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The importance of data protection increases as the amount of data created and stored continues to grow at unprecedented rates. There is also little tolerance for downtime that can make it impossible to access important information.

Consequently, a large part of a data protection strategy is ensuring that data can be restored quickly after any corruption or loss. Protecting data from compromise and ensuring data privacy are other key components of data protection

The coronavirus pandemic caused millions of employees to work from home, resulting in the need for remote data protection. Businesses must adapt to ensure they are protecting data wherever employees are, from a central data center in the office to laptops at home.

In this guide, explore what data protection entails, key strategies and trends, and compliance requirements to stay in front of the many challenges of protecting critical workloads.

Principles of data protection.
The key principles of data protection are to safeguard and make available data under all circumstances. The term data protection describes both the operational backup of data as well as business continuity/disaster recovery (BCDR). Data protection strategies are evolving along two lines: data availability and data management.

Data availability ensures users have the data they need to conduct business even if the data is damaged or lost.

The two key areas of data management used in data protection are data lifecycle management and information lifecycle management. Data lifecycle management is the process of automating the movement of critical data to online and offline storage. Information lifecycle management is a comprehensive strategy for valuing, cataloging and protecting information assets from application and user errors, malware and virus attacks, machine failure or facility outages and disruptions.

More recently, data management has come to include finding ways to unlock business value from otherwise dormant copies of data for reporting, test/dev enablement, analytics and other purposes.

Data protection family tree
This chart from Enterprise Strategy Group describes the complementary, yet distinct, branches of the data protection family tree.
What is the purpose of data protection?
Storage technologies for protecting data include a disk or tape backup that copies designated information to a disk-based storage array or a tape cartridge. Tape-based backup is a strong option for data protection against cyber attacks. Although access to tapes can be slow, they are portable and inherently offline when not loaded in a drive, and thus safe from threats over a network.

Organizations can use mirroring to create an exact replica of a website or files so they’re available from more than one place.

Storage snapshots can automatically generate a set of pointers to information stored on tape or disk, enabling faster data recovery, while continuous data protection (CDP) backs up all the data in an enterprise whenever a change is made.

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