With the dawn of a new year, businesses are looking ahead to 2023 and what that might mean for their IT systems — and that’s no easy task.
Given ever-changing trends in cloud computing, security, and more, it can be difficult to plan for the road ahead. However, knowing what developments might arise, both now and in the future, is vital to preparing your organization and maximizing cost efficiencies.
In our recent “2023 IT Predictions” webinar we covered these topics (and more), highlighting three key pillars: security, cloud services, and lessons learned from 2022.
If you couldn’t attend the webinar live, don’t worry. Here’s a recap of what you missed.
The state of security — facing data growth, emerging threats, and rising costs
The need for dependable data stewardship has never been greater.
According to Cybersecurity Ventures research, total global data storage is expected to exceed 200 zettabytes of data by 2025. Unfortunately, global cybercrime damage is projected to reach $10.5 trillion annually by the same time, while ransomware is expected to impact a business, consumer, or device every two seconds by 2031.
The more data we produce, the more valuable it becomes — making your ability to properly secure it paramount.
Per Veeam’s 2022 Ransomware Trends Report that polled 1,000 IT leaders whose organizations sustained a ransomware attack in 2021, 73% suffered two or more in the last 12 months. On average, 47% of production data was affected when a bad actor penetrated an environment, while just 67% of the affected data was recoverable using backups.
The role of IT is to provide access to data through applications and ensure that this offer never goes away. To do this successfully, security can’t be viewed as a utility; it must be embedded in everything.
This means having proper risk management practices and a disaster recovery (DR) plan in place that accounts for natural disasters like floods, fires, earthquakes, and hurricanes, as well as ransomware and other cyber threats.
How to be a good steward of data
You must be able to demonstrate, in a testable and audible fashion, that you have reasonably identified and managed risks — whether cyber, physical, or computing. The object of the exercise is threefold: manage risk, ensure compliance, and enable the business.
While cybersecurity skills and services will be among the most coveted in 2023, there are not nearly enough people to fill all the open positions. Managed security services can help bridge any gaps.
IT teams need to have a set of diverse and deep skill sets that can be applied across the board. Additionally, architecture and governance are important for understanding computing operations and leveraging multiple service providers across networking, security, cloud solutions, and more.
This includes asset inventorying, responding to incidents, digital forensics, providing optimized computing experience for customers, protecting data and intellectual property as mandated by privacy regulations, architecture and governance of services used in-house or from third-party providers (MSPs/MSSPs), understanding networks, and security needs.
Ultimately, IT teams must work together and break down silos to ensure a seamless end-to-end user experience that meets all stakeholder needs — from data protection to risk management.
Emerging cloud trends
Cloud adoption continues to rise at a fast and furious pace.
Foundry’s 2022 Cloud Computing research revealed that 69% of businesses sped up their cloud migration over the past year, while worldwide spending on public cloud services is projected to reach nearly $600 billion in 2023, according to Gartner. Additionally, Veeam’s 2023 Data Protection Trends Report discovered that more than half of all organization’s production workloads are now hosted in the cloud.
The pandemic accelerated the shift to cloud-hosted workloads as organizations required fast access to data and applications due to restricted physical operations. However, this trend is not a one-way path — and many are finding that their original “cloud-first” strategies may need adjusting due to the complexity of managing risk across a distributed computing environment.
For this reason, organizations are increasingly turning to hybrid computing and managed backup services to ensure the continuity of data protection, security, and assurance. As businesses navigate the complexities of hybrid computing infrastructure — including a much broader attack surface and greater requirements for protection — they must take a holistic approach to ensure data can be protected and secured regardless of where it’s located.
This requires modularizing applications so they can move between clouds, understanding which parts need to go together if certain pieces are moving around, and leveraging cloud-based backup solutions for maximum protection.
Just as important is understanding that this hybrid approach is fluid. It’s about moving the right workloads onto the right clouds and back again, as it makes sense for the business, ensuring all cybersecurity requirements are met.
By leveraging the right tools and technologies, you can ensure your organization’s data is always secure and protected regardless of where it’s located.
Lessons learned as you prepare for the year ahead
The biggest lesson learned is simple: You don’t have to do this alone.
Experience equals better business and mission outcomes, and you should seek out specialists who can handle many of your critical needs for you.
Some other pieces of advice include:
- Think “cloud-smart” not “cloud-first.” Look for ways to make better use of existing resources and identify specific clouds or services that are most beneficial for your needs. As part of this shift, implement zero-trust architectures to improve security by restricting access based on user identity rather than location.
- Keep up with security best practices. Firewalls and antivirus software are not enough — you need a comprehensive security plan that combines multiple layers of protection. Zero-trust solutions like multi-factor authentication (MFA) are becoming increasingly commonplace, as well as real-time monitoring and automated incident response capabilities to help protect your data from malicious actors.
- Don’t skimp on DR and data backup. While the goal is always to prevent data loss, you need redundancies in place should something go wrong. This means having a robust system for backing up critical information as well as plans for restoring operations quickly following any disruption. Regularly test your DR plans, automate processes when feasible, and update your plans as your production environment changes.
Technology is constantly evolving, and IT departments must work tirelessly to keep up with the changes. Staying informed about industry trends will help you stay ahead of the curve and ensure your infrastructure can meet its current needs as well as any future developments.