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“Be cautious about what information you share, and where”

Driaan Odendaal, System Engineer – Veeam
Driaan Odendaal, System Engineer – Veeam

After two days of the IT Summit, what are the main takeaways from a security perspective?

It’s been fascinating. We’ve had numerous meetings with our end users and partners since arriving on Monday. What’s alarming is that not everyone is utilizing the available technology to its fullest. Data is your most valuable asset, and it needs robust security measures. Understanding the value of your data and ensuring business continuity in case of failures is crucial. For example, a server failure or application downtime can be devastating. People expect instant access and quick responses from apps, so a strong backup plan and rapid data restoration are vital. It’s essential to identify and protect your most important data, make use of immutable backups, and ensure quick restoration. Implementing the 3-2-1 rule—three copies of your data, two on different media, one off-site, and an extra layer for immutability—is key to maintaining data integrity and security. It could be disk and disk, disk and tape, disk and cloud, disk and disk and cloud. And the zero that we have is for zero errors when you restore. You must know, before you need to do a recovery, that your backups are in a safe and restorable format. That will give the end user, the partner, a nice, warm and fuzzy feeling when he goes home. He knows his data is protected.


With rapid technological advancements, are we lagging behind in terms of security?

It’s not about lagging behind, but about education. The more people learn, the more they engage with these technologies. Conferences like this provide a platform for people to hear from vendors and partners about new strategies and solutions. Sometimes, fear of the unknown or overly complex explanations can deter people from adopting new technologies. More education and sharing of information, such as how different industries like banking and manufacturing handle security, can help alleviate these fears and promote better data protection.


With the rise of social media, how safe is the data used by companies, employees, governments, and diplomats for professional communication?

This is a critical issue. At Veeam, we emphasize internal education and awareness. It’s important to understand what to share on different platforms. For instance, you wouldn’t post personal events on LinkedIn or professional opportunities on Facebook. Platforms should be used appropriately, with encryption enabled to protect sensitive communications. Be cautious about what and where you share information, as some data should remain confidential within the company. Education and awareness are key to maintaining data security.


Platforms should be used appropriately, with encryption enabled to protect sensitive communications


How has it been for Veeam to participate in this conference in Mauritius?

It’s been fantastic. The people here are friendly and eager to learn, which makes me even more passionate about our solutions. The panel discussions were particularly engaging, and I was eager to contribute because I knew I could help. I’m looking forward to future discussions with end users and partners to safeguard data and ensure recoverability after any disaster.


What will you personally take away from this conference?

I will definitely recommend coming back. It’s inspiring to see how eager people are to learn and be educated about these technologies. The excitement at these conferences is contagious. Back home, I’ll have productive conversations with our managers about the enthusiasm we’ve encountered here. There’s a clear hunger for knowledge, and we need to continue providing educational opportunities. When we do, everyone benefits.


So it’s been interesting, and seeing and hearing what all the other speakers had to say today fell quite nicely within the data protection space. So looking after your data, but also making sure that you know the value of your data. As soon as you understand the value and can actually put a monetary value on it, then you’ll understand how important your data is, and how important it is that you have business continuity in case a server or an application does fail. That can ruin businesses. Today, people don’t want to wait. If they want to click on an app, and somewhere in the app, it is too slow, they go somewhere else. With a great backup product or a great protection of your data, the restoration at scale is also very important. So having good backup plans, testing your recoveries, and making sure you understand how long certain restores take is also very important. Like I mentioned in the beginning, you must identify your data, where it is, what it is, and what are the most important data.

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