This is part of Solutions Review’s Premium Content Series, a collection of contributed columns written by industry experts in maturing software categories. In this submission, Scality Field CTO Candida Valois offers a take on how to avoid increasing security risks by comparing unstructured data vs. object storage.
Today, a preponderance of data is unstructured: information in a variety of forms that don’t adhere to traditional data models. It’s challenging to store and manage this kind of data in a typical relational database – and it’s mushrooming. By 2025, 80 percent of all data will be unstructured, IDC predicts.
Additionally, there is a greater security risk with this kind of data. Although nearly no industry is exempt, the healthcare and financial services sectors are finding unstructured data particularly problematic. Scalable and affordable object storage can assist in overcoming these difficulties.
The Looming Risk of Ransomware
Organizations are gathering growing hoards of data, including enormous amounts of user-provided personal data. This information must be stored and protected for a long period, determined by each industry’s regulations. For example, if your company is subject to HIPAA, you must securely store that data for six years. In some instances, you must retain data indefinitely, and not only in some remote data lake; it must be both secure and accessible.
However, according to a recent Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) study, between 20 percent and 50 percent of the sensitive data that IT workers have previously put in the public cloud is likely not well protected. And 61 percent of respondents claimed they had either lost data or had reason to believe they had.
Especially as security threats increase, companies that collect personal information have a responsibility to protect it. Malicious actors are anxious to obtain that data because they know you must retain it. For example, ransomware is an inevitability rather than a maybe. An attack of this nature will happen every two seconds by 2031. And these security concerns are becoming more expensive. The average cost of a breach is $4.24 million, according to the 2021 Ponemon/IBM Cost of a Data Breach research.
Searching for Scalability
It’s obvious that businesses must take this problem seriously and address it right now. Scalability is a crucial factor to consider when looking for the best storage solution to resolve these problems. You require a system that can address your immediate and long-term needs while affordably storing data over time.
The cloud era is incompatible with conventional storage techniques. They simply cannot scale, which then leads to costly silo management. Because public cloud adoption delivers scalability and agility, you can manage your data without an inside administrator. For some applications and short-term data storage, the cloud is a good option, but it doesn’t provide users much control over the infrastructure, performs poorly, raises security issues, and loses cost-effectiveness over time. Although the cloud is initially less expensive, margins decrease as businesses grow. This conundrum has come to be called the “cloud paradox.”
Improving Object Storage
In order to break down silos and foster rapid innovation, modern companies need a safe, affordable solution that can scale as business needs change over the next five to 10 years. This solution must also make data accessible to both legacy and new cloud/cloud-native apps. When used properly, cloud object storage combines the advantages of an on-premises private cloud architecture with those of public cloud infrastructure in terms of performance, security, and control. Despite all of this, you are still not required to have an on-site data administrator.
It offers protection at multiple levels to stop data from being corrupted, accidentally modified, destroyed, rewritten, unavailable, lost, or encrypted without your permission, as is the case with ransomware attacks.
A unique balance of scalability, speed, and security is offered by this type of cloud storage for data centers. It grows exactly in line with your requirements. It is malleable, controllable, and unchangeable. In the fight against ransomware, immutability is frequently seen as essential, but it also safeguards data against accidental or intentional loss or modification.
Support for the S3 Object Lock API makes immutability possible. It has the lowest possible recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO) thanks to this capability, making it an ironclad solution for preventing and recovering from ransomware and other security events.
Previously, tape was considered the best air-gap medium for isolating sensitive data from local networks and production facilities that might not be secure. But that’s no longer accurate. Despite having a long lifespan and a cheap cost-per-terabyte ratio, tape has a high operating expense that makes it inappropriate for modern organizations. Immutable object storage that is S3 compliant is the industry standard for air-gapped security and offers cost-effective cloud-scale advantages for data sizes of tens of petabytes or more.
Addressing Modern Data Challenges
You will confront numerous, continuing threats to your organization’s data as an IT leader, and managing and controlling unstructured data is a significant problem that must be addressed. Even though you can’t always avoid these threats, you can prepare for how to deal with them. To maximize the value of your data and your peace of mind, you need solutions that guarantee it is always accessible and never lost. Unstructured data increases security concerns, particularly those posed by ransomware. A key solution to these problems lies in object storage.