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Cyber resilience: The need for high availability

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Jason Blosil
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Cyberthreats are the top business risks that keep executives awake at night. Allianz, “Allianz Risk Barometer 2022,” January 18, 2022.News of data breaches and ransomware continue to make headlines for obvious reasons. Cyberthreats can impact almost anyone—and they’re costly. The average cost to remediate a ransomware attack climbed from $768,106 in 2020 to about $1.85M in 2021. And if an organization can even get a cyberinsurance policy, premiums are rising along with the cost of remediation.

ransomware remediation cost

Figure 1 Sources:

* S&P Global Ratings. Cyber Risk In A New Era: Insurers Can Be Part Of The Solution. Sept. 2, 2020.

**Sophos report on survey data of 5,400 IT manager: The State of Ransomware 2021. Average cost was for U.S. companies.

Foundation of an effective strategy

Defending against these ongoing threats requires a new approach with intelligent solutions to protect and secure your data. An effective cyber resilience strategy combines data protection with data security and includes the functional requirements of data availability, data recovery, threat detection, and threat remediation. The number of threat vectors that can attack an organization continues to increase, so organizations must deploy a coordinated, multilayered strategy to protect their most valuable asset—data.

NetApp cyber resilience chart

A foundation for any effective IT infrastructure is data availability that incorporates high levels of redundancy, such as redundant controllers, power supplies, ports, networking, and cabling. These redundancies address the obvious requirements of keeping systems online to run applications and serve data in case of a component failure. Closely tied to data availability is data redundancy, which can include the mirroring of data to a local or remote system, either asynchronously or synchronously, depending on the level of recovery required. Mirroring protects against rack or site failures as well as natural disasters.

Closely related to data availability is data recovery. Backup and archive technologies are used to create and store copies of data to protect against the threat of accidental data deletion, malware attacks, and application corruption, or to address the requirements for data retention by standards bodies or government agencies.

data protection challenges chart

A key component in protecting data from malicious actors is the organization’s policy and approach to data security. The recommended approach is a Zero Trust architecture and a mindset of least privileged access; always verify and never trust; and building a layered perimeter of security controls around the data itself. 

Early threat detection is a crucial step, especially in today’s world of ongoing ransomware attacks. The longer it takes to identify a threat, the more time an attacker has to penetrate your environment and cause damage, which is likely to result in slower recovery and longer downtime. Artificial intelligence and machine learning-driven tools are available to spot patterns that could indicate the effect of malware, stolen user accounts, and rogue actors that would probably go unnoticed by human observers. Monitoring the behavior of data stored on disk as well as users accessing that data can highlight threats sooner that might otherwise be difficult to catch before significant damage is done.

Finally, effective threat remediation is essential to help your organization take appropriate action when a potential attack is identified. These capabilities and actions are supported by the same ones that operate in data protection, since recovery of data is a necessary step to restore the organization to normal operation in the event of a successful cyberattack. When a user account is compromised or anomalous storage behavior is detected, automated actions such as making NetApp® Snapshot® copies as a recovery point, or blocking user account access to data storage, can prevent further damage more quickly than human response. Forensic analysis helps identify the source of the threat and prevent future damage.

Why NetApp

NetApp offers a powerful portfolio of products and solutions that are designed to address the most pressing challenges of data protection and data security.

IDC recently published a paper highlighting the strength of NetApp’s portfolio to protect and secure data with extreme levels of availability. The portfolio is built on a foundation of NetApp ONTAP® storage software, which provides a robust set of Zero Trust security controls that are data-centric, allowing customers to easily embrace and deploy a Zero Trust security posture. NetApp’s intelligent cloud data services complement the capabilities of ONTAP to deliver powerful insights and data protection with the simplicity and scale to match your organization’s requirements.

Learn how NetApp can help you keep your data—and your organization—available and secure. Read the IDC report, Meeting the High Availability Requirements in Digitally Transformed Enterprises.

Jason Blosil

Jason is a business and marketing professional with over 20 years of product marketing, product management, and corporate finance experience. Since joining NetApp in 2008 he has been focused on SAN and NAS storage, backup and disaster recovery solutions, and cloud data services. When not in the office, you can find him cycling, cooking, enjoying time with family, and volunteering at his church and in the community.

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