Making use of multiple clouds? Immutable storage is the one solution that will keep your company’s data safe.

Select indisputable data integrity in the cloud

Making use of multiple clouds? Immutable storage is the one solution that will keep your company’s data safe.

As businesses increasingly rely on the cloud to manage their data, they face more pressing concerns regarding data security and integrity.

These concerns become even more complex in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments, where companies distribute data across multiple platforms. But there is a solution: immutable data storage. Immutable storage preserves data in its original state, thus preventing tampering.

It delivers data security and integrity in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments in several ways. First, immutable storage guarantees the data remains tamper-proof and unaltered.

Second, immutable storage provides a transparent record of all data transactions. Each change to stored data is recorded and stored as a separate immutable object. It means that, in the event of an attack, it is much easier to trace the origins of the breach and identify which data has been affected.

Finally, immutable storage provides an added layer of protection against accidental data loss or corruption. Because data creators cannot alter the data once they have created it, it becomes much harder to overwrite important data.

Implementation across platforms

Some challenges come with implementing immutable data storage in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments. One of the biggest hurdles is the complexity of managing the solution across multiple platforms.

Each cloud platform may have its own storage protocols, which makes it challenging to maintain a consistent immutable data storage strategy spanning all platforms.

A particular strategy might work well for one cloud, but another might not accommodate immutability. As data travels to multiple destinations, companies must ask if they are getting the benefits of immutable storage everywhere their data ends up.

Immutable storage is no longer a fantasy; it’s reality. It’s no longer a luxury; it’s a 100% must-have.

Shadow IT within the company compounds this challenge. The organisation might have multiple groups, from marketing to engineering to product management, all using different SaaS applications without the IT department even knowing.

In that case, companies don’t know if the data is being backed up or, ultimately, where it’s going. Is it going to a place with an immutable storage solution? You don’t know.

That’s why shadow IT is an area of serious concern. It’s crucial to ensure data stored in all shadow IT applications is on an immutable storage solution to maintain data integrity.

To address these challenges, it’s necessary to implement a unified data storage strategy that spans all cloud platforms. This strategy should involve standardising on a single immutable data storage protocol or investing in tools and technologies that can help manage data across multiple platforms.

Solve compliance concerns

Immutable data storage can also address challenges posed by data privacy and compliance requirements. Many industries, such as healthcare and finance, now mandate data preservation by law.

Any business subject to such requirements must have mechanisms to prove it maintains healthy copies of its data that cannot be altered or modified. Here, immutable data storage is often the answer because it helps ensure compliance with strict data retention and audit requirements.

Immutable storage enables organisations to store data in a tamper-proof manner, which makes it easier for them to demonstrate compliance during audits. Immutable storage prevents alteration and provides an audit trail that lists the history of all data changes, demonstrating transparency and accountability.

It is essential because regulators and auditors must verify that organisations follow specific rules and compliance requirements.

Businesses with immutable storage as a resource for audit trails can show the outside world − including customers, partners and investors − that they are compliant. It increases trust and confidence in the company and its capacity to handle sensitive data.

Enforce strict access controls

While a multi-cloud approach to immutability is beneficial in many ways, it can still be vulnerable regarding privileges and administrator rights to data.

Even though an immutable solution is very secure, a bad actor who gains access −whether a malicious employee or a third-party with privileged account-management access − can delete data. It presents a real risk since data alteration or deletion can cause irreparable damage to operations.

In other words, the danger of unauthorised access remains even if data is stored on an immutable solution. If someone has privileged access to the data, they can delete it, regardless of the security measures in place.

For this reason, it’s essential to couple immutable storage with strict access controls and monitoring mechanisms to prevent unauthorised access and ensure data integrity.

Once the fox gains access to the henhouse − we all know that’s the end of the chickens. Similarly, if someone gains privileged access to data, they can delete it, causing significant harm to businesses. Therefore, it is critical to implement strict access controls and monitoring mechanisms.

Immutable storage is no longer a fantasy; it’s reality. It’s no longer a luxury; it’s a 100% must-have.

With the rise of multi-cloud providers − and the explosion of cyber threats − it’s now crucial to ensure all providers have immutability. In this way, companies can limit the risk of a breach and ensure their long-term survival.

Cyber thieves are roaming the avenues of the digital world, rattling doors and looking for a way in. Immutable storage is the lock that will keep data safe.

Written by Byron Horn-Botha, Business Unit Head, Arcserve Southern Africa

Originally featured here