The explosion of data created by consumer and business apps is creating hundreds of terabytes of data, resulting in what Dell EMC’s global pre-sales leader PK Gupta calls “data fog”. This fog needs to be protected, but as the interconnected world becomes more digital friendly, the challenge for organisations is now bigger than ever, he told Moneycontrol’s Neha Alawadhi in an interview.
Q: What are the challenges businesses face while adopting/upgrading their data protection infrastructure?
What the organizations lack are the expertise and skills to effectively protect their data from the external threats. Handling new emerging technologies and their upgraded backend mechanism requires a certain set of knowledge and education, to be run efficiently. Another challenge which CIOs face is to adopt cost effective data protection solutions.
Also, cyberattacks like WannaCry and Petya gave a big jolt to many organizations and enterprises, leaving a big dent on their brand, thereby being more vulnerable than before. The cost of a cyberattack is huge. As per a study in 2016, total cost to cyberattacks was USD 450 billion and it is going to increase to USD 3 trillion by 2020.
Q: How can one protect their critical data from such cyberattacks, so as to avoid having a serious economic impact on the functionality of any business?
A: The traditional approach which organizations have been following to protect their data is to encrypt it. However, this process has now become redundant as the hackers can still cull out the critical data. Dell EMC has a unique recovery solution called the Isolated Recovery Solution, which creates an air gap in the infrastructure of a data center that keeps the critical data of any business aloof from the main structure.
Another way to fortify data is cyber insurance. The concept of cyber insurance is more or less an untapped opportunity across Asia — USD 50 million was the total amount spent on cyber insurance last year, but is expected to grow to USD 500 billion in the next five years.
Q: Are there any other reasons through which the critical data can be lost?
A: Another way through which a lot of data loss can happen is human intervention. It can be either through a frustrated employee or via someone leaving the organization. So, organizations need to adopt data protection solutions which will ensure protection from this threat.
Q: A lot of companies complain about the fact that India doesn’t have proper data protection policies, but they don’t want to notify customers in case of data breach etc, because their reputation is at stake. What are your views on this?
A: In India, as per IT Act there was a regulation, and as per TRAI, if any breach happens, a company has to inform its customers within a reasonable time. But, these regulations need to be updated as they don’t specify the time under which the company has to notify its customers. But I am sure in the last few months, there is a process which is on-going to make necessary amendments to this.
Besides, after Petya and WannaCry, the company boards are asking questions from the senior management about how robust the company’s cybersecurity policy is.
Q: Where do you see the next big opportunity for Dell EMC in this market?
Our aim is to protect data everywhere. No matter wherever your data is- on-premise, off-premise, virtual environments, physical environments, in the cloud, outside cloud or anywhere, we will help you protect it. We have increased our research and development budgets and deliver best in class solutions to them. Also, with Dell EMC coming together, our R&D and innovations have gone up and we will continue to invest in these areas and as the security becomes key area for our customers.