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January 17, 2023

Cybersecurity threat driving up data budgets and stalling digital transformation

Budgets set aside for digital transformation are being diverted to data recovery and protection efforts due to a rise in cyberattacks.

By Ryan Morrison

The growing threat from cybercrime is driving up the cost of backing up data, a new report has revealed. This includes a need to ensure the consistency and reliability of hybrid cloud data protection to offset the potential losses from a ransomware attack.

Ransomware costs are causing IT budgets set aside for digital transformation to be redirected (Photo: Andrey_Popov/Shutterstock)

The Data Protection Trends Report includes a survey of more than 4,300 IT leaders, many of whom say their businesses have an “availability gap” between how quickly they need a system to be recovered and how quickly IT can get them back up. With 85% of those surveyed having suffered a cyberattack in the last 12 months, this problem is a significant one.

IT leaders questioned for the survey said one of the biggest priorities for this year was ensuring the protection of data offered through Infrastructure as a Service and Software as a Service solutions match that offered through data centre-centric workloads.

The vast majority of those polled in the research, commissioned by data protection software vendor Veeam, also cited a “protection gap” between how much data they can lose and how frequently IT protects their data, with more than half saying the gaps have prompted them to look at changing their primary data protection providers this year.

Despite all of these efforts to boost backup reliability and spend on cybersecurity tools, many of those questioned said ransomware is “winning”, with cyberattacks causing the most impactful outages for organisations in 2020, 2021 and 2022.

The growing threat to data budgets from cybercriminals

More than 85% of all organisers involved in the study said they experienced at least one attack in the past 12 months, up from 76% the year before. In part due to the rising number of attacks, recovery of data was listed as a main concern with many saying only 55% of encrypted data was recoverable after a ransomware attack.

Ransomware is also making digital transformation harder due to the burden protection and recovery is placing on budgets and manpower. IT teams have to focus on the volatile cyber security landscape, causing resources originally allocated for digital transformation initiatives to be diverted.

“Not only do cyberattacks drain operational budgets from ransoms to recovery efforts, but they also reduce organizations’ ability to modernize for their future success; instead, they must pay for prevention and mitigation of the status quo,” Veeam’s researchers said.

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Kubernetes are providing to be one of the big drivers in improving data security strategies with  52% of respondents currently running containers, and 40% of organisations planning to deploy containers in the near future. Despite this most organisations are only protecting the underlying storage, rather than protecting the workloads themselves, the report authors found.

“IT leaders are facing a dual challenge,” said Danny Allan, CTO and senior vice president of product strategy at Veeam. “They are building and supporting increasingly complex hybrid environments, while the volume and sophistication of cyberattacks is increasing,”

“This is a major concern as leaders think through how they mitigate and recover business operations from any type of disruption.”

Read more: Majority of employees ‘not data literate’ – study

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