For years, we have seen data transform businesses, create new industries, and serve as the catalyst for business growth and new opportunities. According to ESG research, 59% of businesses identify that at least some portion of their revenue is derived from information-based products and services.
And it is precisely this incredible value that a business’s data can create that has led to the continued increase in cyber-attacks such as ransomware. At ESG, we recently conducted our 2022 Technology Spending Intentions Survey and looked at the impact that this ransomware crisis is having on organizations. We found that 63% of organizations have been ransomware targets, with 21% identifying that they experience an attack on a weekly basis or even more frequently. To make matters worse, we see that nearly two-thirds of ransomware victims (64%) give in and payout. As long as organizations keep paying, the volume of attacks will increase, and businesses will remain targets.
With ransomware, it is not a matter of “if;” it is a matter of “when.” An organization’s protection strategy needs to span beyond simple avoidance and extend to accelerating recovery. The organization needs to assume an attack will get past its defenses and that it will have to recover. It needs to ensure that its approach provides confidence not only in that fact that it can recover its data and applications to a pre-attack state, but that it can recover quickly to minimize the cost to the business.
With this in mind, I wanted to call out IBM’s FlashSystem announcement this past week. Much of this announcement can be filed under “bigger, better, faster storage technology,” but IBM is doing some real innovation here to help accelerate ransomware protection and recovery. Here is a snapshot of what was announced:
- The FlashSystem 9500 – According to IBM, this major upgrade over the IBM FlashSystem 9200 offers twice the performance, capacity, and connectivity.
- The FlashSystem 7300 – This upgrade offers 25% performance improvement over the 7200.
- The new FlashCore Module v3 increases the flash storage density IM can offer on its FlashSystem 5200, 7300, and 9500.
- Some new cyber-protection offerings: a Cyber Resilience Assessment and IBM CyberVault for FlashSystem.
Not to understate the value of first three, which are incredible, valuable innovations, but I want to spend a little time on this last part. First, IBM is offering organizations risk-assessment consultation that comes at no cost to the customer. Everyone, whether they are an IBM customer or not, should look into this. There is a lot of uncertainty around ransomware protection. I see it in both directions; some organizations are better protected than they think, and this can lead to paying a ransom simply because they don’t know how quickly they can restore. But more often, the uncertainty trends in the opposite direction; organizations assume they are more protected than they truly are. They assume that, because they have backups and/or disaster recovery, they are covered, when the reality is far from what they believe. Let IBM come in and give an outside, educated perspective on where your environment truly stands.
Second, IBM CyberVault for FlashSystem is a new innovation that monitors the immutable snapshots taken by FlashSystem’s safeguarded copy feature and continuously checks them for corruption. This corruption can be an early sign of ransomware. With CyberVault, organizations can identify ransomware more quickly and provide organizations the confidence of knowing the most recent good copy of data. This confidence helps speed recovery. While it is essential to also have fully air gapped copies, recovery from immutable snapshots can accelerate the process from days to hours.
The bottom line is that ransomware is everyone’s problem. An organization’s protection needs to embrace more than avoidance. It needs to also have a fast, reliable recovery plan in place. IBM is offering extra layers of safeguards in place, reducing the time it takes to get the business up and running. With ransomware attacks poised to only increase, everyone needs to take these attacks seriously and check out what IBM has to offer.