We are quickly approaching 2020 and the last 10 years have been a rollercoaster for the tech industry. From cyberattacks and ransomware forcing companies to get innovative in the ways they continue to do business when devastation hits, to amazing changes in the way we process and store data in data centers to build and manage backup and disaster recovery solutions.
With only so many days left in 2019, many in the tech industry are wondering – what backup and disaster recovery innovations will the next year?
We have spoken to some of the industry’s brightest minds in technology to see how the disaster and recovery world will evolve in the upcoming year, and the roles that backup technologies and ransomware will play. See below for what they have to say about 2020:
Dave Wisz, EVP, Operations, US Signal
“Cyberattacks are only going to increase in numbers and sophistication, and natural disasters are going to continue to cause downtime for companies. Next year will also see more companies turning to data-driven forms of operations such as machine learning and AI.
These factors, combined, mean that 2020 will see an increased need for regional edge data centers that will provide customers with reliable network connectivity to their data and infrastructure housed in a colocation space.
This will drive customers to regional data center providers that will provide them with high capacity, dedicated network connectivity solutions that enable their data to be processed at the speed necessary for machine learning applications and AI platforms.
In addition, more customers will also realize that replication of data between multiple geodiverse data centers will increase their ability to recover data quickly to the cloud or another location to eliminate downtime in the event of any disaster, including cyberattacks and weather-related occurrences. Thus, 2020 will see more data centers being opened in the middle of the country, where less severe weather patterns occur. Data centers on the coasts and in weather-prone areas will become less desirable.
Lastly, in 2020, more companies will inquire about how data center providers can assist with managed services and data protection to help when there is a disaster. This concern will be at the forefront due to recent mass cyberattacks such as the ransomware attack that affected 22 Texas towns, and many providers will likely expand their offerings beyond disaster recovery and storage into security.”
Steve Blog, Technology Evangelist, Zerto
“In 2020, it goes without saying that cyber threats, especially ransomware attacks, will continue to grow – especially as criminals are making considerable money from them. I predict we will see an increase in attacks that are more targeted than they are random. This will cost organisations money, not just from the ransom side of things, but from a data loss perspective. Data loss is money loss, and the only way businesses can prevent data loss is to make sure that they are constantly protecting it.”
“In 2020 we will continue to see the adoption of cloud. As the old tech saying goes, “one cloud doesn’t fit all’, so I fully expect that businesses will continue to want more mobility and choice when it comes to their cloud. Microsoft and AWS will continue to go strong as more and more organisations will look to pursue their ‘cloud-first’ strategies, adopting the cloud and its services. Because of this, having the ability to move to a cloud, from a cloud, and back again will become more and more valuable.”
“Next year will be the year of convergence. At the end of the day, people want less tools to do more things, reducing the overhead. IT teams don’t want to manage infrastructure anymore, they want to offload everything and are utilising the cloud to deliver that. On the flip side, though, they will want those applications they are still having to manage to be from a multi-point solution that delivers a single outcome.”
“If you think of how much digital transformation has changed everyday life so far – such as being able to pay for your car tax online, rather than the post office – there’s no denying that it will continue to make a positive and valuable impact throughout 2020. However, there’s definitely a long way to go, and more that organisations could be doing to reap the benefits of digitising business operations. Yes, there is some fatigue around companies ‘beginning their digital transformation journey’, but 2020 will be more than just moving to the cloud. Digital transformation is about how you deliver and provide services, and this is what will continue to drive organisations next year.”
Caroline Seymour, VP, product marketing, Zerto
“As we set new visions and strategies for 2020 and begin a new decade of unprecedented levels of both tech innovation and data dependence, it will be paramount for IT organizations of all sizes to support cyber resilient cultures and processes. Organizations of the future must be built to not just prevent but also withstand cyber risk of all forms.
In addition to the disruptions every organization faces from unexpected natural disasters, human error and outages, the global threat landscape continues to grow at a ferocious pace. According to research by Cybersecurity Ventures, the estimated cost of ransomware alone for 2019 was $11.5 billion, which is more than many global industries and markets. The cost of not being cyber resilient could put many companies out of business, with ransomware recovery per organization at approximately $1.4 million or more. This cost is directly tied to a loss of productivity, reputation damage, and service disruption, among other business impacts.
Whether large global enterprises, midsize companies or government agencies, no one is safe. Organizations must implement cyber resilience strategies that enable them to prepare for, respond to and recover from a cyberattack. Cyber resilience is much more than just preventing or responding to an attack – it also takes into account the ability to operate during and to adapt and recover from such an event. Businesses that maintain strong cyber resilience frameworks – that includes the ability to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover – will be well positioned for success in 2020 and beyond.”
Alan Conboy, office of the CTO, Scale Computing
“The recent news cycle has been flooded with organizations from airlines to banks and hospitals, even entire local governments, falling victim to ransomware attacks. Threats such as these are evolving at a horrific pace, and they will continue to become smarter, more lucrative and increasingly devious in 2020. So, to the organizations that think they can’t afford to modernize their infrastructure defenses, well, the truth is that they can’t afford to not do so.
As this malicious momentum snowballs into next year, businesses must realize that traditional legacy tools are not only slowing their digital journey down, but leaving them vulnerable to tactical and well-organized criminals. We will see organizations taking advantage of highly-available solutions, such as hyperconvergence and edge computing, that allow them to not only keep up with changing consumer demands, but deploy the most effective cyber defences, disaster recovery, and backup.
The way organizations approach the aftermath of data being corrupted will likely change too, as insurance companies will begin to take an active role, not just in the recovery of data, but in the decision making when it comes to whether or not to pay the ransom demand. The overall cost of doing business will rise in conjunction with the growing threat of cyber-attacks, and every business should be bracing themselves for the impact.”
John Ford, chief information security officer, ConnectWise
“Like any market, opportunists will pursue an economic dream so long as the barriers to entry are low, return on investment is high, and competing interests do not drive down margin or market size. Ransomware is as close to a perfect economy as one could enter, other than the fact that it is an illegal underground market.
2019 saw a dramatic increase in the amount of malicious code created and made available for sale on the black market. The seller not only makes the code affordable ($300-$500), they also provide full tech support in teaching the attacker how to execute an attack. This code is then further modified by the purchaser. This last action makes certain that security products that may have seen and prevented the original code, will likely fail to do the same with the modified version. A single version of modified malicious code could yield hundreds of thousands of dollars, and when the ransomware fails to execute, the attacker simply modifies the code and continues on.
Given that the number of attack groups has risen by 25% over the past year, coupled with the fact that the amount of malicious code has exponentially increased and the barrier to entry remains low, I do not see any reduction in the amount of ransomware attacks for 2020.”