Storage comes to the fore as key for cyber resilience

Johannesburg, 10 Dec 2021
Read time 3min 00sec
Keith Kenneth, systems business leader for storage: South & Central Africa at IBM.
Keith Kenneth, systems business leader for storage: South & Central Africa at IBM.

Availability and thus storage is becoming an increasingly important focus area for achieving cyber resilience.

This is according to IBM experts who were speaking during a webinar hosted by IBM, in collaboration with ITWeb, on how advanced storage solutions support cyber and data resilience.

Makgama Langa, security architect at IBM Security, said that in the past, the cyber resilience focus was mainly on confidentiality and integrity, but that availability is becoming increasingly important.

“Ransomware has become about profiteering from those who cannot afford downtime, like the manufacturing, health, finance or energy sectors,” he said. “In the past six years, the average cost of a data breach has risen to R40.6 million in South Africa. You’re looking at lost business, as well as the ransom and the costs of detection and response. Attackers are highly organised and well-funded now, and there has never been a better time than now to focus on cyber resilience.”

Keith Kenneth, systems business leader for storage: South & Central Africa at IBM, said: “It’s not an ‘if’ but a ‘when’ you get attacked scenario, no matter what the size of your company or the sector you operate in. The risk of loss of revenue due to downtime cannot be overemphasised; and it must be a priority at the top decision maker level.”

Nazeer Parak, storage infrastructure solutions leader, MEA at IBM noted that data resilience is the capability to protect from and recover data quickly from any data destructive event, such as disasters, failures, cyber attacks and data theft.

“We’ve seen just how catastrophic these can be to an organisation – there are direct costs, operational impacts and reputational damage. People’s lives can even be placed at risk,” he said.

“Because no one thing can protect the organisation and its data, the solution is to take a strategic approach. IBM takes a holistic, multifaceted approach, and has a strong focus on rapid recovery. We enable a strong foundation for failure protection, high availability, disaster protection, and protection against data theft and cyber attack. While the industry average is 23 days to recover, IBM reduces recovery time to minutes or hours.”

Nazeer Parak, storage infrastructure solutions leader, MEA at IBM.
Nazeer Parak, storage infrastructure solutions leader, MEA at IBM.

IBM Storage for cyber resiliency provides end-to-end solutions that can efficiently prevent, detect, and respond to cyberattacks as a result of a deep integration between innovative technology and a comprehensive portfolio of software and hardware offerings.

Mohammed Mehdi Megzari, lab services storage consultant at IBM, demonstrated how organisations can recover and restore with confidence using IBM Safeguarded Copy, which enables the creation of cyber-resilient point-in-time copies of volumes that cannot be changed or deleted through user errors, malicious actions, or ransomware attacks.

Parak noted that organisations could start moving toward improved resilience by taking a free assessment. The IBM Storage Cyber Resiliency Assessment Tool helps organisations identify gaps, strengths and weaknesses, to identify blind spots and areas for improvement. The assessment discovers the use of existing solutions, integrations and overlaps that can be fine-tuned and supports the creation of a customised cyber resilience strategy. The Cyber Incident Response Storage Assessment identifies strategic cyber resiliency goals, identifies gaps and exposures and provides recommendations for a cyber resiliency plan that aligns storage and infrastructure capabilities and business requirements. 

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