By Eric Herzog, Chief Marketing Officer at Infinidat
Looking ahead, 2023 will be a very exciting year for enterprise storage, here are five trends we see emerging. In each case vendors will need to respond quickly with the right solutions, but do they have the right foundations in place to do so?
Convergence of cyber security and storage as a cornerstone of an enterprise IT strategy
CIOs and CISOs continue to increasingly realise that if they don’t combine storage with cyber security, they’re leaving a gap in their corporate cyber security strategy. IT leaders are accustomed to protecting the network and endpoints, deploying firewalls and looking at the application layer. However, all of their data ends up on storage. The great awakening in the enterprise market, heading into the new year, is that, if an enterprise storage solution does not have the capabilities to help combat a cyber attack, the C-suite and the IT team are leaving the organisation severely exposed. The trend emerging is for storage that is buoyed by cyber resilience to be part of the overall comprehensive cyber security strategy in every large organisation.
This means vendors must offer storage solutions that align with cyber security solutions and strategies commonly used to protect enterprises, as well as cloud hosting providers, managed hosting providers and managed service providers. It will require a vendor and its partners to work closely with CIOs and CISOs, along with other IT leaders and administrators, to make cyber-resilient storage a key part of a comprehensive cyber security strategy, plugging vulnerable gaps and securing the data against cyber attacks.
Boosting the ability to make a near-instantaneous recovery from a cyber attack with the highest level of trust in the data
The question is not ‘if’ your organisation is going to be hit with a cyber attack; it’s a question of ‘when’ and ‘how often.’ Your organisation will get attacked, and it could get attacked multiple times. At that point, it’s a matter of how you respond to that attack. Cyber resilience is among the most important and highly demanded requirements of enterprises today to combat cyber attacks across the entire storage estate and data infrastructure.
Even if your endpoint or your network security keeps the cyber criminals out once or twice, there will surely be times when they get through. When that happens, one of the critical things for an IT team is to get a known good copy of the data and make a speedy recovery. It’s crucial to use an immutable snapshot of the data to ensure that the data has not been compromised. In other words, the data can be trusted. Finding a known good copy is done by curating the potential candidates to restore in a fenced forensic environment. The last thing you want to do is just start restoring data that has malware or ransomware infiltrated within it.
Vendors will need to offer solutions that combine immutable snapshots of data, a fenced forensic environment, logical air gapping, and virtually instantaneous data recovery – ideally with a rock-solid cyber storage guaranteed SLA. Once a cyber criminal gets through an enterprise’s line of defence, it’s all about resilience and recoverability of the data, building on a known good copy of the data. A cyber resilient storage infrastructure helps you more easily identify threats with automation and put data into a safe, fenced forensic environment. The cyber attack is nullified.
Harnessing the capability of anomalous pattern detection to do cyber scanning on secondary storage
We’re seeing a trend emerging more broadly in 2023 around cyber scanning with the ability to do anomalous pattern detection, particularly on secondary storage. In the longer term, we see an expansion onto primary storage over the next two to three years. This cyber scanning is another tool in the storage admin’s tool bag, along with cyber resilience, to be proactively strengthening the data infrastructure to handle the ever-increasing sophistication and deceptiveness of cyber attacks. Whether for money, power or perverse entertainment, these attacks are designed to take down your business.
Vendors will need to provide anomalous pattern detection capability, possibly through partnerships with backup vendors as part of a wider ecosystem. This is an evolving area of technology and it gives customers the ability to do scanning on secondary storage, adding further value for enterprise customers and partners.
Growing demand for ease of deploying cyber storage, resilience, and advanced security technologies
Enterprises and service providers are increasingly seeking easy-to-deploy and easy-to-use solutions that meet their needs for cyber storage resilience and integrated security technologies. They want not only automation, but also the next level up with autonomous automation. End-users don’t want complex set-ups anymore. They want to be able to quickly and efficiently access forensic environments, and when it comes to recovery of data, they expect two or three clicks, and then be done with it.
Vendors will need to respond with a ‘set-it-and-forget-it’ approach to cyber storage, offering advanced technology that is also easy to deploy and use.
Cyber resilience is being recognised as necessary for both primary and secondary storage as a safeguard against cyber attacks and internal threats
People often think that cyber storage resilience is only about backing up data. That’s not true. Cyber storage resilience is more than backup. This is an important distinction that speaks to a trend for the next year because smart cyber criminals won’t only attack your secondary datasets, like backup, but also attack your primary datasets. In recognition of this reality, enterprises and service providers are heading into the new year injecting new levels of cyber storage resilience into both their primary and secondary storage environments. There is a shift in the enterprise market starting to happen from being reactive – waiting for the cyber criminals to attack and then doing something about it – to proactively prepare for recovery, likened to disaster recovery. Companies usually have elaborate disaster recovery plans and business continuity measures. There is a growing awareness that ‘cyber disaster plans’ need to be put in place with the right set of capabilities to initiate and execute rapid recovery.
Vendors need to help customers rethink their approaches to cyber storage resilience, shifting approach reactive to proactive. Cyber storage resilience enables an enterprise to nullify a ransomware attack, as if the attack didn’t even happen. No ransom, no disruption and full protection against attacks.