Data protection: 4 steps to secure your most valuable assets
Create a strategy to safeguard confidential information

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The war in Ukraine has put U.S. companies of all sizes, within all industries, on high alert. IT teams must stay vigilant about protecting their most valuable assets. And as organizations create and store more data than ever before, it’s crucial to stay ahead of security risks to guard against breaches and malicious actors.

Here are four ways your organization can safeguard valuable data, intellectual property, and confidential information, ensuring it never lands into the wrong hands.

1. Gain visibility into your data

The first step to creating an effective data protection strategy is understanding your own IT environment. Each organization has its own technology pain points and business needs and requires a different approach when it comes to addressing compliance, retention, recovery point objective (RPO), and recovery time objective (RTO).

We recommend starting off by determining the size of your incremental and full backups. This evaluation should include their timing and efficiency, server and network throughput, and the number of jobs in your process. It’s common for ransomware to sit dormant, so classifying your data and security products by assessing inventory will give your team full visibility of the scope and scale of your environment, setting the stage for the right data protection strategy.

2. Back up, back up, back up

When it comes to data protection, don’t overlook the importance of backing up your assets.

Most modern software backup products can implement, configure, and manage your immutable backup repositories. This safeguard ensures your data is unchangeable and cannot be deleted or overwritten.

Using the backup software to manage immutability can usually be done on disk and tape (and sometimes on cloud) repositories. You can also configure unalterable backups on many hardware storage appliances, especially those specifically designed to be used for backup storage.

Organizations must also consider things like synthetic full backups and backup retention, as backup software can’t expire or delete files that aren’t past the configured immutability period.

Test your backups to ensure your business is prepared to recover from outages. Creating an emergency repository of information, including license keys and software installs, is crucial for bringing systems back online when faced with unexpected data loss.

3. Streamline your data protection platforms

Sometimes the right solution for your company’s unique requirements may simply be to stick with your existing technology. If you are utilizing several data protection platforms that seem to work for your needs, our experts recommend standardizing and consolidating those tools to achieve maximum results.

Consolidating tools will avoid replicating jobs running simultaneously on the same workload and will assist your IT team with managing just one standardized solution.

Whatever approach to data protection you take, virtualizing your environment is always a good idea. Virtual workloads are portable, easier to recover, faster to deploy, and more secure. If you choose a cloud option, make sure your cloud migration plan includes an exit strategy for recovering business-critical data.

4. Create a business continuity strategy

Finally, establishing a data protection strategy within your business continuity strategy is crucial. Disaster recovery and data replication are essential to any data protection solution and SHI’s vendor-neutral approach can help you tailor your strategy to your specific needs.

Solutions like VMware’s Cloud Disaster Recovery (VCDR) protect your virtual machines – on-premises or on VMware Cloud on AWS – by replicating them to the cloud and recovering them to a VMware Cloud on AWS Software Defined Data Center (SDDC). The service ensures your IT team will only need to enable protection and configure recovery methods, without having to manage the infrastructure.

SHI can help manage all aspects of your data protection strategy by providing initial consultation and evaluation, backup report creation and analysis, design, recommendations, and disaster recovery and data replication solutions.

Reach out to your dedicated SHI account executive to schedule a visit to our Customer Innovation Center (CIC). If you’re concerned about your organization’s data security, consider registering for one of our data protection fundamentals workshops. We help organizations like yours discover best practices for data backup, recovery, and archival.