Top 6 Enterprise Data Protection Challenges

As the market for data protection grows, customers and consumers have grown accustomed to fast, easy and intuitive data pipelines. Enterprises, on the other hand, face a volume of complexities and dependencies that most consumers never encounter, and are often times discounted from these consumer-focused luxuries.

In a world where data is located across many different clouds and systems, organizations must ensure that the data they produce is always available, scalable and protected — but it’s not so simple. Taken from the Making an Impact with Modern Data Protection whitepaper, a successful enterprise data protection strategy is able to:

  • Support complex, hybrid, multi-cloud environments and enterprise workloads
  • Manage across multiple locations and geographies
  • Scale to 1,000s to 10,000s of protected devices

Easier said than done, right? Enterprise data protection consists of supplying, handling and monitoring security across all data repositories and entities within an enterprise, which is tasked with safeguarding against ransomware, controlling compliance and governance regulations, and removing uncertainty from application deployment.

So, with the key tenets of a successful solution in mind, let’s take a look at the pitfalls most enterprises face when tackling these challenges.

Key Challenges in Enterprise Data Protection

As an enterprise, you are responsible for managing and protecting your organization’s large- and small-scale information, consisting of everything from Teams messages to Outlook data, to customer and employee information, to business strategies and payroll records. Not only can this information be confidential, but it’s critical to keep your business running.

Luckily for you, these bridges have already been burned, and you can get ahead of the game by learning where others struggled.

The top six enterprise data protection challenges today are:

  1. Data growth and data management
  2. Cybersecurity threats and data breaches
  3. Compliance with regulations and standards
  4. Cloud data protection
  5. Insider threats
  6. Lack of visibility and control

1. Data Growth and Data Management

This issue arises from outdated infrastructure and legacy systems which cannot handle ever-ballooning data demands. Growth is great, growth is profitable. But according to the 2023 Data Protection Trends report, many legacy IT environments are running legacy backup solutions that were designed for the physical data center era. This specifically hinders an enterprise’s ability to focus on cloud-based SaaS and IaaS, which puts your data at risk of data breach and can lead to unoptimized large-scale data management.

2. Cybersecurity Threats and Data Breaches

Enterprises are huge targets for malicious actors. When we think of large corporations, we think of profit, and so do they. In 2021, ransom payments in the United States ranged from $5,506 to $40 million. Hackers, more than ever, know how you use business information and are aware that it’s critical to your enterprise. Their objective is to break into your company’s digital infrastructure to extract sensitive information and/or shut down operations, giving you no other option but to comply with their demands.

3. Compliance Regulations and Standards

As enterprises grow, many become international corporations. Not only do enterprises need to be aware of the rules and regulations of their home countries, but they need to be aware of the laws of every country they are based in. Failure to do so can lead to massive loss — in some cases, as much as $29.27 million — as data compliance regulations vary from one nation to the next. I encourage you to watch the 2023 Enterprise Data Protection Summit, which includes a session on compliance and data protection, for tips on navigating challenges such as this one.

4. Cloud Data Protection

Due to the low cost, flexibility and ubiquity of cloud storage, hybrid and multi-cloud data adoption has grown in popularity. It has also put companies accustomed to legacy data protection solutions at risk. According to the 2023 Data Protection Trends report, cyberthreats are considered the most common and concerning challenge among those pursuing Digital Transformation initiatives.

5. Insider Threats

The larger the enterprise, the more likely bad actors are working from within. Whether or not these actors are malicious, the misuse of access to critical systems or sensitive information can do serious damage to your enterprise. Whether they are a disgruntled former employee or a careless social media poster, without the proper safeguards, your enterprise’s mission, resources, facilities, information, equipment, networks and systems are subject to exploitation.

6. Lack of Visibility and Control

As an enterprise manages thousands of nation-spanning devices and personnel, data management is susceptible to becoming a “black box” of unknown inner workings. This is especially true when employing hybrid and multi-cloud environments for your workloads. When an enterprise cannot explain how their organization works at all levels — from core system functions to cloud-hosted workloads to employee access — they are decreasing efficiency and neglecting security. Without visibility, your enterprise runs the risk of overlooking vulnerabilities and being unable to regain control when a data breach occurs.  

Impact of Enterprise Data Protection Challenges

If an enterprise chooses to go forward with an unoptimized data protection strategy, they are risking financial loss, damage to their reputation, decreased productivity and business continuity, and severe legal consequences.

Financial Loss

For enterprises, financial loss comes in many forms. Whether it’s paying a ransom due to unprotected data, unexpected legal fines or simply loss due to downtime, a comprehensive data protection strategy is necessary to avoid unwanted damages. When it comes to enterprise data protection, failure to properly implement a strategy does not lead to a slap on the wrist — it leads to devastating losses.

Damage to Reputation

When the news breaks that an enterprise was fined millions of dollars for the misuse of personal data, or paid out a hefty ransom to hackers, or lost weeks of business due to downtime, that enterprise gains a reputation of unreliability. Customers, consumers and partners alike become hesitant to work with or buy from that enterprise, which itself can lead to millions of dollars lost, a stagnation of growth and a lasting impact on that company’s reputability.

Legal Consequences

As mentioned earlier, the ignorance or avoidance of a country’s data compliance regulations has dire consequences for enterprises. Take it from Google, who was required to pay a fine of $10.47 million for being unable to comply with Spanish regulations. Or from Meta, who was fined $18.7 million in Ireland for a series of data breaches. Having a comprehensive data protection strategy to protect against loss means little if a nation audits your enterprise and finds an illegal or unethical use of data.

Decreased Productivity and Business Continuity

Business continuity and productivity an essential component of any enterprise. In 2021, United States organizations lost an average of 22 days to ransomware-induced downtime, with an industry-wide estimate of $159.4 billion lost due to downtime alone. You never expect ransomware to hit — but it’s not a matter of “if,” it’s a matter of “when.”

How to Conquer Enterprise Data Protection Challenges with Veeam

I’ve spent most of this blog discussing the critical challenges and consequences enterprises face when tackling large-scale data protection. But what can enterprises do to ensure success? The tried-and-true best practices enterprises should follow are more than worthy of implementing, but certain tasks need dedicated software and the reliable support of industry experts to help pave the way to success.

Let’s return to that whitepaper I mentioned earlier, Making an Impact with Modern Data Protection. It contains numerous examples of how enterprises saved themselves and/or recovered from disaster by adopting Veeam’s solutions to enterprise data protection. I highly encourage you to read it, as it concisely details how enterprises around the world used Veeam to avoid the above-mentioned challenges and optimize their data protection strategies.

You can click the link above or download the whitepaper here.

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