Covid-19 and the subsequent need for remote working has resulted in more companies pursuing multi-cloud strategies and moving more of their data, workloads and applications into the cloud quickly.

However, many companies, particularly small businesses, weren’t ready for such a transition and the increasing IT complexity from multi-cloud environments, coupled with lagging resiliency and backup and disaster recovery measures that aren’t robust enough – is making too many enterprises an inviting target for malicious actors.

Lee-Anne Williams, Veritas product manager at Axiz, comments: “There is no doubt that cyberthreats are on the rise. In fact, just last week a well know health club experienced a sophisticated cyberattack and data breach, and it is only a matter of time before other companies experience the same fate.

“We are seeing an increase in ransomware, and with ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) gaining momentum which enables cybercriminals to use already-developed ransomware tools to execute attacks, we are likely going to see a spike in the coming months.

“In fact, even big US tech companies are pushing for ransomware to be designated as a national security threat.”

Today’s digital data deluge has heralded changes in enterprise workloads, and as organisations shift away from legacy databases toward new open source and cloud-based platforms, the very nature of applications and data is constantly shifting, making data protection increasingly challenging.

“Organisations know – whether or not they learned it the hard way – that creating backups of their most important data assets keep them safe from disasters and accidental deletion,” says Williams. “However, given that today’s applications and data are highly fragmented across virtual and physical infrastructures and across multiple cloud providers and locations, they are cobbling together makeshift data protection solutions, and the risks and stakes are getting higher.”

According to a recent Veritas Resiliency Report, 42% of respondents said their company had experienced a ransomware attack and among those that have, on average they say they’ve faced 4.5 attacks, with larger companies being attacked more often.

What’s more, 54% of organisations have had flat or decreased funding levels for IT security during the pandemic, at a time when distributed workforces and increased demand for edge data protection has put additional strain on security resources.

“More frightening is that 57% of companies haven’t tested their disaster recovery plan within the past two months,” says Williams. “This means that many companies aren’t following best practice. Not only is it critical to have a comprehensive backup approach but, having a system recovery plan in place is imperative to minimise downtime and restore critical operations. After all, it’s not about being hit, it’s about how you recover.”

According to Williams, data protection should be simple, secure and unified.

“The resiliency gap is real and widening. Forewarned is forearmed, and with the integrity of data at stake through increased cyber-attacks and an increasing push to regulate how enterprises meet data compliance, businesses cannot negate their backup and recovery strategies now more than ever,” concludes Williams.