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Data Backup Moves Closer to Data Protection

As threats to our data grow, traditional methods of protecting our information are changing to meet the challenge. 

Modernizing your data protection strategy is now more complex than just reviewing your existing backup software and deciding whether to replace it. Sleeper ransomware can infect your backups, the accounts used for backup can be compromised, and there are new features that can simplify failback after a disaster. Deciding which of the new features being offered by vendors are appropriate to your needs, whether they intersect with existing data protection tools, and which vendor is best for you will need research.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Understanding your risk profile and consequential feature requirements will be very beneficial in the creation of your data protection strategy. The new features being offered by backup vendors should be seen as additional tools in your data protection armory rather than replacements for existing tools such as endpoint protection or effective security practices.
  • Review your data protection strategy holistically, investigating which of these features you need in your environment and determining whether your existing tools may suffice.
  • Decide how, if adopted, the new features may fortify or modernize your current data protection plans and then review vendor offerings.

Impact and Result

  • Cybersecurity issues are an increasingly huge risk to data and IT environments worldwide. This places stress not only on IT staff, pressuring them to enhance their data protection solutions, but also on business owners concerned about their revenue stream.
  • The new features work to mitigate that risk, but some tools also enable an environment to failover much more efficiently in the event of a disaster, and new cloud backup features provide enhanced confidence in the protection of offsite data. In general, the tasks that can now be performed are not only enhanced but also expanded.

Data Backup Moves Closer to Data Protection Research & Tools

Data Backup Moves Closer to Data Protection Storyboard – A brief deck describing new features being offered by backup vendors.

This document will help you to ensure that newly implemented systems and technologies are correctly adopted by the intended recipients.

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Data Backup Moves Closer to Data Protection

As threats to our data grow, traditional methods of protecting our information are changing to meet the challenge.

Executive Summary

Your Challenge

Many backup and recovery companies are now calling themselves data protection (DP) platforms, with a list of new terminology and features that represent a new paradigm in the backup world. Staying on top of the new terms and DP features is difficult, and now the constant reference to data security and data protection compliance makes it even harder to make sense of how this impacts the business and your data protection strategy.

Common Obstacles

Understanding where backup stops and data protection starts becomes difficult when products evolve. It’s clear, for example, that malware needs to be detected and removed, but does the responsibility lie at the device level, at the backup level, or both? There are myriad vendors now providing numerous additional features to their products. Determining which is best for your environment, or whether you need a combination, can be challenging.

Info-Tech Approach

Start by understanding what the new changes are in the backup marketplace and consider what additional functionality is added by the new features being offered. Consider which of those functions suit your needs and then compare the offerings of the different vendors to determine the best fit.

What’s up with backup?

Problem statement:

Data backup has traditionally been the domain of the operational areas of IT, and security teams have been responsible for threats to data from malicious attacks. As the sophistication of these attacks have grown, backups themselves have come under threat and vendors have had to incorporate new features into their software to address these attacks and protect data. Is there an overlap between these new features and existing security tools used in your organization and are both required? Explore these new features and understand which features are provided by which vendor so your backups and data security management can meet this growing threat.

This research is designed for:

  • IT strategic direction decision makers
  • IT operational and security managers
  • Organizations reviewing their data protection solutions or backup strategy

This research will help you:

  1. Understand the changing role of backup.
  2. Review new features available in backup software.
  3. Give a clearer understanding of what features different vendors are offering.
  4. Plan your backup strategy with regards to data protection.

Info-Tech Insight

Historically, the biggest challenges with backups were; which software to use, how much backup space is needed, and how big a backup window?

Times have changed.

“What does this all mean?”

Thought model: “What are my options?”

The question may well be asked, “Is anything new being offered here?” Backup has always been a requirement along with data protection. What HAS changed is that cybersecurity features are now being included within the backup tools. We consider here:

  • The new threats
  • The new features
  • The vendor offerings
  • The security overlay
  • Cloud disaster recovery (DR)

Info-Tech Insight

Take the time to clearly understand the many different data protection options available.

Graphic of umbrella with options above it and various security-related items below.

The role of backup has changed

Historically backup has primarily been a safety net for the “oops” factor. Someone accidentally deletes or overwrites a file, a folder is deleted, or a system has crashed and the missing data needs to be retrieved. Now however, the ubiquity of ransomware and its insidious nature have changed the landscape permanently.

