WhatsApp pushes privacy policy deadline to May 15

WhatsApp has pushed back its new privacy policy deadline to May 15, after it came under intense pressure from users.

The deadline was for accepting the tweak to its terms of service, involving sharing data with Facebook servers. Instead, Facebook in a blog said that it would go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15.

“We’re now moving back the date on which people will be asked to review and accept the terms. No one will have their account suspended or deleted on February 8. We’re also going to do a lot more to clear up the misinformation around how privacy and security works on WhatsApp. We’ll then go to people gradually to review the policy at their own pace before new business options are available on May 15, ” it said.

Earlier this month, WhatsApp users received a notification that it was preparing a new privacy policy and terms, and it reserved the right to share some user data with the Facebook app.

This sparked a global outrage and resulted in people moving to alternative apps such as Telegram and Signal. Telegram in a notification said that since the last few days around 25 million new users  joined the platform.

“WhatsApp was built on a simple idea: what you share with your friends and family stays between you. This means we will always protect your personal conversations with end-to-end encryption, so that neither WhatsApp nor Facebook can see these private messages. It’s why we don’t keep logs of who everyone’s messaging or calling. We also can’t see your shared location and we don’t share your contacts with Facebook, it said. With these updates, none of that is changing. Instead, the update includes new options people will have to message a business on WhatsApp, and provides further transparency about how we collect and use data. While not everyone shops with a business on WhatsApp today, we think that more people will choose to do so in the future and it’s important people are aware of these services. This update does not expand our ability to share data with Facebook,” it added.

“There is a need for stronger, comprehensive legislation and propels the privacy-conscious users to address the legal vacuum left unattended otherwise. In view of the fast-evolving online commercial industry, it is imperative to establish an Authority that helps identify and penalize offenders so as to materialize Privacy in letter and spirit and save it from being left as a half-baked promise,” stated Sonam Chandwani, the Managing Partner at KS Legal & Associates.

Although WhatsApp attempted to assure sophisticated and secure data sharing practices with Facebook with no impact on private communication across the world, the privacy update allows Whatsapp businesses to choose to receive secure hosting services from Facebook to help manage their communications with their customers on WhatsApp.

“However, the recent notification has led to a severe loss of confidence in Whatsapp by its loyal users. Further, the privacy laws in India are lacking in the fight against rising data breaches and cyber attacks in an increasingly digitized business space amidst the pandemic,” said Chandwani.

Rapid cloud adoption fuels 100% data center workload revenue growth in Asia Pacific and Japan for Druva

Druva, a leading cloud data protection and management company, announced its data center workload revenue has grown more than 100% in the last twelve months.

Based in California, Druva’s impressive growth can be attributed to its providing support to over 135 enterprises in Asia Pacific and Japan. This includes helping Adani Wilmar in India, Gold Peak in Hong Kong, and NTT Data and UNIADEX in Japan navigate their digital transformation.

“As businesses in Asia Pacific and Japan adopt remote operating models, there is an urgency to adopt new technologies, maintain business continuity and secure organisational and dispersed workforce data,” said Pete Yamasaki, Druva’s Regional Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan.

It is no surprise by now that businesses are turning to cloud computing to reimagine their operations, especially in the trying times in the pandemic-hit world. And that’s not the only trend, as governments across the world are enforcing data protection regulations with greater stringency to ensure their citizens’ most sensitive details are safe and secure, even on the cloud.

“Regardless of the industry, sector or legacy, companies are turning to the cloud for the scale and technology it has to offer,” added Mr. Yamasaki.

Druva identified more than 700 businesses in Asia Pacific looking to ‘break free from the shackles of the data center and embrace a cloud-first approach for rising data protection needs’, as they ‘move away from investment-heavy and legacy approaches to data protection’.

“Druva’s powerful platform has enabled the region’s expanding businesses to protect data where it is being created – in the cloud – from anywhere with on-demand scalability, robust compliance capabilities and industry-leading security standards,” said Mr. Yamasaki.

To further accelerate Druva’s growth in the region, the company is also expanding its partner program, Druva Compass, to continue to empower digital transformation through enhanced training.

“Customers are increasingly drawn to the public cloud infrastructure as they embark on their digital transformation journey,” said Nathan Lowe, the Managing Director ASI Solutions, a Druva Compass certified partner in Australia.

In the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, Druva’s partners will be critical for the successful deployment of their technology for reliant customers looking to take the digital transformation leap.

