Data Protection Eliminates the Threat of Data Loss:
A Comprehensive Guide

Did you know that the demand for data protection services will reach $104 billion by 2027? And, it's growing at a 31.3% compound annual growth rate.

Data is every company's most valuable asset. It encompasses operations, marketing, financial, communications, databases, and infrastructure. Regardless of legal or regulatory obligations, protecting your company's data should be a top priority.

As a business, you will want to maintain the integrity of data and prevent competitors from obtaining your confidential information. Finally, you will want to make data accessible wherever and whenever needed for business operations. If you don't, your critical data may fall into the wrong hands or become useless for your data requirements.

MSPs that partner with Probax offer the best data protection solutions for businesses, including reliable and secure Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS).

Table of Contents

  1. What is data protection?
  2. What are the benefits of data protection and why are they important?
  3. Key principles of data protection
  4. Important considerations for a data protection strategy
  5. The differences between data protection, data privacy and data security
  6. Solving the most complex challenges of data protection
  7. Data protection regulations and compliance
  8. 5 data protection trends
  9. What are different types of data protection services?
  10. Why is Probax the #1 choice for MSPs delivering data protection?

1) What is data protection?

Data protection is the process of preventing vital business data from getting corrupted, compromised or lost.

  • Data protection encompasses aspects such as:
  • Data immutability
  • Data preservation
  • Data deletion
  • Data destruction, and
  • Data availability and usability.

Traditional data protection such as data backup, security, and privacy are the three primary areas under data protection

 

2) What are the benefits of data protection and why is it important?

Data protection is the process of protecting data and vital information from cybercrime or corruption.

Some of the business benefits of data protection includes:

  • Protect valuable data
  • Manage the cost of protecting data
  • Strengthen compliance efforts
  • Reduce the risk of external threats such as malware and other forms of hacking
  • Keep downtime to a minimum
  • Reinforce customer trust and avoid reputational damageWhile data protection may be challenging for businesses, following data protection principles to ensure continuity of operations and to protect data increases ROI, client loyalty, and operational efficiency.

Why is data protection important?

Business revolves around data. For many companies, digital adoption is the driving force behind their strategy.

Businesses generate large volumes of data from a variety of sources. Because of this, you need ongoing attention to how you safeguard, preserve and protect data. After all, your businesses data is more than just a collection of static records.

Data protection is critical as the amount of business data being produced grows each year, and as computing becomes more complex. In addition, an enterprise creates data on many computer devices. This data transcends the conventional boundaries of IT infrastructure.

Data protection is influenced by regulatory aspects and compliance. We will cover data protection obligations and compliance later in this article. However, data protection is essential; without it, companies face legal consequences and fines.

Additionally, reputational damage, a drop in investor confidence, and loss of customer trust will occur in the event of a breach. Therefore, it's just as essential to understand relevant regulations and be compliant.

3) Key principles of data protection

The key objective of data protection is to use procedures, technology and other resources to safeguard data and make it securely accessible. The three key principles of data protection are:

  1. Confidentiality: Only authorized operators with appropriate credentials have access to the data. An example of this can be data protection officers.

  2. Integrity: All data stored within a company is accurate, dependable, and not subject to unauthorized modifications. For example, the protected data has not been degraded by malware and virus attacks.

  3. Availability: The data is stored securely and is accessible anytime it's needed.

They created this model to assist companies in developing a comprehensive data security strategy. Let's look at the three key principles:

1. Data availability

The frequency with which your data is available for usage, whether by your company or by one of your partners, is data availability.

It's preferable to have your data available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, so that your organization can continue to operate without interruption.

When it comes to data management, unexpected errors and disruptions are unavoidable, so it's critical to develop a system that can work around them while still delivering data.

2. Data Lifecycle Management

Data Lifecycle Management is a method for assisting organizations in managing the flow of data across its entire lifecycle, from creation to destruction.

