Early last March, the Dell Technologies Global Data Protection Index 2020 Snapshot documented with concrete numbers what we have been observing in the tech industry for a long time: organizations across all sectors are managing, these days, a lot more data than what they used to. To be more specific, on average, they are managing almost 40% more data than they were just a year ago. It is evident that this influx of data presents obvious challenges. Another significant point of this survey is that the vast majority, 81% of the organizations, reported an inefficiency and inadequacy of their existing data protection solutions. To be blunt, their data protection wouldn’t cut it anymore! What’s worse, all of their future business needs would be hardly covered unless they implemented a new, modernized, and streamlined data protection solution.
But how large is this quantity of data managed, and what are the implications of mismanagement? Once more, the 2020 Snapshot is quite revealing. According to the study, organizations are now managing the astounding quantity of 13.53 petabytes (PB) of data, which is nearly 40% more than the average 9.70PB in 2018. If we take another perspective on this, it translates to a jaw-dropping 831% increase from 2016, where the total data volume reached 1.45PB!
This amazing increase in data means a lot more possibilities for attacks and threats. All this data equates to a growing number of disruptive events from cyber-attacks. But it’s not only the external dangers but the increasing chances of data losses and systems downtime, since the more data there is, the harder it is to manage properly. Again, the vast majority of organizations precisely 82%suffered a disruptive event during 2019, as opposed to 76% in 2018.
The challenges of cybersecurity
The cost of all the cyber-attacks alone is astronomical. Just one kind of cyber-attack, phishing, is responsible for losing more than $17,000 per minute in the US alone. This translates to more than $9 billion in losses from one kind of attack in just a single country. If you collect all the types of threats and estimate the total losses globally, you reach much more disheartening results. According to another study, global cybercrime damages exceed $6 trillion a year, double the number from just 5 years ago. And this trend will only get worse because the projected losses for 2025 are estimated to surpass $10.5 trillion!
As if those problems were not enough, there is another challenge to overcome. It is common for many organizations to use more than one data protection vendor. Those companies are approximately two times more vulnerable to a cyber incident that prevents access to their data. And to make matters worse, the use of multiple data protection vendors is increasing all the time, with 80% of organizations choosing to deploy data protection solutions from two or more providers. With the average cost of downtime skyrocketing at 54% from 2018 to 2019, the costs are even higher for those organizations that use more than one data protection vendor, as they are twice as much susceptible to downtime-related costs and have to face almost 5 times higher data loss costs, on average.
Cybercriminals are constantly learning from previous attacks and developing new methods of approaching and circumventing security measures with cyber threats getting more and more sophisticated. This leads to a race of catching up. Security solutions must be able to stop current threats and be flexible and scalable enough to grow and become more intelligent and proactive, to ensure safety and security for the future., no matter who and why is attacking you: for money/ransom, espionage, activism, etc.
According to the annual ENISA Threat Landscape (ETL) 2020 report, unfortunately, the pandemic has exacerbated the above problems. Many organizations moved without a proper security plan in place to enable work from home. This presents another vector of attack as home environments are not suitably protected. According to the report, the new situation developing during and after the COVID-19 pandemic means even more dependent on secure and reliable cyberspace. The same report reveals that the sheer complexity and sophistication of modern organizations’ new digital infrastructure demands a higher level of security. The number of potential vulnerabilities in a virtual or physical environment continues to expand as a new phase of digital transformation arises. At the same time, with more security automation, organizations will invest more in preparedness using Cyber Threat Intelligence (CTI) as their main capability.
Data proliferation on the Edge calls for novel cybersecurity approaches
As I stressed before, the new reality of remote working means many more devices on the Edge, mobile computing devices that need protection outside the corporate HQ. Here, you need our holistic approach because this is a new world, more distributed and decentralized than ever. It is evident now that there is no “corporate perimeter” anymore, and as we’ve seen, working from home reshapes the need for access to enterprise applications, spanning multiple private and public clouds.
Moving from solutions and patch works to a holistic strategy
Obviously, all of the threats mentioned are not affecting large enterprises only, but any business. Mitigating the risk requires a new security approach different from the older plans of selecting security products from different vendors, trying to cover specific aspects of security. We need a holistic strategy for end-to-end security. I will address this in my next article to cover how a business can rely on Dell Technologies to build a cybersecurity strategy.
In the meantime, I will be happy to receive your feedback, comments, or questions!