Comprehensive data protection requires more than just backups. Take a look at your data protection strategy and check whether it's providing these vital functions:
- High availability. Backup data that can't be accessed doesn't help your business use it. Clusters, clouds, and snapshots help keep data more readily available, but that's not the only way to view availability. Backed up data should be indexed or otherwise documented so you can find data in response to legal requests or to run analytics on historic data. And no matter how accessible your backup storage, without a solid disaster recovery plan, it won't help you get your systems back online in a timely fashion.
- Retention in compliance with regulatory requirements. Backing up only the data you need to resume business operations won't leave you in good status with regulators. Historic data needs to be preserved in accordance with your specific industry requirements about retention time periods and security.
- Cost-effective data management. The multiple copies of data created as part of routine business combined with the costs of storing archived data mean that controlling the costs of storage is a vital component of a strong data protection strategy. Besides solutions such as pay-per-use in the cloud, tools offering copy data management and secondary storage that supports functions such as in-place analytics let data do double duty without doubling the cost.
- Control over data on devices inside and outside your control. Today, corporate data doesn't reside solely on corporate platforms. Data protection strategies need to cope with data that resides on employee devices and in file-sharing services that are used for convenience, even if they don't fall within corporate policies. You need to know where your sensitive data is stored and restrict and log access to it. Security, including encryption and access controls, must be in place.
- Reporting that supports management decisions. Business is data-driven; your data protection strategy should be data-driven as well. Logging, auditing, and reporting is necessary to understand how your company collects, stores, and uses data, and to inform the decisions you make about how to manage, monitor, and protect it. Reporting and auditing are vital to compliance, as well.
Take Steps to Protect Your Data
Data protection starts with understanding the regulations that apply to your industry, your business needs, and the data your business collects. You need a team that includes business, compliance, and IT specialists to identify data stores and analyze the meaning of the data they hold. With that information, you can categorize the data based on how essential it is to business operations and how sensitive it is to exposure. That lets you know where your most critical data protection and data security processes need to be focused.
Then you can start designing procedures and systems to protect it, and procure the technical tools that offer the appropriate protection. Working with an experienced third party, such as dcVAST, can offer guidance and support that ensures your solution meets both your legal and your business needs. Contact us to learn how to implement data protection effectively with solutions from Veritas.