Data backup is no longer just about operational fallback. It’s now also about cybersecurity and therefore data protection. We need to safeguard against malicious attacks, and particularly relevant to this topic are sleeper attacks, in which malware can be dormant for a period of time and then awaken and spread throughout your organization and even your backup.

High-Level Design Considerations

  1. Backup needs
    Requirements may change because of recovery time and point objectives (RTOs/RPOs). How valuable is the data?
  2. Understand your risk profile
    Some organizations provide a more attractive target than others.
  3. Data type
    Volume/type of data and type of applications (e.g. SaaS).
  4. Best practice
    What principles, tools, and techniques can best be combined to mitigate risk?

Data protection taxonomy

With backup’s growth into data protection and additional features being added, the landscape becomes more complex, and the tasks to be performed can be seen more clearly through a taxonomy.

Why do we need these tools and to perform these tasks? What will we be affecting or protecting? How will it be done and where? Who will benefit most?






Operational Recovery

Disaster Recovery

Retention and Preservation

Governance, Risk, and Compliance

Device Type

Data Type

Content Type

Operational Environment

Protection Technology

Storage Technology

Access Technology

Management Technology

Location Type

Data Relocation

Market Segments

Sales Channels

Our perspective

Security, data loss prevention, and backups...coming together as one?

As data protection needs have changed, so too have the features changed to meet these needs.

Originally user error was the primary concern, so merely having a copy of the data was seen as sufficient.

As major disasters occurred in the world, such as the attack on the World Trade Center, disaster recovery planning (DRP) and business continuity planning (BCP) grew.

Now cyberattacks are front and center as a new threat to business continuity and resilience. Data protection companies who integrate backup technology with cyberthreat detection have become the industry leaders.


Siloed data sets protected from internal user error or system failure.
Arrow point right.

Disaster Recovery

Bidirectional dataflow between systems protected against environmental catastrophes
Arrow point right.

Data Protection

Growth of malware, malicious actors, and cyberattacks has resulted in the addition of cybersecurity features.

Growth and size of the industry

It’s big and getting bigger....

With a focus on data protection, improved features, and the evolving integration of cybersecurity technology, the backup and recovery market (now serviced by data protection providers) is set for global growth and expansion.

  • The global backup and recovery market in 2021 was $9.96 billion (Reports and Data, 2022).
  • Other predictions indicate the market size will grow by US$14.59 billion between 2021 and 2025 with a CAGR of 17.07% (Technavio, 2021).
  • This will drive increased M&A within the industry.

It has been a busy few years

The acquisitions and mergers trend will continue.
  • Some of the largest technology acquisitions over the past three years have been purchases of backup and recovery companies.
  • While some of the acquisitions have been very publicly promoted, many have gone unnoticed.
  • In addition to increased M&A, the acquisition of key cybersecurity organizations by data protection companies has been a focus of many providers.
  • Recent providers (like Rubrik and Cohesity) have focused on developing cybersecurity protection within their products feature set.
A few key acquisitions and feature releases (in no particular order):

Don’t forget your non-tech

Consider your non-tech requirements when reviewing vendors and solutions.

Business Continuity Planning

A BCP requires input from multiple departments with different and sometimes conflicting objectives. There are typically few, if any, dedicated resources for BCP, so it can't be a full-time, resource-intensive project.

IT Disaster Recovery

At its core, disaster recovery (DR) is about ensuring service continuity. Create a plan that can be leveraged for both isolated and catastrophic events.

Puzzle head with icons, pieces are color-coded to surrounding requirements.

Data Loss Prevention

Data loss prevention (DLP) involves taking core measures to ensure sensitive/critical information does not leave an organization electronically.


Backup reporting is a requirement for compliance reporting, and it is crucial to keep organizations compliant with data regulations.


Backup and recovery services as well as general data protection solutions are areas that the IT auditor, company auditor, or external auditors will review.

Data Backup Moves Closer to Data Protection preview picture

About Info-Tech

Info-Tech Research Group is the world’s fastest-growing information technology research and advisory company, proudly serving over 30,000 IT professionals.

We produce unbiased and highly relevant research to help CIOs and IT leaders make strategic, timely, and well-informed decisions. We partner closely with IT teams to provide everything they need, from actionable tools to analyst guidance, ensuring they deliver measurable results for their organizations.


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