Data lifecycle management generally includes:

  • Creation of data
  • Storage of data
  • Usage of data
  • Archiving of data
  • Destruction of data

You can only carry out data governance efficiently within your business if you have a clearly defined and documented data lifecycle management procedure.

3. Information Lifecycle Management

Before discussing information lifecycle management, let's take a minute to agree on the difference between data and information. In a nutshell, information is data that has been processed and organized for an intended purpose.

On the other hand, data is unstructured and unorganized facts. Therefore, it makes sense that protecting data and protecting information are subtly different. For example, your company uses data to generate a product design you decide to patent.

There are a few other principles that underpin the critical principles mentioned above.

Storage limitation

You should maintain data only in a form that allows the identification of a data subject for as long as it's required for the purposes for which that data subject is processed.

Data accountability

Data protection officers or data controllers must also accept responsibility for the processing of personal data. They must also demonstrate compliance with rules through relevant records and procedures.

Data transparency

You must process personal data legitimately and equitably. Individuals should be aware of how their personal data is collected, used, consulted and processed.

They must also be aware of the extent to which their personal data is or will be treated. Transparency requires that all information and interactions related to personal data processing be easily accessible and comprehensible, and that you use simple language.

4) Important considerations for a data protection strategy

A robust, appropriate data protection strategy is no longer optional. Data privacy and data protection are hot topics, and the media love them. This is mainly due to high-profile breaches, purported careless use of personal data by social networks, and regulatory requirements such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data protection has always been a complex issue for small and large businesses alike. Considerations of which data to back up, how long to retain it, and how to ensure effective destruction when the data is no longer needed have been challenging to overcome.

Data loss occurs when people or software destroys, deletes, corrupts, or renders data unusable. A data loss event can occur for a variety of reasons, including accidental or by design.

Important considerations for data protection strategies include:

Data backup

Data backup is described as copying and storing company data to a secondary location. The importance of backups is well understood, but there's no harm in refreshing our thinking. Backups help to protect businesses against data loss by having redundant storage locations and media or formats.

3-2-1 describes having three copies of your data on two different devices with one off-site copy. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect backup approach, but 3-2-1 goes a long way to reduce the risk of losing your data forever by keeping multiple copies.

Nowadays, the most likely location for the offsite copy of the data is the cloud.

Data recovery

Recovering data from backups is pointless if it takes too long. But, Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is more than the time to restore the data; it's also the outage or downtime.

Companies will state their tolerance for downtime in hours. However, data recovery time will be less than this. Why? After an outage and recovery of the data and systems, there will need to be a test phase before going live again.

Data retention

Data backup is not just about storage and locations. It also speaks to retention. Retention is "how long" the data needs to be stored and available. In some cases, retention is influenced by the relevance or datedness of the data, but primarily it's informed by regulatory requirements.

Data does become stale over time. Data becomes dated and no longer needed. Even if this is the case, you must correctly dispose of the unwanted data and its backups. 

Data storage management

Enterprise data volumes are increasing at an exponential rate. So, how can businesses efficiently keep all of this data? This is where data storage management enters the picture.
Effective management is essential for ensuring that businesses make the most use of storage resources. They should store data securely, following company policy and regulatory standards.

To design their plan, IT administrators and managers must first grasp what procedures and technologies are involved in data storage management.

4) Important considerations for a data protection strategy

A robust, appropriate data protection strategy is no longer optional. Data privacy and data protection are hot topics, and the media love them. This is mainly due to high-profile breaches, purported careless use of personal data by social networks, and regulatory requirements such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

Data protection has always been a complex issue for small and large businesses alike. Considerations of which data to back up, how long to retain it, and how to ensure effective destruction when the data is no longer needed have been challenging to overcome.

Data loss occurs when people or software destroys, deletes, corrupts, or renders data unusable. A data loss event can occur for a variety of reasons, including accidental or by design.

Important considerations for data protection strategies include:

Data backup

Data backup is described as copying and storing company data to a secondary location. The importance of backups is well understood, but there's no harm in refreshing our thinking. Backups help to protect businesses against data loss by having redundant storage locations and media or formats.

