World Backup Day: The Importance of Continual Data Protection

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From training the latest artificial intelligence/machine learning (AI/ML) models to delivering lifesaving care, companies across all industries are, and will likely continue to increasingly rely on digital information. As the lifeblood of modern business, data must be valid, available, and secure, or operations will cease and missions will fail. It’s estimated that 147 zettabytes of data will be generated this year.1 With organizations contributing a substantial portion of that enormous figure, it’s crucial to have and execute a comprehensive data backup strategy to achieve business continuity and success.

Therefore, March 31, 2024, should hold significance for owners, CIOs, IT managers, and individuals ultimately responsible for the security and availability of data. Businesses can take advantage of World Backup Day to assess their data backup operations and address any gaps in strategy. Organizations benefit when they protect mission-critical data via a robust data backup strategy, including:

Mitigating the Impact of Data Loss

From typos to typhoons, data loss can occur for myriad reasons, including human error, hardware damage, software failure, cyberattack, or natural disaster. The loss and inability to recover data can have catastrophic consequences, from financial loss and reputational damage to outright failure. The average global cost for a data breach in 2023 was nearly $4.5 million, a significant sum that can make or break the bottom line of many businesses.2 Establishing and frequently executing data backups empower companies to recover lost data quickly and resume operations with minimal downtime.

Safeguarding Against Cyber Threats

The ever-increasing sophistication and frequency of cyber threats, particularly ransomware attacks, can significantly disrupt operations. With nearly two-thirds (66%) of organizations hit by ransomware in 2023 and 84% reporting lost business and revenue due to the attack, data backups are becoming even more crucial.3 Strong backup operations, especially one that creates immutable copies, help companies reduce any leverage cyber criminals may wield.

Complying with Regulations

Stringent regulatory frameworks that mandate data protection govern many industries and standard business functions—for example, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the global Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) require companies to safeguard customer, patient, and payer information. Failure to comply can result in hefty fines (a single 2023 GDPR fine was over €1 billion)4, lawsuits, and loss of payment processing options. Regular data backups ensure organizations can maintain and demonstrate the required thresholds to meet data protection requirements.

Preserving Customer Trust

Customers entrust businesses with their personal and sensitive information and expect it to be secure. If leadership neglects security responsibilities and exposes customer data in a breach, it will likely lose that customer. A majority (58%) of U.S. consumers said they would end their relationship with a organization that exposed their personal information.5 Therefore, to foster company trust and loyalty, it’s critical for leaders to follow effective data management and backup practices.

World Backup Day is an excellent opportunity to reflect upon and refine current data backup operations. In this digital age, executing comprehensive backups is imperative for achieving business continuity, compliance, trustworthiness, and success. Improving backup strategy can help ensure that strategic objectives can be met every day.

  1. Statista, Volume of data/information created, captured, copied, and consumed worldwide from 2010 to 2020, with forecasts from 2021 to 2025, November 2023.
  2. IBM, Cost of a Data Breach Report 2023, June 2023.
  3. Sophos, The State of Ransomware 2023, May 2023.
  4. Statista, EU Data Protection Fines Hit Record High in 2023, January 2024.
  5. Axway, Axway 2023 U.S. consumer survey, 2023.