“With Druva’s service-oriented model, we can easily add new data sources and make decisions based on our business objectives rather than the restrictions of our legacy backup solution,” said Wai Chung, IT backup administrator for AmorePacific in Hong Kong.

As businesses in Asia Pacific and Japan are managing far more data than two years ago and are being pushed to adopt remote working models under the COVID-19 pandemic, cloud data protection is fast becoming a significant concern to prevent the rising number of threat actors from accessing their data. 

A mid-year report by market intelligence firm IDC projected revenue from cloud systems and services in Asia Pacific to outpace both the Americas and the EMEA region by 2024. Druva Inc.’s latest revenue number serves as strong evidence on the region’s growth potential.

The success of platforms such as Druva once again highlight the importance that businesses place on data protection. Compared to traditional hardware architectures, companies now want security and scalability in the same way that it is being created, on the cloud.

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Netskope NewEdge expands cloud security offering in India with three new data centers

Netskope, a leading cloud security provider, announced the expansion of their NewEdge network in India with three new data centers.

The latest data centers will extend the private cloud security network into Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai to meet unprecedented demand in the country.

Cloud security providers without diverse, in-region coverage will often require users to traverse thousands of miles, incurring a significant latency tax, to reach the next closest data center, which can make services delivered outside of India unusable,” said Joe DePalo, the Senior VP of Platform Engineering at Netskope.

The new data centers will translate into improved performance for Netskope services, low single-digit millisecond latency and greater uptake from local and multinational firms in India – one of the largest markets in terms of users and traffic handled by NewEdge.

“Having multiple data centers in India is a key NewEdge differentiator,” added Mr. DePalo.

‘The public Internet is at breaking point’

As more and more organisations rapidly adopt digital transformation strategies, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, more pressure is put on the public Internet, pushing it to breaking point, according to Netskope.

The strain on public internet is intensified by user demand for high-performance and fast applications as well as enterprises’ need for enhanced security.

Legacy security tools are said to be unprepared for rising demands and produce delays in accessing critical services, impacting user experience and productivity. This is why Gartner predicts that security architectures will shift towards Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), as the enterprise data center is no longer a center of access requirements since more services are moving to the cloud.

Private cloud solutions could be the answer to this, as connectivity issues can be solved by using resilient global architecture that is peered with major providers.

As a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Fortune 200 SYNNEX Corporation, Concentrix uses private cloud security solutions to accelerate digital transformation for their clients while securely managing the data, as their staff is spread across 40 countries in six continents.

“Netskope NewEdge expansion into Chennai, Delhi, and Mumbai strengthens its commitment to secure their customers’ data and provide integral cybersecurity solutions with global consistency driven by local intimacy,” said Rishi Rajpal, the Vice President of Global Security at Concentrix.

The securing of data in India is also becoming increasingly important, as the Government continues to enforce data localisation laws, requiring customer data to be held in the country.

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Veeam celebrates biggest second quarter revenue in company history

Veeam Software has announced their biggest second quarter revenue in company history with an annual increase of 20% year-over-year.

As a leader in backup solutions for Cloud Data Management, Veeam saw increased demand for their products due to growing remote work environments intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As employees are transitioning to the new ‘work from home’ environment, data protection and availability are now more important than ever,” said Bill Largent, the CEO at Veeam.

Veeam also reported its largest ever quarter in it’s 14-year history for bookings for their Veeam Backup for Microsoft Office 365, with an 89% year-on-year increase and 75% gain in subscription bookings.

“Just as employers must protect the health, safety and welfare of their employees, they must also have solid business continuity plans in place and protect the most important asset of their organization – their data,” added Mr. Largent.

Veeam also saw strong double-digit regional growth in Asia by serving customers like Fuji Electric in Japan, Trust Power in New Zealand, and Hero MotoCorp in India.

“We continue to execute well on our plan for explosive growth in APJ, and we are backing that up with hiring across all functions to support our customers and partners,” said Shaun McLagan, the Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan at Veeam.

Veeam’s new hires include Mr. Beni Sia, Vice President for Southeast Asia and Korea as well as Ms. Habisanti H., the Country Manager for Indonesia.

“This investment has seen an accelerated uptake of more than 3,200 certifications issued in Q2,” added Mr. McLagan.

With Veeam’s multi-year revenue gains, they have increased their market share to become the third largest provider of backup and recovery software.