3-2-1 describes having three copies of your data on two different devices with one off-site copy. Of course, there is no such thing as a perfect backup approach, but 3-2-1 goes a long way to reduce the risk of losing your data forever by keeping multiple copies.

Nowadays, the most likely location for the offsite copy of the data is the cloud.

Data recovery

Recovering data from backups is pointless if it takes too long. But, Recovery Time Objective (RTO) is more than the time to restore the data; it's also the outage or downtime.

Companies will state their tolerance for downtime in hours. However, data recovery time will be less than this. Why? After an outage and recovery of the data and systems, there will need to be a test phase before going live again.

Data retention

Data backup is not just about storage and locations. It also speaks to retention. Retention is "how long" the data needs to be stored and available. In some cases, retention is influenced by the relevance or datedness of the data, but primarily it's informed by regulatory requirements.

Data does become stale over time. Data becomes dated and no longer needed. Even if this is the case, you must correctly dispose of the unwanted data and its backups. 

Data storage management

Enterprise data volumes are increasing at an exponential rate. So, how can businesses efficiently keep all of this data? This is where data storage management enters the picture.
Effective management is essential for ensuring that businesses make the most use of storage resources. They should store data securely, following company policy and regulatory standards.

To design their plan, IT administrators and managers must first grasp what procedures and technologies are involved in data storage management.

5) The differences between data protection, data privacy and data security

These three terms are frequently used interchangeably. However, there are a few distinctions between the three groups.

Data protection

Data protection is essentially the process of safeguarding data against loss, exposure, or corruption. Backup and recovery are the foundations of data protection.

Data privacy

Data privacy is the control over who has access to what information, who or what can access the data, and why. Data privacy not only manages authorized access but also ensures mechanisms are in place to prevent unauthorized access.

It may come as a shock to learn that there is no overarching government data privacy law. Data privacy, on the other hand, is a disjointed legal concept.

Data privacy is protected in the United States by a complex structure of federal and state laws. Personal data relating to health information, educational information, children's information, and financial information are all covered by various laws that protect personal information.

Data security

Security is all about defending the data from attack. Attacks can be internal or external, and they can even be accidental. Security is about guarding the data, and protection is about the availability and integrity of the data. Neither can be ignored or considered in isolation when implementing a DR Strategy.

6) Solving the most complex challenges of data protection

Protecting consumer personal data, sensitive information and preferences is a significant challenge. To comprehend the importance and impact of global data privacy, we must first appreciate the most real challenges your business might encounter regarding data privacy and protection.

1. Business data growth is massive

There is no doubt that data is expanding at mind-numbing rates. It's thought that 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day. Yet, 2021 was unusual, as global corporations tried to stay afloat in the shadow of the epidemic. This exceptional circumstance has accelerated company digitization, resulting in a surge in "digital data."

Here are some interesting facts about the magnitude of data - of course, at the time of writing, this has grown even bigger:

  • 2.7 Zettabytes of data exist - a zettabyte is a billion terabytes.
  • It's estimated that the average online user generates 1.7 MBytes of original data per second.
  • An average of 590 websites go live in the USA every day.
  • 80-90% of data generated is unstructured.

Put in another way, the amount of data generated daily is the equivalent of 125 million high-resolution MRI scans every day. Or 200 billion HD movies. If every person in the US generated three tweets a minute for nearly 27,000 years, the volume of data generated every day would be almost equaled.

2. Data is becoming more complex

To be competitive in their particular marketplaces, businesses must use data. Information has gotten more advanced as technology advances, and it must be processed before it can be used to make significant business decisions.

Data processing necessitates experts who can transform unstructured or unorganized data into useful information. Many firms in various industries use it to assess their performance, employee productivity, and other factors.

3. The magnitude of threats and data events are increasing

Companies must ensure that their client's personal information is adequately protected at all times by following approved guidelines.

