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Proactive ransomware protection—automated with ONTAP

New ONTAP November 2022 release

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Jon Jacob
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What’s even better than protecting your data from ransomware attacks with industry-leading cybersecurity? Automating that protection! You get both with the November 2022 release of NetApp® ONTAP® data management software, delivering enhanced protection capabilities that can automatically detect and prevent ransomware attacks and help you quickly recover.

We’re continually innovating and adding enhancements to ONTAP. Our focus is to help you increase the security, flexibility, simplicity, performance, and efficiency of your storage environment, across your on-premises and public cloud resources, while also reducing your TCO. And with ONTAP integration into the new NetApp BlueXP™ unified control plane, it’s very straightforward to enable new capabilities and to optimize and secure your entire hybrid multicloud environment.

Let’s look at what’s new with ONTAP and how it can help solve your IT challenges.

Tamperproof snapshots

Ransomware attacks are increasingly targeting backups and snapshot recovery points by trying to delete them before starting to encrypt files. But you can help prevent that by creating tamperproof snapshots on your primary or secondary systems with NetApp Snapshot™ copy locking in ONTAP. These Snapshot copies can’t be deleted or changed by ransomware attackers or rogue administrators, so they’re available even after an attack. You can recover petabytes of data in seconds, minimizing your organization’s downtime. Plus, you have the flexibility to choose the Snapshot schedule and lock duration that are right for your organization. After the initial setup, these Snapshot copies are automatically created and locked according to your chosen schedule.

Reduced exposure to ransomware attacks

Now you can immediately enable intelligent, autonomous ransomware protection on secondary storage. For more context about how this feature is valuable for your IT environment, let’s take a quick look at the anti-ransomware capabilities in ONTAP that NetApp has rolled out over the past 12 months:

  • One year ago, we introduced autonomous ransomware protection. It’s an industry-leading capability, based on machine learning, that can detect unexpected, out-of-bounds activity on file shares. If ONTAP identifies the start of a potential ransomware attack, then it automatically alerts an administrator and creates a Snapshot copy of the data that’s beginning to be affected.
  • Six months ago, we made autonomous ransomware protection even smarter by enhancing the detection algorithms. This improvement helps catch even more sophisticated and subtle ransomware attacks.
  • Now, we’ve further expanded where you can deploy autonomous ransomware protection. You can use it to immediately protect copies of your data on secondary storage, using the screening model that has already been created for your primary data. This protection is invaluable during a failover from a primary to a secondary.

One-click defense against malicious files

With just one click, you can now instantly enable automatic blocking of known malicious files. The NetApp FPolicy feature in ONTAP protects against 3,000 common ransomware extensions that are used for typical attacks. With this new ONTAP release, you can activate FPolicy with a single click from BlueXP or ONTAP System Manager. It’s a powerful level of protection to add to your storage environment.

These recent enhancements are three more ways that NetApp has automated ransomware protection, making it even easier for you to deploy and to strengthen your cyber resilience. Set them up once, and they continue to protect your data.

Hardened security for your ONTAP environment

NetApp is also leading the way in enabling customers like you to protect data by following the principles of a Zero Trust architecture—never trust and always verify. It’s a core component of the industry-leading ONTAP portfolio for data security. With this latest ONTAP release, you can increase your protection from insider threats by using Zero Trust principles in three new ways:

  • Immutable, tamperproof logging
  • Advanced multifactor authentication
  • Enhanced auditing

With Zero Trust, malicious actions by administrators can’t be hidden or deleted, making it easier for your organization to see activity that’s out-of-bounds. The ONTAP environment now includes increased support for management of access methods, which enhances multifactor authentication and makes your data even more secure. Now additional verification steps are required before configuration changes can be made or data can be deleted.

Simplified workflow for configuring a security profile

We’ve also created a template for BlueXP and System Manager that you can follow to confirm that you’ve turned on the relevant security capabilities to further protect your data.

Increased flexibility across your hybrid cloud

NetApp is also introducing ONTAP enhancements that help you solve other storage challenges beyond ransomware and security. In this latest ONTAP release, we’ve made it easier for your organization to use data in more ways. We added the flexibility for you to concurrently access your storage as files or as objects from the same data source, which is often called file-object duality. Your IT teams can use the same data for NAS workloads and for object workloads. They no longer need to make a copy of the file data so that they can use it for applications that use object data, such as analytics. Plus, your administrators don’t have separate file and object copies that they have to keep up-to-date and in sync.

This file-object duality comes on the most unified storage environment in the industry—ONTAP—with support for block, file, and object. This flexibility can help you lower your TCO by consolidating workloads or by repurposing your storage to support whatever your business requires across a wide range of applications.

More than 15 extra enhancements

This latest ONTAP release includes many other enhancements that further increase your data availability and performance while also simplifying operations for your IT staff. Check out the NetApp INSIGHT® breakout session that dives into the details.

Solve your ransomware and security challenges with ONTAP

What are your key IT challenges? NetApp is ready to help you solve them. This latest release, ONTAP 9.12.1, is targeted for availability in November 2022. You can quickly deploy it in your data center, and NetApp Cloud Volumes ONTAP makes it easy to also deploy in public clouds. And with the unified control plane of BlueXP, you can enable, manage, and optimize the ONTAP capabilities across your storage environment.

Get started today. For more information, visit the NetApp ONTAP webpage.

Jon Jacob

Jon is the Senior Product Marketing Manager for NetApp ONTAP data management software. He joined NetApp in 2010 and enjoys leading the cross-team collaboration that’s needed to successfully launch new solutions. Prior to NetApp, Jon had 10+ years of marketing experience at HP in the Business Critical Systems division, including three years based in Germany. Outside of NetApp, when Jon’s not out on a run or bike ride, he enjoys going to San Jose Sharks hockey games.

View all Posts by Jon Jacob

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