Mitigating ransomware risks: The role of immutable storage

25 March 2024 | 15 Shares

Photo by Ashley Knedler on Unsplash

The rising risk of ransomware attacks

Ransomware payments reached over a billion dollars globally in 2023 – the highest number ever observed. Indeed, the number of cyberattacks in Europe specifically surged by 57 percent in the first quarter of last year. The rise in these lucrative exploits is linked to the proliferation of interconnected devices and how businesses’ increased reliance on digital infrastructure has expanded the attack surface, providing more opportunities for cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities. Experts predict that the volume and impact of ransomware attacks will escalate further as AI becomes more accessible, as it lowers the barrier to entry for novice cybercriminals to carry out attacks.

What is immutable storage?

With such risk, organizations of all sizes must take steps in every area of business to protect their data. Some use immutable storage as a component of their data protection and cybersecurity strategies to safeguard critical information from threats like ransomware, data corruption, and accidental deletion. This protection is achieved through technologies like write-once-read-many (WORM) storage or cryptographic techniques, which ensure that once data is written to storage, it cannot be changed or deleted for a specified period. Consequently, even if ransomware encrypts or compromises primary data, the immutable backups remain intact as a reliable source for restoration. By employing immutable storage, organizations create a barrier that ransomware attackers cannot breach, even if they gain access to primary data.

Creating immutable backups

Organizations are increasingly turning to software solution providers like Veeam for their backup and recovery needs due to the growing complexity and volume of data. Veeam stands out in the market for its comprehensive and user-friendly approach to data protection, offering features like automated backups, rapid recovery capabilities, and seamless integration with various storage environments. However, the escalating risk of cyberattacks, particularly ransomware, has highlighted the importance of not only backing up data but also ensuring its security and immutability. This is where solutions like Object First’s Ootbi come into play.

Source: Object First

“Ootbi” stands for out-of-the-box immutability and offers an Amazon S3-compatible, object-based backup appliance for Veeam users. Immutable storage offers data integrity and protection against unauthorized tampering or deletion. So, if a cybercriminal were to gain access to the company’s critical data, they would not be able to encrypt or restrict business access to it in any way and thus have no grounds to demand ransom.

The Ootbi advantage

Ootbi was explicitly created to assist midsize enterprises dealing with skills shortages and constrained IT resources – conditions that make them especially vulnerable to attack. Its storage buckets integrate with S3 Object Lock for immutability by default and run on a hardened Linux operating system, working to ensure that backup data remains unalterable and tamper-proof. Moreover, it follows the zero-trust principles, a cybersecurity approach based on the edict, “never trust, always verify.” The backup software and storage layers are naturally segmented to minimize the attack surface to Veeam and Ootbi. Ootbi further enhances security by restricting access to root and reducing the risk of unauthorized data manipulation.

Besides robust cyber-recovery and hybrid cloud protection features, modern data protection solutions must be quick to deploy, easy to manage, and cost-efficient. Object First simplifies the deployment and management of backup storage, requiring very little expertise and time investment. In fact, the Ootbi appliance can be racked, stacked, and powered in just 15 minutes. Furthermore, in the event of a cyber-attack or data breach, Object First’s Ootbi enables organizations to quickly recover their critical data using Veeam’s Instant Recovery capabilities, ensuring minimal downtime and business disruption. Its high-performance architecture provides fast backup speeds of up to 4.0 gigabytes per second and supports the Veeam Instant Recovery of up to 80 virtual machines.

Object First ensures the seamless operation of Ootbi by deploying automatic updates and optimizations as well as efficient management through a simple, user-friendly interface. Additionally, while tailored for midsize organizations, the appliance can effortlessly scale to hold half a petabyte of backup data to accommodate growing storage demands. Its object-based systems anticipate horizontal scalability when nodes are added, so performance is never sacrificed for capacity. Ootbi, therefore, offers businesses the necessary flexibility without the bandwidth limitations and unpredictable costs associated with cloud storage.

If your business uses Veeam software, particularly in a VMware environment, Object First is the go-to provider for on-premises, ransomware-proof, immutable storage that is straightforward, robust, and cost-effective. If you would like to see Ootbi in action in your stack and discover how it can enhance your data protection strategy, schedule a product demo today.