Your Risk Mitigation Strategy is Only as Good as Your Recovery Strategy

Posted 03/16/2018 by Kalyani Kallakuri

The well-known adage you are only as good as your last… backup” is a good start on a data protection strategy but still falls far short of a comprehensive plan. A survey of more than 300 IT professionals conducted by Barkly’s found that nearly all respondents were actively backing up their data. Eighty-one percent were confident they would be able to recover their data just by relying on backup copies. However, in a follow-up survey with these same respondents – after experiencing a ransomware attack – only 42 percent reported being able to fully recover their data from backup.1

Kroll Ontrack Research, through a global survey of nearly 600 IT administrators, also found that while more than half (57 percent) of surveyed respondents had a backup solution in place, three quarters (75 percent) of those were still not able to restore all of their lost data, with more than one-in-five (23 percent) unable to recover any data at all.2

You shouldn’t be alarmed by the above statistics if you already have a capable risk mitigation strategy in place. Having a good backup strategy is the backbone for your recovery strategy to succeed.

Backups serve multiple purposes, such as assisting with compliance regulation, preventing data loss associated with human error or ransomware, or minimizing device failure and rapid recovery in the event of a disaster.

A complete data protection strategy to meet these needs means leveraging multiple backup techniques like the following:


  • Replication: A copy of data made available in near real-time
  • Snapshots: Data storage copy at a point in time
  • Daily backups: Copies of data at regular intervals and stored in a separate locaion either on-premises or in a cloud environment
  • A 3-2-1 backup strategy: Having at least three copies of data, two of which are local but different locations, and one copy off-site.

These data protection techniques have different purposes and are all necessary, but in many cases, organizations are using multiple point tools from different vendors to protect their data. A multi-vendor data management strategy increases complexity as it requires integration of myriad storage devices and data management products. Each of these tools come with proprietary user interfaces or management consoles. Integrating various backup solutions into a single console is a challenge, and juggling between different dashboards to manage recovery can also prove to be time-consuming and cumbersome. Simplifying the recovery process is paramount to keeping your business running.

Adding to the challenges, the amount of data being backed up is growing exponentially. In fact, the size of the digital universe is expected to double every two years. It is clear that the resources, such as storage, servers, and networks devoted to backup, will not be able to keep up with the pace of data growth. A reliable strategy that can scale as well as address the changing data footprint is a must.

Solutions from Commvault address these needs by providing unified data management capabilities for data residing anywhere, be it in an on-premises data center or in the cloud.  With Commvault software you are able to backup data in far less time with fewer resource requirements when compared to using multiple solutions. This is possible through comprehensive platform support, being content-aware of enterprise applications, databases, and cloud platforms across physical and virtual environments, and the capability to enable rapid, consistent copying of data - no matter where it resides. Commvault also has the flexibility to maintain backup data on different storage tiers with varying retention periods.

Of course, recovery techniques used for endpoint data will be different from production application data recovery using data center infrastructure.  For endpoint data, the Commvault solution delivers multiple restore options for ransomware attacks - providing the ability to quickly recover from backups prior to the time of the attack. In case of an accidental user deletion, you can use previous versions to recover content. Commvault provides a self-service console that allows end users to browse backup data and perform restores without involving corporate IT. For applications, your data protection strategy can revolve around both point-in-time application restores (e.g., database rollback and application-aware snapshots for quick recovery).

Recovery of virtual environments has its own challenges with each virtualized environment differing from the next. Protecting known VMs is easy, but there will also be those that were created outside of IT’s control. This increases risk, duplication of data, data loss; it may also be compromising the organization’s compliance mandates. Your recovery strategy around VMs has to be able to quickly provision and recover them. Commvault live mount capabilities can be leveraged to gain access to VMs prior to completely recovering to the production environment.

A solid disaster recovery strategy is required in preparation for new challenges such as a widespread ransomware attack on your organization. Recovery time and recovery points are both critical for business continuity. With Commvault disaster recovery capabilities - such as replication and orchestration - you will not only be able to recover applications, data on-premises and in the cloud, but also cost-effectively copy your data to the disaster recovery site.

Risk mitigation is only as good as your recovery strategy and should include all your data no matter where it resides. Having a unified data management platform while streamlining backup operations is a much better approach to a complete risk mitigation strategy than utilizing multiple point products. This reduces operational complexity, increases ROI of your data management investment, expedites recovery and minimizes downtime.

Do you have a reliable data management strategy? Assess your data management strategies for inefficiencies. Can your organization benefit from consolidating solutions? Commvault can help with assessments and recommendations.

1 Source: Surviving Ransomware: Lessons from IT Pros Who Didn't Pay, May 2016

2 Source: Kroll Ontrack Research: One-Third of Companies Experience Data Loss When Moving Data, March 15, 2016