The need for comprehensive data backup services is rapidly increasing, with COVID-19 causing one of the largest security threats the world has seen, as more and more employees are forced to work from home.

“Keeping life-saving information available to residents is a top priority during a pandemic. Downtime isn’t acceptable in today’s world, and certainly not during COVID-19. This is when cities must have complete faith in their data protection strategy,” said Daryl Polk, the Chief Innovation Officer at City of Rancho Cucamonga in California.

Veeam recently achieved their biggest ever product launch of their Veeam Availability Suite v10, which provides data management and protection for hybrid cloud environments.

“Both announcements were major game-changing milestones for Veeam and the tech industry,” said Danny Allan, CTO and Senior Vice President of Product Strategy at Veeam,”

The backup solutions provider for Cloud Data Management also kicked off the year with their acquisition by Insight Partners, which was valued at US$5 billion.

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Legacy data protection technology is severely hindering digital transformation say global enterprise CXOs

Almost half of global organisations are being hindered in their digital transformation journeys by legacy data protection technology and IT skills shortages.

The latest industry data in the Veeam 2020 Data protection Trends Report revealed that 40% of organisations rely on legacy systems to protect their data, with 95% of enterprises suffering unexpected outages lasting almost two hours on average.

“Legacy solutions were intended to protect data in physical data centers in the past, but they’re so outdated and complex that they cost more money, time, resources and trouble than realized,” said Danny Allan, the CTO and SVP of Product Strategy at Veeam.

Downtime and outages can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, pointing to an urgent need to modernise systems including data protection and move to focus on business continuity to enable digital transformation.

Mr Allan added: “It’s great to see the global drive to embrace technology to deliver a richer user experience, however the Achilles’ Heel still seems to be how to protect and manage data across the hybrid cloud.”

The appetite for digital transformation certainly exists at the top of most CXOs agendas, as spending is expected to hit US$7.4 trillion between 2020 and 2023. Respondents in the study also reported that data delivered through IT has become the heart and soul of their business.

But Veeam believes leaders must move data protection beyond outdated legacy systems for real digital transformation to happen.

“Data protection is more important than ever now to help organizations continue to meet their operational IT demands while also aspiring towards DX and IT modernization,” said Mr Allan.

Data is often spread across data centers and cloud through file shares, shared storage and Software-as-a-Service platforms like Google Cloud, AWS, Alibaba Cloud and more.

Mr Allan believed that legacy tools designed to back up on-premise file shares and applications can’t succeed in the hybrid or multi-cloud world, as they cost companies time and money while putting data at risk.

The report by Veeam also discovered half of businesses recognise that cloud has a pivotal part to play in today’s data protection strategy. The Cloud Data Management provider argued that a company needs a comprehensive solution that supports cloud, virtual and physical data management for any application and any data across any cloud in order to achieve a truly modernised data protection plan.

What is the data protection situation like in Asia Pacific?

In Asia Pacific and Japan, the research by the backup solutions provider found that 22% of organisations did not back up their data, which is higher than the global average of 14%.

“Many CIOs are increasing their data protection efforts, but the reality is that systems can easily fall prey to unplanned outages. When this happens, organisations scramble to put their systems back online,” said Shaun McLagan, the Senior Vice President for Asia Pacific and Japan at Veeam.

One in ten organisations also report an “availability gap” between how fast they can recover applications compared to how fast they actually need to recover them, and 90% have a “protection gap” between how frequently they back up their data versus how much data they can afford to lose after an outage.

Mr McLagan added: “To solve this, organisations should modernize their data protection solutions, which goes far beyond backup.”

Businesses are advised to prevent security breaches and ransomware attacks by having offsite and offline backups as well as adequate training for staff, particularly as cybersecurity threats continue to grow.

To prevent attacks, local governments should also advocate for legislation that ensures a strong culture of security like Malaysia’s National Cyber Security Policy.

Ben Chua, a young cybersecurity pioneer in Singapore, said during W.Media’s first Power Talk: “The only way we can do security well is to educate every single citizen of the nation where the whole nation becomes digitally resilient together.”

According to Veeam, ransomware and cyberthreats is the number one challenge faced by organisations, costing an average of US$80,000 to restore data.

The Veeam 2020 Data Protection Trends Report surveyed more than 1,500 global enterprises to understand their approach toward data protection and management. They were surveyed on how they expect to be prepared for the IT challenges they face, including reacting to demand changes and interruptions in service as well as more aspirational goals of IT modernization and digital transformation.

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