Dell unveils new security features, releases study finding organizations manage 10 times more data than they did five years ago

Enterprises have gone from handling 1.45 petabytes of data in 2016 to 14.6 in 2021.

Dell announced the release of a slate of new security features and tools on Thursday alongside a survey of 1000 IT decision-makers from around the globe, who said data consumption by organizations had grown more than 10-fold. 

Rob Emsley, director of product marketing and data protection at Dell, told ZDNet that the findings of the 2021 Global Data Protection Index revealed that enterprises are facing a bevy of data protection challenges driven by the threat of ransomware and the consumption of emerging technologies such as cloud-native applications Kubernetes containers and artificial intelligence.

"An increase in cybersecurity concerns has marked this year and even last year. As we expected, many organizations lack confidence that the capacity of their organization's data protection can sufficiently defend them against cyberthreats," Emsley said. 

"Most customers understand it's not an if; it's a when they will be attacked. Backups and what we deliver in the world of cyber recovery is something we've found many, many customers are really eager to talk to us about. We also found in the research that the new 'work from anywhere, learn from anywhere' economy that we now live in has certainly increased most organizations' concerns over whether they are vulnerable to cyberattacks."

In its fifth year, the survey found that organizations are managing more than 10 times the amount of data they did five years ago. Enterprises went from handling 1.45 petabytes of data in 2016 to 14.6 in 2021. 

More than 81% of respondents confirmed that they are worried about their organization's data protection solutions, and 30% said they had suffered data loss in the last year. Almost half of all respondents said they experienced unplanned system downtime this year. 

When it comes to malware and ransomware, 62% said they are concerned about how their data protections systems would handle the threats and 74% added that they were increasingly exposed from a data perspective due to employees working remotely. 

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More than 66% said they are not confident their business-critical data could be recovered if they suffered a cyberattack or data breach, and 63% said cloud-native applications, Kubernetes containers, artificial intelligence and machine learning make their organization more vulnerable to data loss. 

Jeff Boudreau, president and general manager of the infrastructure solutions group at Dell Technologies, said they understand that the task of protecting data has never been more complex. 

"As the leading provider of data protection hardware and software, our portfolio addresses this growing challenge by helping customers adopt a holistic cybersecurity and data protection strategy to identify, protect, detect, respond and recover from ransomware and other cyberattacks," Boudreau said. 

Emsley explained to ZDNet that the report's findings were part of why Dell was introducing "new software and services to accelerate VM backup data availability, simplify management of large data sets and maintain business continuity while alleviating dependencies on day-to-day cyber recovery operations."

The new software and managed services tools include Dell EMC PowerProtect Data Manager. Emsley said, "adds Transparent Snapshots to give organizations a new and unique way to protect their VMware virtual machines at scale."

"Transparent Snapshots deliver up to five times faster backups and up to a five-time reduction in VM latency, helping organizations ensure availability of VM data effectively and efficiently," Emsley said. 

"Dell EMC PowerProtect appliances with Smart Scale helps organizations manage multiple data protection appliances at exabyte scale, allowing IT staff to make informed decisions about their capacity needs and keep up with data growth. With Smart Scale, customers can configure multiple appliances as a single pool giving them the ability to see and manage large data sets in one entity -- as many as 32 PowerProtect appliances and more than three exabytes of logical capacity." 

Dell also announced its Managed Services for Cyber Recovery Solution tool that is designed to assist enterprises in reducing risk by "having Dell experts manage day-to-day cyber recovery vault operations and support recovery activities." 

Drew Hills, an infrastructure analyst at USC Australia, said Transparent Snapshots in PowerProtect Data Manager "simplifies backing up our virtual machines using less infrastructure and without impact to the production environment." 

"By removing the need to deploy or manage proxies to move data, our virtual machines can be backed up faster, saving us time," said Hills.

Dell EMC, PowerProtect Data Manager with Transparent Snapshots, will be available this quarter to Dell customers globally at no additional cost. Dell EMC PowerProtect appliances with Smart Scale are slated to be available in the first half of 2022.

Dell Technologies Managed Services for Cyber Recovery Solutions is available today.

IDC research vice president Phil Goodwin added that ransomware and other cyberattacks continue to evolve, forcing organizations to outpace threats with innovation.

"Dell Technologies' new advancements in software and services are designed to help organizations increase their ability to recover business-critical data from a cyberattack with the least amount of disruption," Goodwin said.