Storage Just Took a Self Defense Class

While the rest of the IT infrastructure is moving to a zero trust model, traditional storage has not taken up the challenge to defend itself. The next frontier of data security is taking place at the point of storage.

Storage is the most vulnerable and yet, once all the other defenses have been breached, the only thing that protects your data from being stolen currently are access control lists and the integrity by which they have been defined and maintained. We’ve heard from our customers that it can be more of a rubber stamp process than a trust, but verify effort. It’s where user and group ACLs are stored and maintained in directory services such as Active Directory. Depending on the identity the thief has assumed, this won’t provide any protection either. So I have to ask, are you feeling a little exposed? How would your customers feel if they knew their data wasn’t safe from inside and outside threats? What would a breach cost the company? How would this impact your role?

DataGravity enables storage to participate in protecting itself from data breaches and data losses of all kinds. The goal is to create a world where when storage subsystems are broken into, there is either no valuable data to steal, and/or the theft is quickly discovered, the exposure contained and the data restored. So how do we move toward storage being a safe place for data to live and thrive? This starts with data visualization; you can’t protect what you can’t see. Once you can see what’s in your data inside your storage system, a world of possibilities is revealed. In this case, being able to identify, move and secure sensitive data is the first step to preemptive strategies to protect your data. Monitoring access to data and taking action to defend sensitive data are key parts of the mission to protecting business critical data assets. Auditors now have the power to take remediation steps if needed.

Like with any security system, things you can’t see and prepare for are often the most problematic and most costly. In a parking lot, you’d install motion sensor lights and cameras. Alerts are sent when anomalies are seen. Obviously, while this isn’t fail proof it does indeed increase visibility.

Storage needs the same type of illumination and alerting. In a storage subsystem, by design, very little is known about the data that is actually stored on the array.  Previously, it was taboo for storage to look inside the data to understand what exactly was being stored. This led to inefficient utilization of storage resources and external applications were deployed to try to deduce what was happening inside the storage.  This approach proved extremely inefficient, in terms of storage resources (capacity and IOPs) and in terms of cost (additional software and hardware needs to be deployed). IT professionals have often deferred these initiatives into some future time period due to these compounding factors. The solution is for the storage array to keep an inventory of what is stored in the array, quickly be able to visualize the information and provide user defined alerts when data risks are discovered.

Security at the point of storage therefore is essential. The fundamentals for securing data seem simple enough, but are truly challenging for most organizations. They are:

Define what data your organization needs to protect
Detect when rules you have defined for safeguarding key data assets are violated
Defend against threats to this key data

DataGravity answers the challenges of Define, Detect and Defend as part of our V2 release

Today, we announced our V2.0 software release for the award-winning Discovery Series. One of the main tenants of our data-aware technology is to secure and protect data. The V2.0 release focuses on delivering a whole new suite of capabilities that make the job of protecting data simpler — without the need for more hardware or an entire security team. We’ve built that into the product and have been pleased with what customers have been able to uncover about their data so far.

DataGravity has added multiple enhancements to secure your data at the point of storage. These new features include:

The challenges are many for organizations looking to Define, Detect and Defend their data

DataGravity is committed to ensuring our customers understand what is in their data. Our goal is to maximize their ability to gain business value from the data they store, while at the same time reducing the risks and impact of having data kidnapped or stolen. The DataGravity Discovery Series V2.0 is just the beginning. Stay tuned for more information on new advances in data-aware storage.

Want to learn more? Watch Paula’s vLog on customer needs driving the focus of the V2 release:

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Paula Long

Paula Long is the CEO and co-founder of DataGravity. She previously co-founded storage provider EqualLogic, which was acquired by Dell for $1.4 billion in 2008. She remained at Dell as vice president of storage until 2010. Prior to EqualLogic, she served in engineering management positions at Allaire Corporation and oversaw the ClusterCATS product line at Bright Tiger Technologies. She is a graduate of Westfield State College.