Commvault CEO Highlights the Role of Modern, Proactive Solutions in Data Protection

In contemporary times, there's a resounding chorus that extols the value of data. Phrases like "Data is gold," "Data is the new oil," and similar expressions are frequently heard, and they all converge on a singular point: Data is undeniably paramount. It is the differentiating factor between thriving in the digital era and languishing in obscurity.

However, just as anything of immense importance in our world, data is consistently under threat, and these threats come in various forms. Data can inadvertently be exposed or lost due to a lack of vigilance, human errors, or technical mishaps. What's even more disconcerting is the potential for data to be pilfered or compromised by malicious actors seeking to exploit someone else's valuable information. Whether they aim to monetise it through sale or employ it for nefarious purposes such as ransomware attacks, the vulnerability of data underscores the urgent need for robust safeguards.

A familiar example is a data breach, a cyber incident that affects even the biggest of companies, like Yahoo! and LinkedIn, and can cost millions in the way of damages. But that is just the tip of the iceberg, as cybercriminals continue to come up with cunning ways to infiltrate systems and networks in an effort to steal or compromise data—and this is why it is imperative that IT teams keep pace, according to Sanjay Mirchandani, CEO of Commvault.

“It’s a perpetual game of cat and mouse, where the methods, motives, and manoeuvres are constantly changing,” Mirchandani told Data & Storage ASEAN in an exclusive interview. “At the same time protection and security teams level up defences to ward off new threats, the bad actors are implementing new techniques and even AI (Artificial Intelligence) to exploit vulnerabilities. In response, IT and security professionals need to rethink their data protection approach with both predictive and automated threat analytics across backup and production workloads and the ability to seamlessly, rapidly recover from a breach.”

Creating a New Normal in Data Protection

Evolving threats mean evolving data protection needs—and these needs are juxtaposed with emerging trends that IT decision-makers must take into account. These trends, according to Mirchandani, are as follows:

  1. Cost and complexity of protecting hybrid workloads.

  2. Desire for the power and simplicity of SaaS without having to make unnatural choices for it all to work.

  3. Pervasive autonomous threats that are driving the need for proactive defence and iron-clad resilience.

  4. Frenzied adoption of AI.

Mirchandani pointed out that each of these forces—all on its own—requires a new approach to data protection. But taken together, these trends create a new imperative for organisations: Fight fire with fire or, in this case, tech with tech.

And there is little choice for businesses given the millions of data records exposed worldwide—over 24 million in the last two quarters of 2022 and a little more than 6 million in the first quarter of 2023. Failure to evolve and leverage the latest technologies in this case will put an organisation’s data at greater risk than it already is, much to the detriment of the business involved.

Embracing Data Protection in the Digital Age

It all begs this question then: What is the best way to protect data in this digital age?

Various experts may provide differing perspectives, but one undeniable truth emerges: According to Mirchandani, data backup alone is not the ultimate solution; however, it undeniably constitutes a fundamental element of comprehensive data protection.

“Data protection is more than just backup,” Mirchandani clarified. “While a good backup is still essential for a great recovery, as IT and security professionals, we need to embrace proactive and modern data protection. [We need] to pick up where conventional security tools leave off and do more to minimise damage, mitigate risk, and pre-empt or eliminate downtime across backup and production environments before the attack.”

The light at the end of the tunnel in this case is the myriad of modern, innovative solutions that actually enable proactive data protection, as Mirchandani pointed out. He added that one of these next-generation solutions is the Commvault data protection platform with Metallic Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), which Mirchandani describes as addressing the converging trends of protecting hybrid workloads, simplifying SaaS, deploying proactive protection, and leveraging AI. 

“To address the converging forces, we introduced next-generation capabilities across our data protection platform, which includes our hypergrowth Metallic SaaS offerings,” Mirchandani said of Commvault’s modern platform. “This enables customers to embrace automation and machine learning to strengthen their posture, analyse and manage early warning signals, detect and quarantine threats, and ensure efficient recovery when and where necessary.”

Among these new capabilities are Commvault Cloud Command, an integrated dashboard that provides users with health-at-a-glance visibility across risk levels, security, and recovery indicators. Commvault also offers new Risk Analysis, Threat Scan, and ThreatWise Advisor capabilities that will enable organisations to analyse their security posture and sensitive data, scan for malware in backup data, and intelligently recommend proactive measures to protect critical workloads.

The key takeaway here is that this platform embodies modernity and a proactive approach.

It is also offering integrations with several other companies like Microsoft and CyberArk in an effort to ensure seamless coordination across IT environments, break data silos down, and complete visibility in the network.

“Protecting data across IT and security environments is complex, so our goal in partnering with companies like Microsoft, CyberArk, and Palo Alto Networks is to remove barriers, increase visibility, and drive new outcomes for our customers,” explained Mirchandani. “For example, our bidirectional Microsoft integration connects SIEM and backup environments to break down silos and provide telemetry and coordination across both environments. This gives IT and security teams visibility into threats, accelerated response capabilities, and automated countermeasures when faced with a threat.”

And Commvault is not stopping there. In fact, it is promising more in the way of data protection, taking pride in “protecting customers’ data in a difficult world” and boasting an “extensive patent portfolio and continued investment in R&D.” It is, according to Mirchandani, this customer-driven passion and innovation that has allowed Commvault to deliver early warning capabilities, pioneer immutable air-gapped cloud storage, and introduce advanced detection and cyber recovery capabilities.”

Embracing the Data Protection Commitment

Data protection, however, is an ongoing battle, and the challenges will continue to be great and plenty. But Commvault is ready.

“We will continue to deliver the data resiliency, security, and recovery capabilities our customers need to actively defend and recover their data across production and backup environments,” vowed Mirchandani.

Organisations will need to be just as committed. Otherwise, it will be a battle lost—maybe not now, but in the future.

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