By Florian Malecki, Executive Vice President of Marketing at Arcserve
As businesses increasingly rely on the cloud to manage their data, they face more pressing concerns regarding data security and integrity. These concerns become even more complex in multi cloud and hybrid-cloud environments, where companies distribute data across multiple platforms. But there is a solution: immutable data storage. Immutable storage preserves data in its original state, thus preventing tampering.
Immutable data storage ensures data security and integrity in multi cloud and hybrid-cloud environments in several ways. First, immutable storage guarantees that the data remains tamper-proof and unaltered.
Second, immutable storage provides a transparent record of all data transactions. Each change to stored data is recorded and stored as a separate immutable object. It means that, in the event of an attack, it is much easier to trace the origins of the breach and identify which data has been affected.
Finally, immutable storage provides an added layer of protection against accidental data loss or data corruption. Because data creators cannot alter the data once they have created it, it becomes much harder to overwrite important data.
Implement immutable storage across platforms
Some challenges come with implementing immutable data storage in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments. One of the biggest is the complexity of managing the solution across multiple platforms. Each cloud platform may have its storage protocols, which makes it challenging to maintain a consistent immutable data storage strategy spanning all platforms.
Your strategy might work well for one cloud, but another might not accommodate immutability. As your data travels to multiple destinations, the question is: are you getting the benefits of immutable storage everywhere your data ends up?
Shadow IT within your company compounds this challenge. Your organisation might have multiple groups, from marketing to engineering to product management, all using different SaaS applications without the IT department even knowing. In that case, you don’t know if the data is being backed up or, ultimately, where it’s going. Is it going to a place with an immutable storage solution? You don’t know. That’s why shadow IT is an area of serious concern. It’s crucial to ensure that data stored in all shadow IT applications is on an immutable storage solution to maintain data integrity.
To address these challenges, you should implement a unified data storage strategy that spans all cloud platforms. This strategy should involve standardising on a single immutable data storage protocol or investing in tools and technologies that can help manage data across multiple platforms.
Solve compliance concerns with immutable storage
Immutable data storage can also address challenges posed by data privacy and compliance requirements. Many industries, such as healthcare and finance, now mandate data preservation by law. Any business subject to such requirements must have mechanisms to prove that it maintains healthy copies of its data that cannot be altered or modified. Here, immutable data storage is often the answer because it helps ensure compliance with strict data retention and audit requirements.
Immutable storage enables organisations to store data in a tamper-proof manner, which makes it easier for them to demonstrate compliance during audits. Immutable storage prevents alteration and provides an audit trail that lists the history of all data changes, demonstrating transparency and accountability. It is essential because regulators and auditors must verify that organisations follow specific rules and compliance requirements.
Organisations with immutable storage as a resource for audit trails can show the outside world, including customers, partners, and investors, that they are compliant. It increases trust and confidence in the organisation and its capacity to handle sensitive data.
Enforce strict access controls
While a multi cloud approach to immutability is beneficial in many ways, it still can be vulnerable regarding privileges and administrator rights to data. Even though an immutable solution is very secure, a bad actor who gains access – whether a malicious employee or a third party with privileged account-management access – can delete data. It presents a real risk since data alteration or deletion can cause irreparable damage to an organisation’s operations.
In other words, the danger of unauthorised access remains even if your data is stored on an immutable solution. If someone has privileged access to the data, they can delete it, regardless of the security measures in place. For this reason, it’s essential to couple immutable storage with strict access controls and monitoring mechanisms to prevent unauthorised access and ensure data integrity.
Think about the keys to your home. If the bad guys get hold of them and gain access, they can take anything they want. Similarly, if someone gains privileged access to your data, they can delete it, causing significant harm to your organisation. Therefore, it’s critical to implement strict access controls and monitoring mechanisms.
Recognise that immutability is now a necessity
Immutable storage is no longer a fantasy; it’s reality. It’s no longer a luxury; it’s a 100% must-have. With the rise of multi-cloud providers – and the explosion of cyber threats – it’s now crucial to ensure that all providers have immutability. When it is, organisations can limit the risk of a breach and ensure their long-term survival. Cyber thieves are roaming the avenues of the digital world, rattling doors and looking for a way in. Immutable storage is the lock that will keep your data safe.