SaaS data protection vulnerability and how to deal with it

We talk to Mark Adams, Regional Director for Northern Europe at Cohesity, about the vulnerabilities brought by software-as-a-service (SaaS) data in the hybrid cloud and in combination with on-premises data and remote offices.

In this podcast, we examine the challenges that SaaS data poses for data backup and protection, including increased complexity and expanded attack surfaces.

Adams talks about the additional headaches brought by the many data sources in hybrid cloud work and ways to mitigate the problem. These include simplifying data management, using a platform-based solution, and trying solutions as a service.

Antony Adshead: What makes organizations particularly vulnerable as their reliance on SaaS applications and SaaS data increases?

Mark Adams: Hybrid, on-premises and multi-cloud applications and infrastructure deployments are the top priority for many organizations looking to compete in today’s world. This is an untenable position for IT given relentless data growth, shrinking budgets, and security threats.

Hybrid deployment, while providing agility, adds complexity and can expand the attack surface if the organization fails to adequately manage and protect these data assets.

So what makes it particularly vulnerable for organizations is, as the question said, that in addition to the traditional on-premises or edge, you now have SaaS SaaS applications and data. It’s difficult for business leaders to know how to protect valuable internal and customer data in an increasingly savvy world.

I’d split the discussion into on-premises – because I think there are key differences between on-premises and cloud-based systems, including security control, visibility, logging, monitoring, etc. – but I also think it’s worth talking about SaaS, from both parties to this discussion too.

So SaaS apps is one thing, and we could talk about how we would advise business leaders, CIOs, CISOs on that kind of space and SaaS data, which is a totally different space – and probably awkward space.

Adshead: When it comes to security and backup, what steps should business leaders take to protect data, including SaaS data, in on-premises and hybrid environments?

Adam: The simple answer is to take control of your data. Wherever it is, it’s the most competitive asset you have. Not everyone thinks that way, but any company that is removed or separated from its data quickly discovers that it is.

It’s always better to have your own copy of your own data – so your own backup, your own protection and recovery in place, wherever it is.

“Take control of your data. Wherever it is, it’s the most competitive asset you have.”

Mark Adams, Cohesion

Because of that, [you should] simplify data management. So, if you have strong on-premises capabilities, integrate that SaaS data into that master data management to have a single, consistent set of policies for all your data.

This is where if you can fit everything into your current data management system, you really should be looking for a modern 21.st century platform based alternative so you can simplify SaaS data from SaaS applications alongside your ROBO [remote/branch office]your advantage and, more importantly, your on-site installation.

You should try I would say some of the data management as a service because you can do that easily. You can do it with a modern solution and without buying any infrastructure, which at least allows you to spend time and focus on those business-critical tasks.

And you need to protect the data you transfer to the cloud in a way that works for you. A platform base is the strongest. It’s very modern, it’s very extensible, so it’s scalable.

But again, a set of policies on-premises, in the cloud, as a service, lets you navigate, lets you manage, lets you control, lets you provide data governance, and extends the value of those data you have by having a platform that allows you to plan ahead.

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