According to the Cyber Observer: The United States ranks highest with 18.2% of all ransomware attacks and 43% of breach victims were small and medium businesses (link).
However, not only small and medium organizations are falling victims, but also enterprise companies as big as Google and Uber have faced cyber-attacks. These cyber-attacks are highlighted by their sophistication and the way they reach deep into the datacenter to do fierce damage. But more interesting are the findings that 34% of data breaches involved internal actors, which implies that companies need to protect themselves internally the same way they do externally.
The decisions on how to prevent threats and how to mitigate the loss of data in case of a ransomware attack lead to a more general question, how can your organization provide cyber resiliency to its most critical data?
Ransomware quickly infiltrates the network; therefore, the most effective way to prevent data access is to fully isolate the data. In this case, an air gap solution can prevent the destruction of data, by blocking the direct or remote access to the most critical data. This process needs to include the creation of a golden copy where storage plays a key role in preventing data loss in the total cyber-resilience solution when implementing an air gap strategy.
There are many considerations to be taken when creating copies of the data; for example, what methods to use to create copies of the data? and, where to store it?. To copy the data, replication services or backup services are two options to consider. To store the data, many organizations are using a backup solution and offloading the data to tape. Performing a backup to tape is the most practical way to create a gold copy and keep it offline.
A backup solution offers the most cost-effective and practical way of maintaining data off-line. Storing your most critical data on disk could become costly, and as the disk footprint increases the cost exponentially. However, Tape is reliable and cost-effective when compared to disk. It can store the most amount of data with less footprint and maintenance cost. “Equivalent levels of backup for tape versus disk results in about 4x cost savings for devices” (according to an analysis conducted by BackupWorks.com).
The medium is considerably less expensive than disk or flash storage. Part of the reason is that, unlike disks, one tape machine can accommodate an unlimited number of tape drives or cartridges.
The use of tape makes it also easier to maintain data off-line. The only time the tape media is using a network connection is when data is being written to tape or restored from tape and this process can be scheduled. Every other time, physical tapes are offline and can be kept in a library or moved to a rack or vault.