Wednesday, 20th January 2021

The Tiger King: Avoiding ‘fires’ in our data backup strategies

By W. Curtis Preston, Chief Technical Evangelist, Druva.

  • 04 Jul 2020 Posted in

The internet has been taken by storm. The new Netflix phenomenon, “Tiger King” has grabbed the interest of the nation, with many fans (and reporters) now digging in with their own theories and investigations. Full of murder, mayhem and madness – the story of Joe Exotic teaches us many things. What you might now realise is that it’s also a valuable lesson in backing up our sensitive and important data, if we don’t want to risk losing it forever.

In episode four (spoiler alert coming up), Nick Kirkham’s months of hard work and video footage, quite literally go up in flames. It’s a riveting watch. As viewers, we’re shocked, confused and speculating over how this could have happened. His TV documentary (and the chances of making some money) are ruined. We find out that this footage is not backed up, and sadly, Nick therefore cannot recover his months’ worth of data. This is a stark reminder to any of us working with data; it’s only as safe as your last backup. It begs the question, what information would we have access to if Nick had only made a copy of his footage?

Many businesses are quick to avoid backing up their data to more than one location – attributed to the fact that they don’t know how to do so. Proper, legitimate backup tools are too often neglected – and it is our job to ensure that businesses understand how technology can remove the manual effort, time and cost associated with backing up data by themselves. This is where shared infrastructure of the cloud comes into play. It can offer something for all businesses. More importantly, it is hassle free, easy to implement and a huge time (and cost) saver – making backup the new normal.

Why backup and recovery is important

Managing data is no easy feat. We live in a more connected world than ever before, meaning the number of connected IoT devices is on the rise. The data landscape is evolving at a rapid pace, and as such, data is being moved around, between locations and outside of the data centre more than ever before. This evolution has given rise to the idea of "small data sprawl" – that there is now data being created and stored in more places than ever before – and the necessity of systems that can help humans distinguish the important data from the noise, so each can be treated differently. With the rise of remote working – and small data sprawl on the rise – businesses need to adapt now to ensure that this data is protected if they’d like to avoid a catastrophe like Nick Kirkham’s.

Enter: Technology

Data backup and recovery doesn’t have to be difficult. By following easy steps, it is possible for businesses to prevent and protect themselves against what happened to Nick. Firstly, think about adopting a cloud-centric protection solution. Today’s modern applications that companies might already be using (including Slack, Microsoft Office365, Salesforce and G Suite) rely on cloud components and cloud storage. This means a cloud-centric backup solution is ideal for protecting the application in its entirety.

Additionally, many cloud providers operate in multiple regions, making it much easier to comply with local regulations. Secondly, cloud’s scale and capabilities have the added bonus of being able to run operations including: recreating environments from a point in time for AI reproduction or disaster recovery, and identifying strange patterns cropping up in the backup data to detect potential risk of cyber-attacks.

Not only this, but businesses should consider adopting SaaS tools to support the improvement of data protection. We see a lot of businesses avoid backup on the basis that they don’t have time to waste. Well, this is a perfect reminder that doing the job manually isn’t always the best approach. SaaS providers are important for businesses and can help set up a centralised processes around cloud, compliance and adherence to the latest regulations.

Utilising SaaS experts can help you efficiently manage data, and ensure its protection and security from cyber criminals, technical damage – or indeed an accident like at the zoo. Privacy and security will remain crucial in backing up as small data sprawl grows; companies are at a greater risk of cyber-attacks given the large volume of data available across many devices, and SaaS tools are vital in automating several otherwise complex processes, freeing up the hands of both the business and employees.

This quarantine smash hit may have grabbed our attention for its curious character – or the drama surrounding Carole Baskin’s husband – but, it contains vital lessons for us all. It serves as a great reminder as to how unpredictable disruptions can quickly affect a business. Fire is of course not the only threat that a business needs to prepare for. In today’s age, we’re fighting against ransomware attacks, cyber-attacks or planning for a quick transition to remove working. All of these scenarios require a robust data backup strategy. Perhaps the take home message from the documentary for us all ought to be to ‘protect the wild’. But, the take home message from this article ought to be to ‘protect your business’. Vote for cloud.

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