Infrastructure and Operations leaders (I&O) around the world are all focused on meeting business outcomes. Regardless of the industry, digital business and IT are driving every aspect of business. One of the most sensitive topics with visibility all the way up to the boardroom, is Information Security (InfoSec). Neither the IT, nor are the InfoSec areas of operation get the respect they deserve, but the fact is they serve the same functions in a different ways. Keeping business operational; securely.
During the extremely transformational period from 2004 to 2010, I&O was focusing on replication, flash images and speed of recovery as the only driver of operational protection. Information Security Managers (ISM) were an annoyance more than a need. Over the last 9 years the escalation of attacks around ransomware and the scale of data breaches have shifted focus to security. Shifted to such a degree, that businesses now understand the need for security first in the design of their digital technologies. Since all data ends up on storage, there is prudence in focusing information security around storage, both as a capability and as an enabler.
Every business has a strong grasp on first lines of defense; the perimeter, or edge; OS updating, removing older OSes; Firewalls. Many organizations are lacking the fundamental “Air Gap” solutions, or even understanding the criticality of “Air Gap”. As the absolute last line of defense, the comparative cost of “Air Gap” is minuscule, and the reward to business resiliency is immeasurable. Let's review and demonstrate the business value of the world’s best, last line of defense, Tape.
Forget what your friends told you or you experienced with tape long ago or in a specific circumstance. Unfavorable experiences are the hallmark of maturity and of change in the market place. Here are 5 things Tape is or is not:
- Is not difficult to use
- Does not require manual handling
- Is inherently secure
- Does reduce business expense
- Is an integrate-able solution
If you are a CISO, CISM or CISSP certified, the first thing you learn is that if you really want to keep data, information and systems secure you have to unplug them. Tape is, by nature of media being non-powered, unplugged.
In comparison to the outstanding capabilities of replication in active/active systems enabling business continuity in the event of an outage in either single location, tape is the next step. Tape is not your active system, it is the system that for the lowest possible expense, your business can recover from the worst of disasters, a malicious or accidental destruction of part or all of your revenue generating and regulatorily controlled systems. Maybe not immediately, but faster and with a much better social perception than trying to recover from nothing.
Here are a couple of examples of when the last line of defense was ,or could have been, the most important:
- In 2010 the ever vigilant, and agile Google, upgraded Gmail after a standard QA period. The seamless introduction of the upgrades propagated across multiple layers of the system.
Before the Google monitoring could indicate that there was a problem, 40,000 gmail accounts and millions of emails were wiped out across the system. There was no malicious intent to this upgrade, it was a flaw that the QA structure had never encountered. Google was quick to respond. Instantly coming forward and telling the world they made a mistake, and that they could recover approximately 90% of the emails across the system. The last line of defense was the offline system of Tape.
- In 2018 the Alaska Borough of Matanuska was attacked by a variant of “WannaCry”. Like many underfunded governmental agencies, the Borough was not prepared for such an attack. Within a very short time, their organization had sent hundreds of infected emails and their entire operational structure was Ransomware’d.
Unfortunately, all of the back-up was based on nearline replication. The result; months to bring revenue generation back on line; nearly a year bringing other operations online. The cost has not been exposed, but given the resources that the Borough technology leader has indicated were brought in to help, we can surmise that it was in the millions to get back operating. That is for business with less than $60 million in revenues designed to provide life services to residents.
A tape solution would have been less than $100,000 USD for a multi-year protection and recovery of the entire system in less than a couple of weeks.
IBM Tape solutions support every industry in the world, and no one does it better. Tape is right for business: Whether seeking a new “Air Gap” solution, trying to reduce the expense of a hypergrowth environment, or looking for the most cost effective way to get petabytes of data replicated to a new site. IBM tape exceeds the business values that every leader lives by: 1) Growing revenue, 2) Reducing Expenses, 3) Being Regulatorily Compliant.
Learn more about IBM tape today, and save your business tomorrow.