Since 2013, almost 9,198,580,293 data records have been lost or stolen, according to Breach Level Index, a public data breach tracking site.

Protecting data and business continuity has to consider the enormous growth, the ever-evolving threat landscape, the rate of technology change, and cost trade-offs.

4. The technology landscape is evolving fast

Technology is everywhere; this is a proven reality. They say change is inevitable, but in the world of technology, the rate of change is astounding and large scale. The term Big Data has become more prevalent. We know that managing big data can be a competitive advantage.

There is a remarkable increase in data collection, investigation, and data sharing. Processing data, as previously mentioned, into information can enable companies to surge ahead of the competition.

The dilemma is, how do businesses store and safeguard this massive amount of data that is being generated at an alarming rate?

Modern businesses are having difficulty finding good technical people or data protection officers, which means that many companies might have to teach their current employees instead of hiring new people. Alternatively, work with a Managed Services Provider who has the necessary skills and expertise.

5. How we work is changing

About 1.5 billion individuals now work from home. Companies appear to have overnight transitioned to a work-at-home reality. Many workplace analysts suggest that more businesses will continue to rely on remote workers when the pandemic has passed.

Virtual work environments are nothing new. Companies worldwide were already embracing remote work to improve employee work-life balance, reduce carbon emissions, and increase corporate efficiency.

From a disaster recovery perspective, IT departments face some significant challenges. Not only is data growing exponentially with remote workers, but the data is also literally stored all over the place. Local drives, external drives in the home office, and informal or personal cloud storage are just a few possible locations for storage space.

Employees now work from home on a personal computer, use mobile devices such as cellphones and tablets, and use cloud-based services regularly. For convenience and mobility, they employ USB drives and other portable media.

The days of IT business practices being able to lock down an organization's network, prohibiting users from accessing personal email or social media sites, and keeping sensitive data confined within the corporate firewall are also gone.

Instead, today's productivity and competitiveness rely on the free flow of data to the right people, at the right time, and in the right place, regardless of location.

6. Human error is a constant challenge

We're all human, and we make mistakes. Even the most educated, trained, and tech-savvy among us can leave their phone in a cab, simply accidentally deleted something critical or fall victim to a phishing attack that appears to be a valid email from a colleague. So it's no surprise that humans are the number one security hazard to any firm, with human errors responsible for 88% of all data breaches.

Maintaining security necessitates multi-layered endpoint protection that guards against human mistakes while allowing maximum user mobility and productivity. It's possible.

Even with extensive security awareness education, training and other resources, no company can be completely risk-free of user errors. And it's usually the result of a combination of human error and unfortunate circumstances.

Strong data protection and storage solutions offer the best security against today's dangers while supporting the changing work environment. However, they must address unintentional loss and theft and highly effective zero-day or targeted attacks.

End users cannot do what they need to accomplish because of security. Making blocklists or erecting barriers to information access invites users to discover a way around the limitations.

The bottom line is that we want end-users to be productive and complete their tasks as quickly as feasible. However, we must do so in a safe manner for the company. The key is to strike a balance.

7) Data protection regulations and compliance

The data management process of ensuring that sensitive data held by companies is managed with the least amount of risk of loss, theft, or abuse to comply with applicable laws, rules, and standards is known as data compliance.

Data governance and compliance can be enforced in several ways, including:

  • Conformity to industry norms
  • Observance of local, state, and provincial legislation
  • Observance of federal or national regulations
  • Observance of supranational legislation
  • Adherence to regulations, and
  • Policies and procedures.

Laws, rules, and standards specify the types of data subject that must be protected and the acceptable methods for achieving that objective. Businesses must analyze their compliance needs, exposure, and risk tolerance in order to establish whether they are in compliance.
Businesses that fail to comply with applicable rules and regulations may be subject to significant fines. Public authorities can impose fines under General Data Protection Regulation, for example, which can be as much as 20 million euros, or four percent, of a company's annual global turnover.

