Matthew Johnston, Area Vice President, ASEAN & Korea at Commvault APAC
Data&StorageAsean: Has the rise in cloud adoption affected the way people (vendors and users) approach security?
Matthew: Yes, definitely. Many analysts believe that 2016 will be a defining year for the cloud as the bulk of IT budgets will be spent on cloud technologies – specifically on hybrid cloud models. By the end of 2017, it is estimated that nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments. As CIOs move their company's sensitive data over the cloud or any external data centre, security is a key concern as the potential of perceived risk and exposure to security breaches is increased.
To put into context the importance of data security, the average consolidated cost of data breaches in 2013 was estimated at approximately $3.5 million, soaring in 2015 to $6.5 million. This provided an impetus to companies of all sizes to ensure security across all levels and types of corporate data. With so much at stake, businesses are more conscious of the need to preserve the integrity of data.
From a vendor’s perspective, all solutions need to be built with security in mind. We know this is key criteria – and increasingly important – for our customers. At Commvault, we also always advise our customers to take on a more holistic approach to data management so they can have a single, complete view of all stored data no matter where it is—on premise or in the cloud.
Data&StorageAsean: Do XaaS providers do a good job of securing our data?
Matthew: The reliability and quality of the service depends on the XaaS provider engaged, as well as each provider’s solutions, capabilities and service-level agreements. However, while XaaS providers can complement or replace traditional IT delivery, choosing a reliable XaaS provider that focuses on preserving the integrity of your data so you can do more with it, is crucial.
Ultimately, data needs to be treated like an asset. Whether businesses engage a XaaS provider or not, they should consider the importance and commercial sensitivity of the data left in the hands of an external party.
A XaaS provider that offers best-in-class solutions while committing to data security can help businesses make the best use of their data, achieve their business and operational goals, while freeing up a business’ precious resources to concentrate on more mission-critical priorities.
Data&StorageAsean: Security used to be about virus protection and access control. How has that changed?
Matthew: Security today goes beyond virus protection and access controls – it now includes everything from end-user security and data encryption to network security. As long as one of these areas is compromised, your data is vulnerable.
As a result, businesses must ensure they secure and build their walls high enough at every step of their data management journey – from an end user's computer all the way to backup storage – to reduce the risk of a breach, and yet flexible enough to not hinder productivity.
As hackers become smarter, companies also need to look at protecting data right from the endpoint. According to Forrester, only half of today’s enterprises use some type of endpoint backup. Yet an average of 35% of corporate data resides on remote desktops and laptops. With the majority of information workers using three or more devices for business, that means that critical business data is floating around unprotected and vulnerable, leaving businesses at risk.
Commvault’s security features and administrative tools can enhance a business’ data security plan and bolster protection of data wherever it resides – all on a single platform and unified code base for integrated data protection.
Data&StorageAsean: Can a company protect themselves 100% from data security threats?
Matthew: Data security threats exist everywhere and at any time. As a result, no company can and should confidently declare themselves safe from threats. However, with the right physical, application, endpoint and network security measures in place, businesses can significantly reduce the risk of attacks.
We are seeing more customers who view data protection as a journey – encompassing back-up and recovery. It’s no longer just about securing the data, but ensuring that critical data that has been lost can be retrieved if and when needed for operational efficiency.
Data&StorageAsean: Are you seeing big data or machine learning being used in data security - on either side of the fence (hackers and/or vendors)?
Matthew: Yes, machine learning and big data technologies are increasingly being adopted by companies to identify attacks before they happen. Machine learning technologies rely on historical data to analyse normal network behaviour and can speedily flag suspicious activity so that security analysts can take the necessary preventive measures. The sooner such problems are identified, the sooner can these threats be addressed.
The technology has proven its value many times, and to many industries. For instance, the financial industry has utilised it for decades to identify potential fraud cases. Many of us, for example, have experienced our banks contacting us to confirm the legitimacy of a recent purchase.
Data&StorageAsean: What’s unique about your own offerings and product strategy?
Matthew: CIOs and technology leaders are increasingly looking to bring tangible value to their business through data. Commvault helps customers to use data as a powerful strategic asset and drive value.
Companies are realising that the environment they are managing their information across has dramatically changed to include private and public cloud, as well as mobile devices through initiatives such as BYOD. Our customers are now looking for solutions that cohesively provide quick recovery windows; open, standards-based infrastructure; built-in extensible analytics; seamless and universal access; and end-to-end governance.
In a recent customer survey by IDC, 722 enterprises worldwide saw a 42% reduction in annual IT overhead hours, as a result of simplification, automation, consolidation and more efficient operation of the data management processes, from deploying Commvault solutions.
Through Commvault solutions, companies are able to manage every part of the data lifecycle, thus making it easier to protect essential corporate data, in order to drive business value. Companies are finding more and more that they need to be able to manage their information across all infrastructures in order to be able to activate it for data-driven projects or business transformation initiatives.
Our conversations with customers have helped us understand what the industry seeks and enabled us to build Commvault’s next-generation platform. This platform equips businesses with full visibility of data and information across applications, devices, operating systems and locations, through a holistic data management approach.