organizations experiencing at least one cyber attack past year
organization’s production data was affected
cyber attacks affected backup repositories
organizations would recover to a cloud
In an era where digitization is the norm, the surge in cyber threats is a growing concern. According to the 2023 Data Protection Trends Report by Veeam, the level of cybersecurity threat is more significant than ever before, with a staggering 85% of organizations experiencing at least one cyber attack within the past year, an increase from 76% in the previous year. This article will delve into the findings of this groundbreaking report, presenting the key insights in an easily digestible format for business owners.
The Reality of Cyber Threats and Organizational Preparedness
A critical question arises: Are organizations equipped to deal with this increase in cyber threats? To gain a better understanding, an independent research firm surveyed 1,200 unbiased IT leaders from 14 different countries across APJ, EMEA and the Americas, all of whom had experienced at least one ransomware attack in 2022.
Despite an anticipated growth in overall IT spending, ranging between 4.5% (as predicted by IDC) and 5.4% (as per Gartner’s forecast), the survey respondents expect a higher increment in their cybersecurity and data protection budgets. These are predicted to grow by 5.6% and 5.5% respectively in 2023.
The Current State of Team Alignment
A rather alarming discovery was the disconnect between backup and cyber teams within organizations. A majority of organizations (60%) acknowledged a need for substantial or complete overhauls in their teams’ alignment, raising questions about the efficiency of their current systems. This gap was felt more acutely by those in roles closest to the challenges of cyber events, with a significant number of backup administrators (70%), security professionals (59%), IT operations staff (62%) and CISO or IT execs (51%) feeling the pinch of misalignment.
The Importance of Backup in Incident Response
The survey also revealed the significance of a sound backup strategy in responding to cyber threats. Despite 87% of organizations having a risk management program that drives their security roadmap, only 35% believe their program is working well. In contrast, a worrying 52% are seeking to improve their situation, while the remaining 13% do not even have an established program in place.
Amid this, the survey showed that clean backup copies and recurring verification of recoverability are the most common elements of the ‘playbook’ against a cyber attack. This highlights the importance of a strong backup strategy and suggests that organizations must prioritize it in their cyber defense strategies.
The Truth About Ransom Payments
On the ransom front, the report highlighted some distressing facts. Despite an ideal world where organizations are able to recover data without succumbing to ransom demands, the survey found that only 16% of respondents could do this. On the other hand, 80% of victims paid the ransom, but “shockingly”, a quarter of these still could not recover their data. The two main reasons for this were either the payment was covered by insurance or the backup repositories were also affected, leaving no option for recovery.
The Impact of Cyber Attacks on Data
When it came to the impact on data, an average of 45% of an organization’s production data was affected by the cyber attack. While some organizations managed to limit the damage to less than 20% of their data, others weren’t as fortunate, with almost 14% of respondents reporting that more than 80% of their data was affected. What’s more, only 66% of the affected data was recoverable, meaning a significant 15% of an organization’s production data was irrecoverably lost.
The Rising Threat to Backup Repositories
The findings also underscored the growing threat to backup repositories. An alarming 75% of cyber attacks affected backup repositories, making the process of data recovery even more challenging.
The Recovery Process: Time, Assurance, and Location
The process of recovering from a cyber attack is a time-consuming task, taking an average of over three weeks to complete. This duration is extended even further when considering the time it takes to identify which servers are infected and ensure the backup versions aren’t compromised.
As for where the servers are recovered to, the survey found that a majority of organizations (71%) would recover to a cloud, while a smaller percentage (19%) only planned to recover to a cloud. A significant portion (29%) would only recover to on-premises servers, and the remaining (52%) had plans that included both cloud and on-premises recovery options.
Key Lessons Learned
The Veeam 2023 Data Protection Trends Report provides important takeaways for organizations looking to improve their cybersecurity strategies. It’s evident that having a secure backup is the best alternative to simply paying a ransom, and implementing key technologies can make this possible. Some of these technologies include:
- Immutable storage: This includes disks and clouds, as well as air-gapped media, to ensure the recoverability of data.
- Staged restorations: This involves a process to prevent re-infection during recovery.
- Hybrid IT architectures: These are important for recovering servers to alternative platforms like any other BC/DR strategy.
In conclusion, being prepared for cyber threats is no longer an option but a necessity. As the threat landscape evolves, so too must the cybersecurity strategies of organizations. With the insights from this report, business owners are better equipped to navigate this complex landscape and ensure their business’ longevity in a digital age.