Data privacy laws

Privacy laws are in place in almost every country, which regulate:

  • The business practices of how you gather information
  • How you notify data subjects, and
  • What control a data subject has over their information once it's shared.

Fines, litigation, and even the prohibition of a site's use in certain regions may result from failure to obey applicable data privacy regulations. It can be challenging to navigate these data protection obligations, laws and regulations.

Working with an MSP can be a huge help.

Since there is no single privacy law, here are som eo fthe examples of various privacy laws businesses may need to be aware of:

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The CCPA is a multi-sectoral law that establishes important definitions and extensive individual consumer rights. It imposes significant obligations on companies or individuals who gather personal information about or from California residents.

New York SHIELD Act

The SHIELD Act (Stop Hacking and Improve Electronic Data Security) was passed in New York in July 2019. This bill modifies New York's existing data breach reporting statute and adds new data security obligations for businesses that collect data on New York citizens.

This statute broadens the definition of consumer privacy and gives New York citizens stronger protection against data breaches of their personal information.

The Australian Privacy Act

The Australian Privacy Act of 1988 promotes and safeguards individual privacy and regulates how Australian government agencies and Australian businesses with a turnover of more than $3 million, as well as some other companies, handle personal and sensitive data. It provides clarity for Australian business data protection obligations.

General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

In the European Union, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) is an essential data protection regulation. It regulates the collection, use, transmission, and security of personal data obtained from inhabitants of any of the European Union's 28 member countries. GDPR is the world's strongest privacy and security law.

Even though GDPR was designed and passed by the European Union (EU), it imposes duties on international organizations that target or collect data about EU residents and EU citizens, regardless of where the organization collects personal data.

Compliance requirements

Data protection obligations and compliance requirements are no longer optional, and there is no room for error when the stakes are so high. These breaches are avoidable, but many firms are unaware of what they are missing.

8) 5 data protection trends

Undoubtedly the most significant issue driving data protection is the regulatory landscape, and this will become increasingly difficult as data protection regulations go global. Preparing for privacy rules, as well as the abolition of the third-party cookie (and other identifiers used to target individuals for advertising), remains a monumental task.

There are a few other interesting data protection trends to reflect on.

1. Data portability

The ability to move data from one platform or service to another is data portability. It necessitates the storage of data in a widely recognized format and the preservation of some level of accessibility.

Since the implementation of the General Data Protection Regulation, data portability has become increasingly important for businesses. The General Data Protection Regulation mandates that users' data be portable and accessible upon request. "Data portability" is that right.

The right to data portability requires enterprises to share individuals' Personally Identifiable Information (PII) safely, securely, and re-usably within 30 days after a request.

Enterprises in this modern era should always adapt. Data from a departing consumer can no longer be simply deleted or archived in the hope of a return. Instead, GDPR compliance requires businesses to quickly collect, secure, and return personal data to their rightful owners.

2. Mobile data protection

Mobile data protection (MDP) products and services are software security solutions that enforce confidentiality standards.

So how does it do this? By encrypting data on end-user workstations' mass storage devices and then restricting access to that encrypted data, we can improve mobile data protection.

Examples of storage systems drives are:

  • The primary boot drive of a workstation
  • The supplementary system drives
  • The detachable media used for portability

Optical media are all affected by MDP, such as:

  • Magnetic hard disk drives (HDDs)
  • Solid-state drives (SSDs)
  • Self-encrypting drives (SEDs)

MDP solutions can delegate all or part of the encryption process to hardware parts such as the CPU and drive controller and native OS capabilities, using a variety of approaches. Some MSPs additionally offer network storage protection, and a select few enable cloud-based storage systems as a desktop extension.

3. Continuous data protection

Continuous data protection captures and monitors every single change to a company's data. Continuous data protection effectively saves all copies of the data and their changes across the whole company.

If a company needs to recover data, it can restore systems to almost any point in time rather than going back to the last saved backup. In the case of standard snapshot backups, it might mean hours of data loss that a continuous data protection server could have preserved.

