By Steve Madonia
This week, IBM launched a portfolio of new solutions centered around their FlashSystem family. What is interesting about this launch is IBM’s advancement of their Cyber Resilient Storage solutions and how rapidly they have developed to be a key component of an overall Cyber Resilience Strategy.
As clients migrate workloads to a Hybrid-Cloud model, IBM Storage and IBM Systems continue to evolve with them. No longer is Storage just about capacity and performance; instead, IBM has elevated storage to now be a major component of an overall Security Strategy. With new and advanced solutions such as Cyber Vault and Safeguarded Copy, IBM FlashSystem is the protector of your data from attacks and ransomware.
Sure, the new 9500 and 7300 offer next-level extreme performance as expected. But the entire FlashSystem family now also provides simplicity and ease of setup for extreme data protection. Combined with LRS and IBM Cyber Risk Assessments, and IBM Q-Radar and Guardium, FlashSystem is positioned to be a key player in your overall Security Strategy.
This offering brings Cyber Vault data protection to FlashSystem from the mainframe world, adding cyber protection automation and a faster recovery time. In fact, IBM says recovery from a ransomware attack can now be measured in hours instead of days or weeks.
Cyber Vault offers a secure and isolated environment for critical data on primary storage. IBM calls it “operational air gapping” because the vault is disconnected, still within the IT network itself, but secure and separated from the primary storage.
Scott Baker, CMO and vice president of IBM storage product marketing, explained during the product announcement that Cyber Vault creates an environment by which restore points can be scanned and verified from the perspective that they are devoid of any kind of malware or ransomware fingerprints, as defined by the scanning tools themselves.
Cyber Vault uses IBM Safeguarded Copy as a protection mechanism, which enables users to set policies to create immutable snapshots of data that cannot be altered or deleted, according to Denis Kennelly, General Manager at IBM storage. To get a copy, users will need dual authentication, and even then, they will only be given a copy of a copy.
"We make sure there's no backdoor getting [to the snapshots]," Kennelly said.
Immutable snapshots are a critical part of a viable ransomware solution. IBM integrated Safeguarded Copy with its Snapshot Scheduler, which enables organizations to set policies around automatically executing and retaining snapshots over time. This level of automation makes it easier for users to meet their recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) goals.
Some users will be happy to see that FlashSystem Cyber Vault is vendor neutral. The software can be used in concert with intrusion detection systems from IBM and other companies to identify more quickly that an attack is underway and recover a clean copy of data. The software runs on a set of virtual machines or virtual instances within a single VM that are used for analysis, validation, and forensics.
Cyber Vault is designed to be used with any storage that works with IBM’s Spectrum Virtualize software. It enables rapid deployment of block storage services for workloads that are located on-premises, off-premises or in a combination of both places.
Data can be replicated from on-prem to the cloud, so you have a cyber recovery solution that runs in the cloud. IBM supports the Amazon Web Services Inc. public cloud, Microsoft Corp. Azure, and its own cloud.
If you want to learn more about the benefits you can realize from IBM FlashSystem and Cyber Vault, fill out the form below for a free consultation. You can also join us on March 3 for a deeper discussion of the FlashSystem role in a Cyber Resilient Strategy.
About the author
Steve Madonia is Business Development Manager – IBM Solutions for LRS IT Solutions when he’s not dreaming of a green fairway. With more than 20 years of experience in IBM hardware and software, Steve focuses on solving business challenges and engaging skilled resources to provide value to our clients.