Editorial

Cyber threats, data sprawl and storage costs top challenges in data management

Research shows 82 percent of IT leaders have paid ransoms; 88 percent say retaining data longer is key to business value creation

Posted 3 February 2022 by Christine Horton


Firms are failing to leverage the value of unstructured data.

New research from Quantum Corporation and ESG Research shows that seven out of ten management teams put their data at the core of growth. However, more than half (52 percent) of business decision makers believe the opportunity exists for their organisation to better leverage its existing data to create business value.

Despite its promise, 38 percent strongly agreed that the complexity and volume of data produced makes it difficult to understand what data can be used to generate business value.

The research also found that data quality and storage costs most often inhibit data management strategies. Ensuring data quality (42 percent) and data storage costs (38 percent) are the top two challenges cited when it comes to data management.  

Seventy-eight percent of organisations do not store data on primary storage for the amount of time they would like to. Eighty-eight percent say retaining more data longer is an avenue to greater business value creation. However, 80 percent say determining which data to delete and when is complex and time consuming. 

Organisations also struggle with when to delete or store data. More than half of those surveyed (58 percent) feel they have recently eliminated data with value. Privacy protection and compliance related pain points are the top reasons why valuable data is being discarded before it can create business value.  

Data sprawl and hybrid cloud models create vulnerable environments

Data continues to be distributed and mobile: 78 percent of survey respondents said their organisation frequently migrates data between environments (cloud, on-prem, edge), with a plurality opting for a hybrid cloud model that stores most data on a public cloud infrastructure, with some data remaining on-premises.  

The survey shows that data spawl makes management more challenging. 88 percent of respondents confirmed that distributed data complicates implementing an end-to-end data strategy.  

Additionally, 87 percent of respondents say securely moving data from one environment to another causes them concern. This trend combined with a lack of formal data retention and destruction strategy – nearly three out of four organisations represented (74 percent) have not formalised their data retention/data destruction strategies – creates an environment rich for ransomware and cyber-attacks.  

Growing cybersecurity threats require new approaches

Ransomware attacks in the enterprise are growing. Two out of five respondents reported that their organisation had been a victim of a successful ransomware attack in the last two years, with 82 percent of organisations defaulting to paying the ransom.  

In addition to the cost of the ransom itself, attacks can have an impact on organisation productivity – the survey found that the median cost for ransoms was reported as $375,000 – which equates to the cost of approximately 2.1 hours of downtime for a mission-critical workload.  

Elsewhere, security concerns are growing, but strategy is lacking. Out of those surveyed, 87 percent say their executives are concerned about future ransomware attacks. On the other hand, just six percent of organisations impacted could restore from an air-gapped backup solution.  

Sixty-five percent of respondents say their organisation would be better equipped to recover from an attack if they were able to retain their data for longer.   

“The research we conducted for Quantum underscores the absolute need for enterprises to have a data management strategy in place – including storing, archiving, accessing and analysing the massive amounts of data these organisations generate,” said Scott Sinclair at ESG.

“Without the right solutions and strategy in place, organisations are missing out on the potential value of this data and leaving themselves open to exorbitant costs and risks of ransomware and other cyberthreats.”