Stopping ransomware in its tracks with DataVault on IBM FlashSystem

Micro Strategies protects client data from corruption with various IBM technologies
IBM Systems
5-minute read
Modern apartment building

When America’s fastest growing mortgage lender needed a proactive data protection solution, Micro Strategies jumped into action. Using the IBM Storage portfolio, Micro Strategies created DataVault, a managed security service that helps clients quickly identify and recover from cyberattacks.

Ransomware puts an organization’s data, money and reputation at risk.

This extortion malware threatens to permanently withhold data or expose it unless the victim pays a ransom. Some attackers will unencrypt the files after payment — otherwise, there would be no incentive to pay — but that doesn’t guarantee a full recovery. Unfortunately, businesses lose money either way. Additionally, an attack can cripple systems critical to business continuity, leading to extended downtime and disruption. During these outages, customers may turn to competitors to meet their needs, and this lost business can cost an organization an average of USD 1.59 million. For the financial sector, the cost of a data breach is even higher: USD 5.72 million.

Businesses in the financial services industry are especially vulnerable to ransomware attacks because they store valuable customer data and frequently process large transactions. These organizations are under immense pressure to resolve security issues quickly while limiting damage and in recovery costs — a feat one prominent mortgage lender, which asked to remain anonymous, knew would be impossible without proactive data protection.

The lender scoured the marketplace for a security solution capable of protecting its data, regardless of its source, but found none that fit the bill. It realized it would need to install and deploy multiple reactive solutions to get the level of data protection it was looking for. Preferring to use one all-purpose solution, the lender turned to Micro Strategies, an IT solutions provider, to provide a solution uniquely architected to protect against ransomware.

A couple signing papers

Accurately restores

all

customer data after an attack

Reduces risk and time to remediation, saving

millions

in recovery fees

The biggest challenge for our customers is choosing from the overwhelming number of IT solutions out there. It’s very hard for them to select the right technology for their business and decide how to move forward with those solutions.
Ron Mente
Technical Solutions Specialist, Micro Strategies Inc.
Man and woman looking at a laptop in a living room
As we configured the DataVault solution for this client, we knew we needed a highly resilient, exceptionally secure, performant, API-driven platform to keep up with the demands of their business. IBM Spectrum Virtualize on IBM FlashSystem met and exceeded our requirements.
Dave Ficacci
Director, Hybrid IT, Micro Strategies Inc.
Protecting data at every source
As we configured the DataVault solution for this client, we knew we needed a highly resilient, exceptionally secure, performant, API-driven platform to keep up with the demands of their business. IBM Spectrum Virtualize on IBM FlashSystem met and exceeded our requirements.
Dave Ficacci
Director, Hybrid IT, Micro Strategies Inc.

The lender came to Micro Strategies with a heterogeneous IT environment that included an IBM® Power® environment running the IBM AIX® operating system and a x86 environment running VMWare. Micro Strategies — an IBM Business Partner as well as an IBM IT solutions provider — chose to apply IBM technologies to build DataVault and underpin its critical components. “We wanted to bring forward a proactive solution that would work for those various source systems,” says Ron Mente, a Technical Solutions Specialist at Micro Strategies.

DataVault is a managed security service that isolates and scrubs data, then vaults it outside of the production environment. If a ransomware attack occurs, the data in the vault remains secure.

Designed for dependability, IBM FlashSystem® 7200 is the foundation for DataVault. Its storage arrays can protect and manage large quantities of data across more than 500 heterogeneous systems. The IBM FlashSystem is built with IBM Spectrum® Virtualize software, which modernizes existing storage with intelligent system optimization and protects data using replication technology that safely migrates data between on-premises storage and IBM Cloud®.

IBM Storage Insights, an AI-driven storage management feature of IBM FlashSystem 7200, provides visibility and predictive analytics across the storage environment, helping the lender monitor its systems 24x7.

IBM Power, the lender’s current source system, performs data scanning and vaulting at maximum speed.

With these IBM solutions in place, Micro Strategies then used the Red Hat® Ansible® Automation Platform to automate each security feature and drive the data protection process forward.

Practicing defense in depth

Before installing DataVault on IBM FlashSystem 7200, the lender risked losing USD 20 million a day in a ransomware attack. Now, its data is secure, and it doesn’t risk losing millions in an attack.

The lender’s reputation within the financial services industry has also improved. It is now able to distinguish itself from competitors with its new disaster prevention and recovery abilities. Having additional security in its IT stack has empowered the client to take on larger customers. It anticipates at least 20% growth by Q4 of 2021 and plans to bring on more than 1,200 new hires to meet the increased demand. The scalability and data security features of IBM Storage solutions will allow the client to operate without disruption as its business grows.

Most importantly, the client can focus on its core business objectives with peace of mind. “They’re significantly less concerned about getting hit with a ransomware attack today than they were this time last year,” says Sotiris Sergiou, VP of Sales at Micro Strategies.

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About Micro Strategies

Micro StrategiesExternal Link is an end-to-end IT solution provider that delivers award-winning business and infrastructure solutions in key practice areas including security, analytics, managed services and emerging technologies.

Solution components
Micro Strategies logo
About Micro Strategies

Micro StrategiesExternal Link is an end-to-end IT solution provider that delivers award-winning business and infrastructure solutions in key practice areas including security, analytics, managed services and emerging technologies.

Solution components