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Veeam survey finds ransomware blocks digital transformation

Annual report shows secular trend to the cloud and increased use of containers, but prevalence of ransomware attacks means digital transformation is hindered

Most IT leaders (83% ) think there’s an “availability gap” between how quickly they need systems to be recoverable and how soon that can be achieved. Meanwhile, 81% identify a “protection gap” between how much data they can afford to lose and how often data is protected.

So, while most IT leaders are less than satisfied with levels of data protection, they are also battling ransomware attacks. In fact, most organisations questioned had suffered at least one attack in 2022, with many suffering multiple attempts to extort ransoms from them.

Those are some of the findings of the Veeam Data protection trends report 2023, which questioned 4,200 IT decision makers globally, including 349 in the UK and Ireland.

The Veeam report gives a snapshot of data protection and backup, as well as the balance of physical and virtual servers, on-premise and in the cloud.

The big picture background is that there is a near-even split between on-premise and cloud server locations, with 28% reporting use of physical servers in datacentres, 27% with virtual servers in datacentres, and 45% with cloud-hosted server instances. Meanwhile, containers have been used in production by 65% of respondents in 2022.

That proliferation of data processing and storage locations appears to be a key driver behind 32% of respondents, who say they want to standardise data protection across datacentre and hosted workloads as part of their IT strategy in 2023.

But, as a backdrop to changes in the locations and methods of processing data, cyber security issues have been a huge obstacle to smooth working.

Out of those questioned, 85% of organisations said they were attacked at least once in the past 12 months, which is up from 76% in last year’s report.

Only 24% of those questioned said they had suffered no ransomware attack in 2022. Meanwhile, 19% said they had been subject to a single attack, 36% suffered two or three, and 18% were hit by four or more.

Out of those who were attacked, the average volume of data made unusable was 39%, with only 55% of data being recoverable.

Perhaps not surprisingly in light of these numbers, 38% said the threat of ransomware was the biggest hindrance to digital transformation and IT modernisation.

Alongside this – and even perhaps because of it – the secular change in data movement towards the cloud is ongoing.

The proportion that report hosting physical and virtual servers on-site has declined. Figures for physical and virtual on-premise were 38% and 30% respectively in 2020. That has trended downwards with 26% and 24% expected by 2025. Meanwhile, those that report cloud server hosting have increased from 32% to 50% in the same timeframe.

In data protection too, the cloudward trend is visible, with 81% of respondents anticipating use of cloud-based backup as a service for some servers in the next two years.

Alongside that, those questioned reported that 56% of their production data would reside in the cloud at some point during its lifecycle. Surprisingly perhaps, tape is also an enduring location for corporate data, with 42% reporting theirs spends some time in its life on the medium.

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