Organisations are facing several data protection challenges driven by the constant threat of ransomware, the consumption of emerging technologies, and data growth. And South African companies aren’t sure their existing data protection solutions will meet their future needs.

These are among the findings from Dell Technologies’ 2021 Global Data Protection Index (GDPI).

According to a recent IDC survey, more than one third of organisations worldwide have experienced a ransomware attack or breach that blocked access to systems or data in the previous 12 months; and the Dell Technologies 2021 GDPI survey of 1 000 global IT decision makers shows organisations are combatting continued data growth and increased data protection complexities.

The study found that organisations are managing more than 10 times the amount of data than they did five years ago – from 1,45 petabytes in 2016 to 14,6 petabytes in 2021.

In addition, 72% of South Africa respondents are concerned their organisation’s existing data protection solutions won’t be able to meet all future business challenges. These concerns are well-founded, with 20% of South African respondents reporting data loss in the last year and nearly half (44%) experiencing unplanned system downtime.

GDPI findings for South Africa include:

* 72% are concerned their existing data protection measures may not be sufficient to cope with malware and ransomware threats, while 68% agree they have increased exposure to data loss from cyber threats with the growth of employees working from home.

* Almost half (46%) lack confidence that all their business-critical data can be recovered in the event of a destructive cyberattack or data loss. This is however better than the global average of 67%.

* 12% percent believe emerging technologies – such as cloud-native applications, Kubernetes containers, artificial intelligence and machine learning pose a risk to data protection, and the lack of data protection solutions for newer technologies was a top-three challenge for organisations.

On average, the cost of data loss is around four times higher for organisations using multiple data protection vendors compared to those using a single-vendor approach.