Why data protection is far more critical than you think

For all the IT terms and buzzwords that forever float in the ether, “data protection” is definitely among the most used. And, for most, the idea of protecting one’s data from harm is, of course, a good idea. After all, who wouldn’t want to protect their data, right?

But even with such a positive-sounding term, the question becomes, what exactly is data protection? Or more importantly, what does it entail?

For many organizations, data protection simply refers to the back-ups that are created in case of a natural disaster. And though there are many disasters that people have to deal with, the natural kind are not always the issue. Whether it be a tornado or a malfunctioning fire-suppression system (that happened to a large American bank, affecting an entire data center) the word disaster can mean many things. In fact, a good friend once told me that an overflowing toilet from the office above destroyed several servers; apparently, restrooms can even be dangerous to business.

Then, of course, there are other considerations that require all of us to be diligent—cybersecurity being at the top of the list. For many people, the looming threat of a malware attack, a data breach, or other security incident is often not top of mind; in 2020 and beyond, however, it has to be.

Now, let’s get more specific on the type of data. In our world, we live and breathe the media and entertainment sector; our customers are many of the largest production companies in the world. And let me tell you, for them, data protection is at the top of the list.

If we remove the “how” from the data disaster equation, the reason “why” we must protect data remains the same. The first impact that hits the proverbial wallet is downtime. No production house in the world can afford to lose productivity, even for a few hours—let alone days or weeks. For every minute lost, countless dollars are lost with it, from personal costs to late delivery issues, all the way through to brand damage—none of these should ever happen.

Then there are the long-term effects. In many disaster-recovery scenarios, the need to have access to mission-critical files is prioritized. For basic data, this could be everything from email to billing systems information and so on—basically, administrative tasks. Now, take the same approach to the media and entertainment industry; video, image and audio assets, workflow infrastructure, and so much more all need to be up and accessible. But what about legacy files?

Protecting data is far more than just protecting what is required right now. As just a single example, think of the data associated with reshoots and re-edits having to be done on a project that is a year old. What happens if that footage is lost? Who pays for that? I can tell you that whether or not money changes hands, the organization that lost the data will always end up paying somehow, in some way.

So, what’s the answer? Take data protection seriously, map out what you need, and research the best options that suit you. Your data is your business—protect it with everything you’ve got.