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15 July 2024

Will AI replace the backup administrator?

It’s a big question, with a simple answer… No, the role of the backup admin is here to stay. But just like most job functions, Artificial Intelligence will have a positive and significant impact. Let’s look at how…

Backup in the spotlight

As organisations seek to protect themselves from the dramatic increase in data loss events driven primarily by cybercrime – backup is in the spotlight. The backup function needs to evolve to meet the new challenges of the day, and backup admins need to do more than ever before, but all-to-often a lack of time and budget is standing in the way of progress. 

With its potential for big productivity gains, AI has a pivotal role to play. This article makes the case for the use of AIOps in elevating backup from legacy insurance plan to modern incident response platform. 

The case for AI intervention 

Backup systems have certain characteristics which make them a perfect candidate for AI intervention – notably; massive datasets, complex interrelationships, and repetitive tasks. 

A recent time and motion study found that up to 40% of backup administrators’ time is spent checking backup failures and a further 30% of time fixing them. That’s a lot of time to invest without either determining the root cause, or answering the critical question ‘Will my backups actually recover follow a cyber attack?’ 

AI’s ability to correlate events from complex datasets can fast-track problem determination. If the time sinks can be reduced, then more resources can be allocated to threat management and incident response, where backup has an increasingly important role to play. 

Backup as threat detection

Until very recently, few security professionals considered backup a key part of their threat detection solution (and many still don’t). But backup, with its extensive record-keeping and historical datasets is well-suited to the detection of unexpected activity and dormant malware. Daily antivirus scanning of backup copies alongside recovery testing is an excellent cost-effective supplement to more traditional security processes. 

Where AI truly excels is in detecting outliers in data which can’t be spotted by the human eye. Changes in backup behaviour can be an early indicator of active cyber-attacks, and can be picked up by an AIOps assistant around the clock, 365 days a year. 

Bridging the Gap 

As storage and security teams begin to join forces with the shared goal of operational resiliency, it is crucial that these two highly specialist teams can collaborate effectively, with complex information communicated in a way that everyone understands.

Generative AI with Natural Language Processing (NLP) can help. AIOps tools will produce unique reports that not only give each individual stakeholder (such as compliance officers, CIOs and CISOs) tailored metrics based on what’s most important to them, but will also use the language and terminology that each one understands.

What’s more, AI-powered chatbots will enable stakeholders to query their reports for extra clarity, and to get bespoke analysis of the metrics that are most valuable to them.

Job creation or job destruction? 

We believe the role of the backup administrator will be enhanced by AIOps software. By automating repetitive tasks such as recovery testing and scanning, incident management, and report writing, highly knowledgeable administrators will be able to focus on higher-value (and frankly, more interesting) tasks.

AI-powered insights will trigger more questions to the custodians of backup as stakeholders begin to truly understand just how resilient, or not, their data backup infrastructure is. 

As with all awakenings, as backup emerges from the dark recesses of the datacenter, there will be a clamour for greater understanding. Here, the highly knowledgeable backup administrators will come into their own. No longer drowning in repetitive, reactive tasks they will utilise their valuable time, energy and specialist knowledge to guide critical strategic decisions-making.

The future is already here

Predatar is leading the way with the World’s first AIOps for Recovery Assurance. Find out how Predatar puts powerful AI tools in the hands of backup and security teams to boost data resiliency and incident response. Discover the Predatar R16: Orca release here.

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Predatar recovery assurance

04 July 2024

Why AI is non-negotiable for cyber resiliency.

Let’s kick off this article about Artificial Intelligence with a few very real facts…  

1. Storage environments are getting bigger and more complex.
2. Cyber-attacks are getting more prevalent and more sophisticated.
3. IT and Security teams are under increasing pressure to do more with less.

It’s a harsh reality that most businesses are treading a fine line in the battle to stay ahead of cybercrime. IT and cyber security budgets aren’t growing in line with the size of the challenge, and a serious shortage of technical skills in the employee marketplace adds another obstacle.   

