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09/26/2022

Hudson’s Bay Company centralizes data protection

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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HBC is standardizing its data backup and security.

The parent company of retail banners including Hudson’s Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue is securing its data on-premises and in the cloud.

Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC), operator of a brand portfolio including Hudson’s Bay, The Bay, Saks Fifth Avenue and Saks Off 5th, is deploying the Veeam Availability Suite to centralize data protection. The company seeks to ensure business continuity, meet internal governance compliance requirements, and protect against ransomware.

As HBC moved its IT systems and data to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Azure to adopt a customer-centric, multi-cloud corporate technology strategy, the company began detecting signs of failing in its legacy data backup system. Facing the risk of losing millions of dollars from even an hour of downtime in its complex logistics ecosystem, HBC deployed the Veeam Availability Suite.

The Veeam solution backs up 80 terabytes (TB) of data across more than 2,000 instances in AWS and Azure to Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Azure Blob Storage. The system also backs up 40 TB of data across 14 physical machines on-premises to Dell EMC Data Domain.

In addition, Veeam’s fully customizable policies automate backup and data lifecycle management. Policy-based automation also enables the HBC IT team to show each business unit how much data protection will cost. With the Veeam Universal License, HBC can move licenses across business units and workloads to maximize its spend.

According to HBC, policy-based automation also ensures business continuity, supports internal governance compliance requirements and protects against ransomware. The Veeam solution lets the company separate its backups from its IT systems with a barrier, so if ransomware strikes HBC’s IT systems, the company’s backups will remain safe.

“One of the things I love most about Veeam is operational consistency,” said Ope Bakare, CTO, HBC. “We can protect every asset wherever it resides in a consistent way. Veeam takes the complication and noise out of data protection, allowing our engineers to focus on innovating for the business rather than worrying about backups.

“Before we began the cloud migration we were closing in on a hardware and software refresh,” added Bakare. Since Veeam is hardware, software and cloud agnostic, we avoided the refresh, saving more than $1 million in a one-time capital expenditure and $600,000 in recurring operating expenses annually. That’s a significant savings.”

“Veeam enables us to have more productive conversations with each unit so we can set expectations appropriately,” said Matthew Pick, senior director of cloud architecture at HBC. “We also have visibility into our overall spend, and this is where the Veeam Universal License comes in handy. We can move licenses across business units and workloads to maximize our spend.”

Cybersecurity is a major retail IT issue
According to results of a new survey of global IT professionals exclusively released to Chain Store Age by Rackspace Technology, over half (59%) of surveyed retail IT leaders cite cybersecurity as one of their C-suite’s top-three business concerns. At the same time, fewer than four in 10 (38%) retail respondents say they are fully prepared to respond to cybersecurity attacks and threats.

A majority of surveyed retail IT executives report being either unprepared or only “somewhat prepared” to respond to major threats, such as identifying and mitigating threats and areas of concern (67%), recovering from cyberattacks (61%) or preventing lapses and breaches (62%).

When asked to name the consequences of cybersecurity threats/attacks, close to six in 10 (58%) retail respondents mentioned operations downtime and 45% reported loss of intellectual property/data. Other frequently cited consequences include damage to brand reputation (44%) and revenue loss (36%).

And when asked to name the top three cybersecurity challenges their organization is facing, a leading 42% of retail respondents said migrating and operating apps to the cloud led the way, followed by a shortage of workers with cybersecurity skills (39%), and a lack of visibility of vulnerabilities across all infrastructure (37%).