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Veritas expert: Why enterprises should be ready for cybersecurity

Veritas expert: Why enterprises should be ready for cybersecurity

Johnny Karam, vice president emerging markets at Veritas, says: "There is unprecedented pressure to make sure data remains intact, searchable and retrievable."

With enterprises dealing with an ever-increasing amount of data we asked Johnny Karam, vice president emerging markets at Veritas, how important it is for them to stay in a state of cybersecurity readiness.

As organisations become increasingly reliant on data – and as the value of data continues to increase – the challenge of data governance, management and security is rising to the top of the corporate agenda.

This has been compounded by changes in the regulatory environment including GDPR, and the high profile and very public headlines that data-related issues continue to make around the world.

We now all recognise that data is one of the most valuable assets of any organisation and the challenge of data management is growing in line with the increasing volumes and type of data held within every organisation, and with the complexities of multi-cloud.

Organisations increasingly need a policy-driven data management strategy to protect valuable data assets across multiple data centres, public and hybrid clouds.

Data management in the cloud is critical to help organisations ensure compliance and protection of their data while extracting maximum value – in the Middle East, concerns around the ability to do this are slowing some cloud adoption decisions.

GDPR creates a potential new risk for Middle East organisations but also an opportunity to develop the good data governance and management practices that are also good for business data hygiene, based on visibility and classification, data protection and the ability to monitor data actively.

This is highlighted by new findings from a Veritas global research study that revealed that consumers in the UAE have little trust in organisations to safeguard their personal data. The findings also suggest that consumers will reward (spend more) and punish (buy from competitors, tell others, report, and post negative comments) organisations according to how effectively they protect personal data.

With the advent of greater enterprise collaboration with third parties and the sharing of data, the risk of data breaches may increase, but the internal and external environment continue to present the greatest data security challenges. Given this, we should all be in a perpetual state of readiness.

In its 2017 Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment, Europol revealed that ransomware attacks have now overtaken almost every other type of cyberattack. In fact, the scale of the problem could actually be much greater than suggested because not all instances may be reported.

The increasing risk is adding financial pressures, such as budgeting to cover potential ransom demands, or the rising cost of cyberinsurance premiums as more organisations make claims.  PWC estimates that annual gross written premiums for cyberinsurance are set to rise to $7.5 billion by the end of the decade.

While there may be a prevailing attitude that an attack is inevitable, there are steps that businesses can take to mitigate the dangers – an approach that should be built around education (employees as the first line of defence), security (secure IT infrastructure) and protection (the most vital element – a contingency plan to recover data and ensure business continuity, avoid catastrophic failure and protect reputation).

Ransomware happens whatever the size or type of organisation. The information an organisation holds is the lifeblood of its business and losing it could prove to be fatal. Handling data is challenging and fraught with risk, and as concerns about service reliability, data security and recovery rise, the resources available to deal with securing data are declining.

At the same time, there is unprecedented pressure to make sure data remains intact, searchable and retrievable in any contingency.

When it comes to data protection, there is no other option.