A breach is coming. So, what can businesses do to prepare?

They can cross their fingers and hope their data recovery plans will work (the evidence suggests they won’t), or they can deploy Artificial Intelligence to deliver new levels of data resilience that would otherwise require a small army of security and storage technicians to achieve.

This article highlights three ways AI can boost your resiliency. Over the next 3 weeks we’ll dig into each of these in more detail.

1. Faster, more accurate threat-hunting

Malware is designed to evade detection. The reality is that your storage environment has probably already been compromised – you just don’t know it yet. Malware in your storage has the potential to render your backups and snapshots useless in a cyberattack and seriously derail your incident response.

Predatar found malware in more than 70% of its users’ storage within the first 90 days of deployment. That’s malware that had evaded perimeter cyber security tools such as EDR and XDR, and had not been detected by the anomaly detection that is built into most of the leading storage platforms.

Artificial Intelligence has a lot to do with Predatar’s dramatically enhanced threat-hunting capability.

Whether it’s spyware quietly collecting information, ransomware discreetly encrypting your files, or wipers deleting your data – malicious activity gives off ‘signals’. The challenge is finding these signals amongst the noise of busy, complex storage systems.   

Traditional anomaly detection techniques fall-short when faced with sophisticated malware designed mimic the signals of legitimate data activity. As a result, malware either goes unnoticed, or often storage and security teams become overwhelmed with false-alerts, and waste valuable time and resources investigating threats that aren’t real.

AI has the ability to understand nuances in data behaviour that would simply be impossible otherwise. What’s more, it gets smarter over time – learning from false positives, to make AI-powered threat detection exponentially more effective that traditional anomaly detection.       

2. See recovery risks hidden in complex storage

Most large businesses have multiple storage platforms in play. In our experience, typically it’s 2 or 3 platforms – but it can be as many as 5 or more. And the trend is an upwards one. As business bring new storage technologies on board, they need to maintain the old ones to manage their legacy data. Failed backup runs, unsupported software, unpatched vulnerabilities, and many other issues associated with storage administration have the potential to cause a major issue when it comes to recovering your data.

Traditionally, highly-skilled storage administrators would stay on top of these tasks, but today these skills are in high-demand, back-up administrators are stretched thin, and the need to manage not one, but many discreet environments is time-consuming and inefficient – especially given the lack of visibility and holistic reporting across platforms. In these scenarios, the chance of human error is increased.

AI can’t replace storage administrators, but it can act as a powerful assistant, or a ‘storage sidekick’. AI can monitor all of your storage platforms, all of the time – highlighting potential issues that can otherwise slip through the net, and spotting trends and insights that would take a whole team of data analysts to uncover.

The result… powerful real time intelligence to help you make decisions, prioritise remedial action and mitigate risks.

3. Extensive knowledge at your fingertips

One of the biggest advantages of AI is that it makes information and knowledge more accessible than ever before. AI can tap into a whole universe of data, and thanks to Generative Pre-trained Transformers (GPT) and Natural Language Processing (NPL), it can instantly give you the information you need to answer even the most specific query – and deliver it in a way that’s tailored to you.

We’ve built NPL and a GPT into Predatar’s Recovery Assurance platform. Trained on technical documentation for market-leading leading storage technologies, our extensive ‘knowledge base’ of expert articles from Predatar engineers and consultants built-up over more than 10 years, and best-practice articles from industry leaders – our AI is empowering security and storage professionals with extensive cyber resiliency knowledge at their finger tips.


Artificial Intelligence is quickly becoming critical for ensuring businesses are ready to launch a fast and effective response in the event of a cyber incident. Predatar is leading the way with AI for data resiliency.

Predatar’s R16: Orca release will ship with Aurora AI built-in, the world’s first AIOps assistant for Recovery Assurance. Find out more here, and stay-tuned as we dive deeper into this topic in the next few weeks.

Learn more about
Predatar recovery assurance