual steps that disrupted production systems and caused unnecessary downtime.
Data Management Gets Fully Defined
2020 will be an important year for Data Management. Many vendors in the backup and disaster recovery space have already started to dabble in it. In the coming year, many will have to more clearly explain what the true definition of Data Management is and whether that aligns with what they’re offering to their customers.
For example, as businesses work to stay in compliance with regulations like GDPR, we may see more organizations looking for data classification, which is a practice of organizing data by category. Many may think that falls under the bucket of Data Management, but it truly depends. Analysts like IDC and Gartner define Data Management as an all-encompassing concept that acts as an umbrella to data protection, cybersecurity, analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, among other things. To avoid choosing a solution that doesn’t meet the organization’s IT needs, the industry needs to do a better job at identifying specific problems to be solved, and then mapping them to the solutions that can actually solve said challenges.
2020 is shaping up to be another eventful year for IT teams, especially as new data challenges and cyber threats emerge. As long as IT stays vigilant, clearly outlines processes and procedures, and defines the problems they need to resolve, they will be taking the right steps in achieving IT resilience in the new year.