9 in 10 firms fall short on data protection

Nine in every 10 (89%) of organisations are not protecting data sufficiently, showing the disconnect between business expectations and IT’s ability to deliver, according to the Veeam Software.

The Veeam Data Protection Trends Report 2022 also found that 88% of IT leaders expect data protection budgets to rise at a higher rate than broader IT spending as data becomes more critical to business success and the challenges of protecting it grow in complexity. 

At the same time, more than two-thirds are turning to cloud-based services to protect essential data.

Veeam surveyed more than 3,000 IT decision makers and global enterprises to understand their data protection strategies for the next 12 months and beyond.

“Data growth over the past two years [since the pandemic] has more than doubled, in no small part to how we have embraced remote working and cloud-based services and so forth,” said Anand Eswaran, CEO at Veeam. “As data volumes have exploded, so too have the risks associated with data protection; ransomware being a prime example.”

He said businesses are losing ground as modernisation of “production” platforms is outpacing their modernisation of “protection” methods and strategies. Data volumes and platform diversity will continue to rise, and the cyberthreat landscape will expand. Thus, firms must invest in a strategy that plugs the gaps they already have and keeps pace with rising data protection demands.

Respondents stated that their data protection capabilities cannot keep pace with the demands of the business, with 89% reporting a gap between how much data they can afford to lose after an outage versus how frequently data is backed up. 

This has risen by 13% in the past 12 months, indicating that while data continues to grow in volume and importance, so do the challenges in protecting it to a satisfactory level. The key driver behind this is that the data protection challenges facing businesses are immense and increasingly diverse.

For the second year in a row, cyberattacks have been the single biggest cause of downtime, with 76% of organisations reporting at least one ransomware event in the past 12 months. Not only is the frequency of these events alarming, so is their potency. 

Per attack, organisations were unable to recover 36% of their lost data, proving that data protection strategies are currently failing to help businesses prevent, remediate and recover from ransomware attacks.

To close the gap between data protection capabilities and this growing threat landscape, organisations will spend around 6% more annually on data protection than broader IT investments. 

As cloud continues its trajectory to becoming the dominant data platform, 67% of organisations already use cloud services as part of their data protection strategy, while 56% now run containers in production or plan to in the next 12 months. 

Platform diversity will expand during 2022, with the balance between data centre (52%) and cloud servers (48%) continuing to close. This is one reason 21% of organisations rated the ability to protect cloud-hosted workloads as the most important buying factor for enterprise data protection in 2022 and 39% believe IaaS/SaaS capabilities to be the definitive attribute of Modern Data Protection.