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IBM adds enhanced data protection to FlashSystem to help thwart cyber attacks

Over the last year, cybercriminals have taken advantage of the increasingly distributed data landscapes and ramped-up the frequency of their attacks. Ransomware in particular, which is used to gain access to and then encrypt corporate data to block its access and/or expose it unless a ransom is paid, is on the rise.

IBM announced that it is bringing advanced data protection capabilities to the IBM FlashSystem family of all-flash arrays to help companies better plan for – and recover quickly from – ransomware and other cyberattacks.

Over the last year, cybercriminals have taken advantage of the increasingly distributed data landscapes and ramped-up the frequency of their attacks. Ransomware in particular, which is used to gain access to and then encrypt corporate data to block its access and/or expose it unless a ransom is paid, is on the rise.

According to cybersecurity firm, SonicWall, ransomware attacks rose to 304.6 million SonicWall Cyber Threat Report 2021in 2020, up 62% over 2019, mainly due to the highly distributed workforces caused by the pandemic. In fact, through May of 2021, the group reported 226.3 ransomware attacks already, up 116% year to date over 2020.

SonicWall Already a Record Year for Ransomware, 2021 May Just Be Warming Up

To help companies fortify their enterprises and better protect their data, IBM announced IBM Safeguarded Copy for the IBM Flash System family of all-flash storage arrays. Safeguarded Copy automatically creates data copies in “immutable snapshots” that are securely isolated within the system and cannot be accessed or altered by unauthorized users. In the event of data loss, a data breach, malicious activity or any other event that compromises data or disrupts operations, customers can recover their data from the snapshots based on known points-in-time prior to the breach.

“Protecting against ransomware and other forms of malware requires a two-pronged approach to resiliency that involves automated protection and rapid recovery,” said Denis Kennelly, General Manager, IBM Storage. “That’s why we’re standardizing our modern data protection software, Safeguarded Copy, across our portfolio, bringing even more cyber resiliency to IBM FlashSystem. Cyberattacks are on the rise, but data can be protected and restored when you are prepared.”

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“Staying ahead of today’s cyber threats is a top priority for us, especially as a local municipality,” said Benny Yazdanpanahi, CIO at The City of Tyler, Texas, and an IBM FlashSystem customer who was briefed on the solution. “We’re responsible for everything from educational systems to critical public services, so protecting our data is critical. These days, continuous operations have as much to do with thwarting cyberattacks as it does data protection. Having the ability to create and restore immutable copies of data with SafeGuarded Copy is an exciting approach to continuous operations.”

How Safeguarded Copy Can Help Protect Your Data & Your Business

With Safeguarded Copy storage administrators can schedule the automatic creation of the logical point-in-time snapshots for scheduled intervals of their choice. Because the software separates the snapshots into distinct Safeguarded ‘pools’ on the storage system, they are immutable and inaccessible. Once in the pool, the data is only actionable after it has been recovered, eliminating the risk of data tampering or deletion.

Customers can also leverage Safeguarded Copy to extract and restore specific data from the backup snapshots to diagnose production issues. In addition, Safeguarded Copy can be used for regular validations of the copies to provide early detection of a problem and aid in the investigation of compromised data. And unlike some comparable snapshot solutions, IBM Safeguarded Copy enables customers to configure the systems and schedule backups themselves, rather than rely on the storage provider to log onto the customer’s system and set it up remotely.

Safeguarded Copy is based on the same proven technology within the IBM DS8000 family IBM DS8000 series is IBM’s storage system family designed for mainframe computing environments.  delivering security, cyber resiliency and recovery innovations across the entire IBM Storage portfolio. From encryption at rest and in motion, as well as data replication, to the physical “air gapping” available with IBM tape solutions, to the Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) capabilities within the virtual tape libraries, IBM storage solutions provide customers many ways to protect their data and recover quickly in the event of a breach.

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