Boosting Resiliency For Local Governments And Schools

If you’re a VAR in the data sector, you will recognize these as key steps in a good data storage and protection plan.

  • August 31, 2021 | Author: Todd Hyten
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A recent article in StateTech magazine titled “The Best Ways to Elevate State and Local Government Resilience in 2021” makes an interesting point that should resonate with data storage and protection VARs.

Author Christopher Montgomery writes that, as in the private sector, last year’s pandemic led to a more dispersed workforce in local and state government and a move to offer more digital services. Many local governments showed good flexibility and agility in moving to enhanced web services for employees and citizens alike. This increased the adoption of cloud services and solutions.
This of course included local school districts, increasingly relying on cloud solutions (like Zoom) and others. Unfortunately, cyber thieves sought out weaknesses in cybersecurity in school systems. The result: Local governments and school districts have been relentlessly targeted—especially schools.
According to a recent whitepaper by Sophos “The State of Ransomware in Education 2021”: 
  • 44 percent of organizations were attacked by ransomware last year
  • 58 percent of those hit had their data encrypted 
  • 35 percent of those whose data was encrypted paid the ransomware
  • The average ransomware payment was $112,435
In the article, the author makes that case that now that local and state governments need to now strengthen their cyber resilience. In this case resiliency also means an emphasis on data storage and protection. 
Montgomery writes: “… protecting data is also essential. CISOs should always have an immutable and encrypted backup of sensitive data. An offline backup is a critical tool to ensure governments always have an accurate copy of important data and never have to pay hackers’ ransom demands.” He goes on to specifically call out use of cloud services to enhance resiliency.
It speaks to the need for Disaster-recovery-as-a-Service (DRaaS), which ensures cloud-based rapid restore of backed-up data. The benefits of converged data storage and protection solutions and DRaaS will give local governments and schools not only a more secure infrastructure, but a more agile one. 
If you’re a VAR in the data sector, you will recognize these as key steps in a good data storage and protection plan. It’s good to see immutability tied closely to resiliency. IDC recently recommended using the enhanced 3-2-1-1 model for data storage where the extra “1” is for immutable data storage (data that cannot be encrypted by hackers). 
There’s an opportunity for data VARs here—and it’s critical to securing local governments and schools. That’s a lesson in win-win for everyone.

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