Data Storage

Technology Solutions Provider Strengthens Data Protection and Network-Attached Storage (NAS) Capacity for the Education Sector

February 10th, 2022

Beachhead Group offers a comprehensive range of technology solutions for organizations across Australia, from small education providers to multi-national corporations. The company brings decades of experience to its mission of supporting and managing technical requirements for educators. Over that time, data protection has risen to a top priority for IT professionals in education. No wonder, given that the Sophos State of Ransomware in Education report notes that 44 percent of responding educational organizations were hit by ransomware the previous year. Even worse, 58 percent said the cybercriminals succeeded in encrypting their institution’s data in the most significant attack, and more than one-third paid the ransom to get their data back—at an average cost of $112,435.

That’s a big hit on today’s tight school budgets. And, while two-thirds got their data back after paying the ransom, the total bill for rectifying a ransomware attack in the education sector—measured in downtime, people time, device cost, lost opportunity, ransom paid, and more—averaged $2.73 million, the highest of all sectors Sophos surveyed.

With the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) also highlighting education as one of the top three sectors affected by ransomware in the country through 2019 and 2020, Beachhead Group needed a solution to protect its customers against these growing threats. The challenge for schools is that, while the volume of student data continues to grow, school leaders typically have few resources to draw on, from small IT teams to limited space and budgets.

Simplifying and Strengthening Data Resiliency for Education

“Without a doubt, the industry has quickly recognized the urgency and priority in managing the explosion of data today and into the future,” said Chris Page, General Manager of Beachhead Group. “Schools are seeking a solution that will not demand any more of their limited physical space or complex technical support onsite.” “We knew that the OneXafe immutable storage solution would add immense value to how we support the needs of our customers and secure their backup data,” said Page. ”OneXafe ticks off all of the boxes when it comes to the problems educational institutions are trying to address—robust protection, lean resources, and capacity restraints—all while being affordable, flexible, and scalable.” Page concluded that OneXafe is simply better than any existing storage approach Beachheads’ customers had in place.

Immutable Network-Attached Storage (NAS) for Backup Targets and Unstructured Data

For its customers' backup repository, Beachhead Group chose OneXafe—a proven, distributed, immutable object-store with enterprise-grade features like inline deduplication and compression. For Beachhead, OneXafe’s disk-based backup lets the company scale quickly to meet its customers’ ever-growing backup data needs while requiring minimal configuration for storage management tasks. “Our clients benefit from powerful storage reduction technologies while gaining a cost-effective storage-capacity footprint,” said Page. Beachhead Group deploys the OneXafe appliance in its own data center to secure its customers’ backup data. When required, the company also deploys a OneXafe appliance onsite at a client facility, replicating the data to the appliance in Beachhead Group’s data center.

Common Storage Struggles Solved With Unified Architecture

Beachhead Group now solves common storage pain points for education clients without complex installations and storage management, unreliable data security, and painful IT overhauls. “OneXafe’s unified storage architecture reduces management and operational costs for primary and secondary storage,” said Page. “The continuous data protection and its immutable object-store means data is resilient against ransomware or user errors, ensuring that the information is always recoverable.” “With OneXafe, we’re able to offer enterprise value with a small footprint. This means the ability to scale storage capacity in a way that is incredibly compelling to our customers,” Page added, “Our clients now spend less money without the need to allocate extra storage capacity to compensate for inflexible storage architectures. The solution makes it easy to expand capacity, so forecasting is a breeze. And day-to-day management is minimal, while the support of the Arcserve team in solving problems has been invaluable.”

Use a Multi-Pronged Protection Approach

Beachhead Group has seen how educational institutions have been heavily impacted by disruptions due to breaches and ransomware. Page notes that schools also have attack surfaces—each a potential vulnerability—that are broad and complex because of today’s complex on-campus, remote, and hybrid learning environments. Beachhead Group recommends that educational institutions take the time to review their existing cybersecurity measures, then ensure effective prevention, backup, and disaster recovery solutions are in place to resist attacks and protect crucial systems and data. “We intend to continue rolling out OneXafe to all our clients, in education as well as in other essential services,” said Page. “We know we have the right solution in OneXafe to address pervasive problems related to securing backup data and managing storage capacity into the future.” Learn more about OneXafe, or contact us to find out how OneXafe can help you protect your data while cutting your storage costs.