In today’s information era, data growth is booming. Furthermore, organizations are storing and backing up this data more than ever before to meet compliance regulations, as well as to increase the volume of information available for business analytics. At the same time, cybercrime is equally booming. While crypto miners, banking trojans, adware and more are on the rise, other malware such as ransomware is simultaneously becoming more sophisticated (thus becoming more difficult to triage and eliminate, and potentially having a more severe impact on the business).
Tape storage is commonly accepted as a cost-effective backup target, and it also can play an even more strategic role in combating cybercrime. In a recent video with Storage Switzerland, Lead Analyst George Crump and David Balcar, security strategist for Carbon Black, discussed how to use tape storage systems to create an “air gap” that can significantly reduce an organization’s vulnerability to malware.
The tape air gap strategy requires an organization to backup data to a tape storage system that is both offsite and offline which can prevent hackers from accessing data in the event of a security incident. This eliminates the physical connection between endpoints and between networks. As a result, if one endpoint is hit with malware, the attack is isolated to that endpoint. The hacker cannot access backups stored on the tape library.
Isolating endpoints such as PCs and mobile devices provides the business with a cushion against modern cybercrime attacks that are evolving arguably more quickly than antimalware and other solutions can keep pace. Meanwhile, backing up to offline and offsite tape storage can help to contain the potential attack surface. This approach avoids pooled storage resources, and it avoids data being transferred over potentially unsecure external networks – both key to containing the impact of malware that has been written to be replicated across systems or entire sites.