Modern data protection innovations to fight cyber threats

By | 4 minute read | November 6, 2018

Flash Memory, Cloud Object Storage, Database Development, Secure Blockchain, IBM LinuxONE

In 2018, the average cost of a data security breach approached $3.9 million. But organizations that fully deployed security automation saved over $1.5 million per breach.[1]

These metrics demonstrate the value of effective data protection and security solutions, and underscore the significance of recent data security-related announcements from IBM.

ESG’s research clearly shows that data security is the number one IT priority for organizations of all types and sizes,” states Mark Peters, Principal Analyst and Practice Director at ESG. “Technology solution providers that want to maintain market leadership positions, or hope to capture market share, must constantly innovate within the data security domain. These latest announcements from IBM confirm that it is continuing to aggressively follow this approach.”

Data protection enhancements, upgrades and expanded solutions are being announced across the IBM Storage portfolio. IBM Cloud Object Storage is a good example.

IBM Cloud Object Storage, the acclaimed[2] highly scalable object storage system designed for durability, resiliency and security, can now support more applications and users thanks to a 50 percent increase in the maximum number of vaults per system. Small configurations (CD mode) now support policy-based WORM (write once/read many times) and lockable vaults that can help support regulatory compliance. WORM technology is designed so that data cannot be changed, helping secure it against both internal and external threats.

IBM technology “locks” the data in these cases, which is useful when considering compliance needs but can also serve as a fail-safe copy of other data. IBM Cloud Object Storage vaults provide configuration flexibility for multiple use cases or multiple independent storage pools. Standard vaults offer important data protection because they are designed so data can be deleted only with valid user credentials. Lockable WORM vaults are available that are designed to prevent data from being deleted until a specific time period has elapsed.

Tape storage and “air gap” protection

IBM is announcing enhanced data protection features across multiple members of our storage portfolio, but there’s one storage solution that is a key component in the IBM Security Resiliency framework and offers one of the most powerful data protections of all: tape. Unlike other storage media, you can easily pull a tape cartridge offline and simply store it on a shelf, creating a physical barrier or “air gap” between hackers and your data. As the Wall Street Journal noted, “Storing data on tape seems impossibly inconvenient in an age of easy-access cloud computing. But that is the big security advantage of this vintage technology, since hackers have no way to get at the information.”[3] IBM is the leading branded tape storage vendor, with twice the market share of any other vendor.[4]

Now, IBM is introducing TS1160, the next generation in enterprise tape drives. It delivers double native storage capacity and increased throughput compared to the previous IBM TS1150, plus it offers powerful data protection features such as WORM cartridges and supports data partitioning, data encryption and key management.

“Data security is a top concern of our customers,” notes Stan Wysocki, Vice President of long-time IBM Business Partner Mark III Systems. “We must be able to offer the very best data protection and security solutions, or we lose competitive advantage. IBM is a very important technology partner for multiple reasons – they offer some of the best security solutions in the industry, they continue to innovate, and their storage portfolio is very comprehensive. With IBM, we can offer top-notch security solutions across the full range of customer environments and business use cases.”

Making storage acquisition easier

Every solution comes with certain trade-offs. In the domain of data security, enterprises know this well. You can get better security but often only if you are willing to pay more. Tape brings different trade-offs; it’s very secure, durable, and cost-effective, but data access is inherently slower than with other storage media. IBM has been working to reduce technology trade-offs, and the recent announcements offer an excellent example of how we are delivering.

The IBM Storage Utility Offering provides cloud-like storage pricing based on actual monthly usage. It offers quick access to new capacity to address spikes in requirements and unpredictable rates of data growth. IBM Storage Utility Offering helps make high availability configurations using IBM HyperSwap more affordable. Now you can acquire an HA configuration (two systems) for a starting monthly rate from only 20 percent more than leasing a single system,[5] which helps ease the trade-off dilemma between higher spending and better data protection. Plus, utility pricing is now available for IBM TS7760 Virtual Tape Library solutions. TS7760 essentially eliminates the tape trade-off between better security and slower access by virtualizing tape storage and placing faster data access solutions between applications and tape. Many of the advantages of tape, including its “air gap” capabilities, can be preserved, while accelerating tape performance. And now that the IBM Storage Utility Offering includes TS7760 systems, IBM customers can enjoy better data protection and get the benefits of tape but with lower latencies. Fewer trade-offs, more options, better protection.

IBM Storage has continued to innovate across the portfolio. Nowhere is this more evident than in the data protection domain, where IBM has recently announced multiple new features, capabilities and benefits. Business in the 21st century is accelerating, and so are IBM efforts to keep one of your most precious assets–information–as safe as possible.

For more complete information about IBM’s latest storage enhancements, read our blog post or view our webcast.

[1] IBM Security: Cost of a Data Breach Study, 2018 (

[2] “IBM continues as a Leader in 2018 Magic Quadrant for Distributed File and Object Storage”,

[3] “Companies Look to an Old Technology to Protect Against New Threats”,

[4] IDC Branded Tape Report, 2017 H2 (March 2018).

[5] Two IBM FlashSystem 9150 with twenty-four 19.2TB FlashCore Modules with 36-month SUO base commitment compared with typical 36-month lease for one similar system.