Jul 28 2020

CDW Tech Talk: Why Businesses Should Consider Moving Data Protection to the Cloud

Flexibility and cost-effectiveness can make Data Protection as a Service an attractive option for organizations.

Businesses are facing challenges as they continue to adjust to the new normal. As states move in and out of various stages of reopening, organizations must be able to react quickly to maintain operations. The ability to adapt has become increasingly valuable, and that includes being able to adapt to new security threats.

But according to W. Curtis Preston, chief technical evangelist at Druva, economic constraints can make adapting difficult.

“Even if you wanted to do something new, like buy a new backup system or something, your supply chains are interrupted,” he said, speaking at session titled “Reinforcing Business Stability and IT Cost Control,” part of CDW’s Tech Talk series. “Your vendors can't necessarily create the hardware that they might send to you. And even if they did send it to you, then you might have trouble receiving it because you have a minimal staff working in the data center.”

Preston said these disruptions come at a terrible time.

“Whenever there’s uncertainty in the world, cybercriminals leverage that,” he said. “They are doing all kinds of things to be able to execute ransomware attacks, phishing attacks, social engineering, all of these things in order to create even more ransomware problems than we already have.”

Security doesn’t only affect the organization's data but can also affect its standing with regulators or other oversight bodies.

“The reality is, because of the things that you've had to do to meet this threat, you quite possibly are creating new compliance issues,” Preston said.

Many businesses can get the flexibility they need while maintaining the protection they are mandated to provide by moving data protection to the cloud, Preston said, an option that can also help keep costs under control.

How to Protect the New Workplace

The workplace changed the moment businesses sent employees home with laptops and other mobile devices to continue doing their jobs remotely. Workers left the cyber safety of company property — something that isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

“Now they’re all working in their living rooms, in their bedrooms, at Starbucks,” said Preston. “They’re all over the place, and they’re no longer behind the company firewall. And so much of your company data is now being created on devices.”

Some businesses might first look to expand their current data center protections, but that’s not necessarily the best option, says Preston. Organizations can end up wasting more resources to reinforce older technologies.

“You could potentially be spending more money and time on these systems to address these new challenges, but honestly, most of these systems were designed decades ago, well before there was anything like the cloud,” said Preston. “I would say just consider Data Protection as a Service, which doesn’t have any of the concerns that I just mentioned.”

The changes that companies have had to make often have left them at greater risk, he says, because many of them are using services they’re not as familiar with while understaffed. 

“They’re thinking, ‘Hey, if we can move this to a service, or if we can move it to a cloud vendor, then this is perhaps something else that we don’t have to worry about right now,’” Preston said.  

MORE FROM BIZTECH: Learn how IT helped stabilize business amid disruption.

What to Prioritize When Protecting Data

There are things businesses need to consider when protecting data, Preston said. First and foremost, the devices that employees are now relying on must have the right security.

“They’re no longer being protected by the firewall,” said Preston. “They’re much more susceptible to things like ransomware and theft, and you’re still creating data on these laptops.” 

Next, businesses have to make sure their services — such as Software as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service — are protected. Preston said that many organizations think that the protection is built into their services, but often it isn’t.

“Go look at your service level agreement and look for words like ‘backup and recovery’ or ‘restore’ or anything like that,” said Preston. “What you will generally find is you'll find words about availability. That’s availability of the system, not the availability of your data. So just think about that. And I think you need to protect these services that perhaps you’re now using for the first time.”

Moving data protection to the cloud can help secure organizations through uncertain times, but the right steps need to be taken. With secure devices and services, businesses can stay safe, compliant, and under budget.

Follow BizTech’s coverage of CDW’s Tech Talk series here. Insiders can register for it here.

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