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  • 31 January 2020 14:00

Veritas 2020 Predictions

The year of ransomware, container technology, the need for Cloud SaaS Backup and AI adoption

Ransomware has become big business in Australia and organisations are paying off cyber hackers who demand money to unlock computers. Telstra found in its 2019 Security Report ( that 51 per cent of organisations in Australia said they will pay ransomware attackers to regain access to encrypted files. In 2020, ransomware will continue to plague businesses, targeting more niche and specific verticals.

According to Howard Fyffe, Australia and New Zealand Managing Director for Veritas, the growth of containers, recognising the need for Cloud SaaS Backup and the use of machine learning through AIOps will also trend in 2020 – here’s how:

• Ransomware attacks targeting niche sectors

Ransomware has yet to reach its peak but 2020 will be the year we see the attacks targeting specific sectors, especially with attackers getting more selective and focus on those industries where they can get the highest ROI.

The most likely targets include the public sector, healthcare and manufacturing industries. These sectors rely heavily on mission-critical information for day-to-day operations. Cyber attackers are well aware that if their attacks disrupt critical services, organisations in these industries will have less time to respond and will be more willing to pay the ransom. The stakes of a successful attack are much higher, so the chances of a business paying up are so much greater.

As attackers grow more selective over their targets, organisations in healthcare, manufacturing and the public sector need to be aware that the threats they are facing from savvy ransomware criminals will only get more severe.

Telstra’s 2019 Security Report ( highlighted 79 per cent of Australian organisations will pay the ransom again if there were no backup files. To prepare for a worst-case scenario, it will be imperative to improve visibility over all their data assets and leverage greater automation to ensure data is fully backed up and recoverable across a rapidly expanding number of locations and IT environments.

• The growth of container technology

Container technology will continue to make waves among Australian businesses, helping them to be more versatile in their ability to deploy and scale applications.

Currently, container technology allows for rapid and portable deployment of environments that furthers the abstraction started with virtualisation and enables additional abstraction of the hardware.

As organisations continue to shift workloads and transition to hyperconverged infrastructure, they will require simplicity, ease of use, faster infrastructure deployment and the ability to easily scale.

In addition, containers allow the administrative team to embrace the concept of a cloud experience from an on-premise infrastructure. It provides them with the ability to run a server for an application, rather than waiting two weeks to access hardware, among additional processes.

While the data still needs to be compliant, safe and able to be interrogated as needed, container technology provides an over-arching view of the data to those who need it. This is critical with the continued rise in edge computing where data is being generated everywhere and becoming more fragmented, as well as the constantly shifting data regulatory landscape.

• Recognising that Cloud SaaS platforms need a Cloud SaaS Backup solution

Before the age of cloud computing, business critical applications and data were not only replicated between corporate data centres but also protected with a backup solution. This business continuity strategy is aligned to many organisations’ risk and governance policies to ensure no data loss. The adoption of cloud SaaS offerings has been widespread in Australia and New Zealand. The speed of cloud adoption has often not kept pace with data risk and governance policies. Historically, there has been a false assumption that data replicated between zones in the cloud is equivalent to data being protected in the cloud. Unsurprisingly, some organisations have experienced cloud SaaS outages and/or loss of data. Ironically, the cloud provider would have met their SLA even with a data loss.

2020 is the year when the light bulb goes on for the need to have a Cloud SaaS backup solution. SaaS offerings like O-365, G-Suite and SFDC are mission-critical. There is now a realisation that data replicated in the cloud does not equal to data being protected in the cloud. Customers have realised that just like in the pre-cloud era where backup was necessary on-premise, it now has become a business requirement for their mission-critical SaaS offerings.

• Rise of machine learning through AIOps adoption

Australian organisations have been experiencing a shift from the traditional core enterprise data centre to a decentralised on-prem and cloud infrastructure. Another major trend is what I’ve termed “Digital Users”. Digital Users include machine agents, containerised applications (as above), process-oriented analytics, IoT devices and API-driven infrastructure. These are significant trends that will make AIOps adoption an imperative in 2020.

Digital Users can number into the thousands and quickly expose the complexities associated with the manual processes required to deploy infrastructure, apps, and data management and protection services.

AIOps and API automation holds the promise to abstract IT complexity and provide significant new levels of autonomous processes. As we look ahead to 2020, collecting data from various operations, tools and devices and the application of analytics, artificial intelligence and machine learning will gain speed, simplifying the adoption of Digital Users, enhancing IT operations and information management with capabilities that will include:

o Automatic detection and self-directed, real-time action on events and issue

o Automated workload and data analysis that drives resiliency orchestration

o API enabled provisioning, management, protection and recovery

o Proactive data classification and action illuminating potential risks and threats

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