The Four Pillars of Data Protection

Jan 30, 2019 Jeff Slapp - Vice President, Cloud and Managed Services

pillar-capitals-1220665_1920.jpgNearly 705 million records were exposed in the 10 largest data breaches in 2018, according to the Identity Theft Resource Center.  Marriott, Saks, Lord & Taylor, T-Mobile, Facebook and Google+ faced data breaches that not only compromised the personal data of their users but also affected their reputation and financial standing.  Today’s consumers not only expect businesses to protect their data, but also to be available whenever they want and from any device. 

Data protection strategies need to take into account these 24/7 expectations and the growing risk from various sources.  Data is constantly vulnerable to attack from breaches, ransomware, employee theft and oversights that can cause significant harm to your company, customers and reputation.  Even though data is clearly an important company asset that needs to be safeguarded at all times, for many companies, data protection is not top of mind until the day that it becomes a problem.  But it’s critical for minimizing financial loss, earning regulatory compliance, maintaining employee productivity and meeting investor and customer expectations.

Data protection covers data availability, management and security and needs to take into account both the operational backup of data and the business continuity/disaster recovery plan.  As cloud computing has taken over a portion of the IT space, data protection has become more complex with each new cloud environment.  In addition to the cloud, the proliferation of mobile devices, the Internet of Things and the digitization of information present new challenges to securing data.

So, how do you ensure that your business and data are securely protected?

The Four Pillars of Data Protection

There are four key pillars in a sound data protection strategy.  Each of the pillars plays an integral part in ensuring the best possible integrity and recoverability of mission critical data.

1. Data Resiliency

Data resiliency is data’s ability to “spring back” in the event that it is compromised – so that, whenever it’s needed, that data is accessible and exactly how it was when the customer provided it.  Availability is improved with every place that data is stored if a location does go down or data becomes corrupted.

With data potentially containing crucial and confidential information such as account numbers, transaction passwords and credit/debit card details that require high security and timely backup, the data needs to be secured and monitored constantly. Data resiliency is accomplished through the use of redundant facilities, systems and components.  365 Data Centers’ private enterprise Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) through Veeam stores all data in checksum-based storage repositories, protecting it against silent bit error corruption and providing maximum fidelity and recoverability.

2. Data Redundancy

Data redundancy is the process of creating and storing copies of data to allow for retrieval of a duplicate set in the event of a data loss, which can result from a natural disaster, theft situation, hardware or software failure, accidental breach or other kind of emergency.  Cloud backups are an excellent option for providing additional redundancy and security for your business to ensure that your valuable data is available if and when onsite disasters strike.  The cloud facilitates easy remote data storage, so that data is secure if an entire facility or location is compromised. 

While many businesses use services like Google Drive, DropBox and other online storage sites, a comprehensive cloud solution provider such as 365 Data Centers enables you to create automated backups of complete systems and store as many versions as you need.  With 365 Data Centers, all backup data is stored in repositories that leverage N+2 redundancy with ultra-rapid recovery capabilities from component failures.

3. Data Security

With the explosive growth of endpoints and interconnected devices, IoT security standards have lagged, creating potentially new vulnerabilities in your network.Software updates and patching existing software when vulnerabilities are detected can be difficult to keep up with. Vendor management and Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) has resulted in data breaches like those experienced by Target and Home Depot, which impacted more than 100 million credit cards and 125 million personal files and resulted in settlement charges well over $500 million.

Beyond the cybersecurity threat, an increasingly complex regulatory environment brings its own risks to businesses.  While data compliance has always been a concern, today’s enterprises must manage, govern and ensure compliance for an often overwhelming amount of data in the face of global legislation like GDPR.  Data security includes data encryption, tokenization and key management practices across all applications and platforms that must comply with GDPR, HIPAA and other industry regulations.  With 365 Data Centers’ BaaS solution, all backup data is encrypted in-flight and at-rest using strong industry standard encryption to comply with industry requirements.

4. Data Survivability

The final pillar, data survivability, is preservation of data for a long period of time through reliable archival storage systems.  These backups can help you rebuild your network regardless of what happens.  Otherwise, you could lose important data like customer financial records, product information, payroll data, mailing lists and business plans in the event of a disaster or hack attack.

While it is commonly known that you should backup your data, not all backup devices and technologies offer the same level of protection.  For optimal protection, we recommend that you follow the 3-2-1 rule that states you should keep at least three copies of your data in at least two different formats, and keep one copy offsite to protect against fire, flood, theft and other physical disasters. 365 Data Centers’ BaaS helps clients maintain the 3-2-1 rule.

365 Data Centers is a Silver Veeam Cloud & Service Provider (VCSP) partner offering the industry’s best-of-breed data protection services through Veeam, the leader in Intelligent Data Management for the Hyper-Available Enterprise™. Learn more about our private enterprise Backup-as-a-Service (BaaS) solution through Veeam here.