Jul 20 2023
Data Center

Embracing Backup as a Service Can Help State and Local Agencies Thwart Threats

Modern data storage solutions ensure government continuity of operations and optimal citizen services.

The protection of our personal data is often taken for granted, yet a cyberattack can easily take down an entire system and expose this valuable information. Top of mind for state and local government agencies is whether their cyber infrastructure is stable enough to safeguard their most treasured asset — their data — as the looming threat of cyberattacks persists.

In 2022, ransomware attacks affected 106 state or local governments, a significant increase from the 77 attacks in 2021. State and local agencies are attractive targets for bad actors, as they often lack a resilient IT infrastructure, operate with tight budgets and struggle to secure outdated technology with limited resources.

Industry estimates agree the global damage caused by ransomware could cost $265 billion by 2031.

As state and local agencies look to acquire, deploy and sustain systems, IT leaders should drive toward those that offer the broadest flexibility and efficiency to prevent next-gen threats and adapt as needs fluctuate. According to new research, 80 percent of IT buyers plan to invest in emerging technologies due to the current economic environment. Of those, one-third note that they plan to invest more significantly, making it clear technology investments should be top-of-mind for state and local leaders.

The most effective data services platforms are those designed to provide persistent storage, data protection, disaster recovery and other capabilities for containerized applications.

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State and Local Agencies Should Explore Delivery as a Service

The most advantageous solutions are those that use as-a-service capabilities because they help shift costs and augment the shortage of skills needed to manage technology platforms. But one size does not fit all in IT, and many agencies find themselves struggling to acquire technology in ways that fit their operational models while remaining adjustable and secure for the future.

State and local agencies should be pivoting from what have traditionally been on-premises solutions to as-a-service solutions. Across the public sector, agencies are embracing cloud transformation, and solutions that are more aligned with hybrid cloud strategies enable agencies to manage and scale their own environments and strategies.

As-a-service solutions can offer state and local agencies the flexibility to scale up or down without a lot of disruption — both on the installation side and, most important, in day-to-day management and implementation. Organizations can achieve stronger data security by driving meaningful infrastructure and application decisions, many of those utilizing as-a-service capabilities.

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Backup and Restore Remain Critical to Citizen Services

Even further, Backup as a Service can provide agencies with a complete data storage infrastructure solution capable of delivering a premium citizen experience. Backup, disaster recovery and business continuity can have ambitious objectives such as near real-time failover, dramatically reducing downtime risk in critical state and local applications.

Just 63 percent of state and local government organizations whose data was encrypted used backups to restore data compared with the cross-sector average of 73 percent. Investing in solutions that prioritize rapid recovery minimizes downtime and enables quick restoration of systems. A unified data protection architecture is essential for data recovery and to achieve the fastest backups.

LEARN MORE: How chatbots are facilitating faster citizen services.

San Luis Obispo County, for example, is utilizing as-a-service solutions to support its production environment, including the public website and case management systems. The county successfully reduced its footprint by 75 percent and power consumption by 59 percent and completed several nondisruptive upgrades that further protected financial workloads running on the enterprise resource system from growing cyberthreats.

Agencies must invest in the most secure systems, prioritizing backup and recovery to guard against potential threats, minimizing downtime, and delivering an optimal citizen experience. Data protection is a vital component of the contemporary data center that encompasses multiple platforms and technologies, efficiently provides critical data and applications with blazing-fast restoration and enables institutions to continue to derive real value from data. It also plays a crucial role in risk mitigation, continuity of services, protecting agency reputation and citizen satisfaction.

In addition to investing in Backup as a Service solutions, state and local agency leaders should build and improve in-house cybersecurity skills. Enhanced technical knowledge will assist them with selecting and applying the most advanced and data-savvy systems — many of which are in the cloud — and this will lead to more reliable data protection.

Government IT Leaders Must Embrace the Digital Shift

With the ever-growing threat of a ransomware attack or data breach, personalized solutions with rapid recovery ensure that agencies can protect sensitive data and avoid major organizational and service delivery disruptions. By investing in agile and adaptable Backup as a-Service technology systems, state and local IT leaders can take an active role in prioritizing the digital shift.

Agencies should strive to implement a technology ecosystem that allows them to manage storage and data protection through the use of as-a-service solutions, no matter where they are running. Investing in solutions that maximize data security helps to ensure that agencies are well positioned to advance their missions.

UP NEXT: How ransomware threat to state and local governments are changing.

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