4. Zero trust

The US government defines zero trust as a collection of cybersecurity paradigms that shift defenses away from static, network-based perimeters and toward users, assets, and resources.

Before a session to an enterprise data resource is established, authentication and authorization (both subject and device) are complete. Enterprise network trends such as remote users, bring your device (BYOD), and cloud-based assets not situated within an enterprise-owned network perimeter have prompted zero trust.

5. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

DRaaS is a service package that manages data replication to the cloud. Proper Disaster Recovery as a Service replicates an entire infrastructure, including computing, storage, and networking operations, on virtual servers in a fail-safe manner.

As a result, customers can continue to use the service vendor's cloud or hybrid cloud rather than the disaster-affected physical servers to operate apps.

This means that recovery time after a disaster might speed up, if not be instantaneous. The operations and data will be transferred back to the actual servers once they have been covered or replaced. 

Engaging an MSP for DRaaS means you do not need to dig deep into your wallet to invest in this data protection, especially when the MSP is a Probax partner.

9) What are data protection services?

Because businesses use data in so many different ways, data security is a top priority. However, not every company can afford to hire a capable and resourceful IT crew. As a result, data protection services are financially and technically advantageous.

Here are the different types of data protection Services offered by MSPs. Some will offer all, and others may offer only one.

Backup as a Service (BaaS)

Backup as a Service is a form of offsite data storage. A service vendor routinely backs up files, folders, or the entire contents of the hard drive to a remote secure cloud-based data repository via a network. Online backup aims to preserve data from loss due to human error, hacking, or any other technological disaster.

Instead of a centralized on-premises IT department, BaaS connects systems to an external private, public, or hybrid cloud.

Backup as a service is easier to handle. Data storage administrators can let the supplier do it instead of maintaining and monitoring offshore tapes or hard disks.

Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)

Every business needs Disaster Recovery as a Service. It's a critical business function driven by downtime business risk, regulatory requirements, and compliance.

Second, many businesses need help. Many do not have the capacity in their IT team to effect Disaster Recovery satisfactorily or adequately. Nor do they have the necessary certifications to sign off on compliance.

Using DRaaS is a one-time setup, and after that, your IT team can provide maintenance and monitoring.

Data Archive as a Service (AaaS)

Data Archive as a Service is a data protection process of transferring data that you no longer use or require to a separate storage system for long-term storage. A corporation may opt to archive data for various reasons, including cost savings from main storage and regulatory compliance.

Businesses may simply identify and retrieve essential data whenever they want with the new-age data archival solutions' solid architecture and search capabilities.

SaaS data protection solutions and services

All inventors, policymakers, and users face a progressive problem regarding data protection. Because they deal with a significant volume of client data, SaaS businesses hold a unique position among these parties.

Examples of SaaS data protection can include:

As we become more aware of their susceptibility in data gathering and processing, the significance of data protection policy for SaaS data a business generates becomes increasingly apparent.

Managed Data Protection Services for MSPs

Probax Managed Services enable MSPs to focus on growing their business, while Probax looks after their clients' data protection. Proactively managing the protection of clients' data can result in a variety of challenges for MSPs.

It's a time-consuming service offering when you're monitoring, managing and testing to achieve compliance according to client data requirements as well as to achieve industry best practice. Keeping technical engineers engaged is also tough when they're having to regularly complete mundane administrative and Level 1 tasks as part of the offering. 

MSPs can gain a competitive advantage without the footprint by outsourcing their data protection services offering to the team of experts at Probax.

10) Why is Probax the #1 choice for MSPs delivering data protection?

Probax has been selected the VCSP Partner of the Year for Australia by Veeam Software. Veeam acknowledges them as the market leader in backup, recovery, and data management technologies that enable the next generation of data protection.

Probax's comprehensive MSP data protection solutions, including backup, disaster recovery, and archival solutions improve the availability and recoverability of on-premises, cloud-based, and SaaS workloads.

Probax is one of the only few VCSPs approved in all four areas of VCSP reseller readiness.