Charting a Path to Cyber Resilient Data Protection

Market trends from Dell’s 2024 Global Data Protection Index Cyber Resiliency Multicloud Edition.

The latest Dell Global Data Protection Index (GDPI) reinforces the importance of staying the course when it comes to protecting data in today’s digitally transformed world. Navigating the complex terrain of data protection remains a formidable challenge and demands a steadfast commitment to understanding all the risks that can threaten an organization’s data. The latest GDPI brings into focus new insights into the heightened threat of cyberattacks, the rise of generative AI (GenAI) and the ongoing expansion into multicloud environments.

Cyber threats continue to grow and remain at the top of the list for causes of organizational disruption, with 52% of respondents reporting a cyberattack that prevented access to data within the past 12 months. This is the highest percentage in more than five years. The monetary impact on organizations is considerable with costs more than doubling over our last report.

This trend is concerning, as 75% of organizations surveyed are worried their existing data protection measures are unable to cope with ransomware threats and 69% reporting they are not very confident they could reliably recover in the event of a destructive cyberattack. Yet despite these perspectives, most organizations (59%) invest more in cyber prevention than cyber recovery. Knowing successful attacks are on the rise, organizations must carefully consider the balance between prevention and recovery.

Another reoccurring red flag is that 81% of organizations believe the rise in remote workers, fueled by the pandemic and still prevalent today, has increased their exposure to data loss from a cyberattack. This sentiment is up from 70% in our last research findings.

We also uncovered new insights regarding the use and effectiveness of insurance policies to help mitigate an organization’s financial exposure. While 93% of organizations cited the use of ransomware insurance policies, they noted several conditions could limit coverage. For example, 57% responded their insurance providers required proof of best practices for cyber threat prevention, 40% indicated some scenarios would void the policy and 40% pointed to the fact that payments to some entities may be restricted by law.

In the end, 85% of organizations had to pay to access their data. So, while insurance policies can be a valid component of a cybersecurity strategy, organizations must understand their limitations.

In response to these growing threats, organizations are not sitting still when it comes to fortifying their cyber resiliency. Several trends indicate organizations are becoming more proactive, with 50% bringing in professional services to bolster resources, 49% conducting regular cyber recovery testing and 42% having deployed a cyber vault with physical and logical separation from production data.

For the first time, the GDPI probed the impact of GenAI on both the cyber threat landscape and future data protection requirements. According to the report, 52% believe GenAI will provide an advantage to their organization’s cyber security posture and 27% feel GenAI will initially provide an advantage to cyber criminals. Beyond the impact of enhanced prevention and new threats, 88% agree GenAI is likely to generate large volumes of new data and increase the value of certain data types they will need to consider when mapping out their future data protection strategies.

While multicloud is still the preferred strategy for organizations seeking to deploy or update applications, data protection continues to be a major concern. Of IT decision makers surveyed, 79% are not very confident their organization can protect all the data across their public clouds, and 40% of organizations cite challenges over data security in public, multicloud environments. Continuing to increase confidence in multicloud data protection and cyber security is critical, considering the majority (more than 56%) of respondents believe these are the most important capabilities for enabling operations.

As organizations increasingly turn to public cloud solutions, implement hybrid working models and experiment with GenAI, the criticality of data protection is more evident than ever. Yet, securing and safeguarding digital assets is becoming a more complex challenge for many. In a landscape continuously threatened by cyberattacks, businesses need to chart a path and stay the course. The journey is a marathon, not a sprint.

The Dell Global Data Protection Index, commissioned through Vanson Bourne, surveyed 1,500 IT and IT security decision makers from a wide range of public and private industries in September and October 2023 across the globe.

Read the full research report here, take the cyber resiliency assessment survey and learn how Dell Technologies can help fortify your security readiness.

Rob Emsley

About the Author: Rob Emsley

Rob Emsley is the Director of Product Marketing for Data Protection at Dell Technologies. His team is responsible for messaging, content and go-to-market activities for the Dell data protection portfolio. Rob has held product marketing and management leadership positions with several global companies. Originally from the UK, he now resides outside of Boston, Massachusetts.