Why Immutable Storage Is the One Solution That Ensures Data Resilience Across Multicloud and Hybrid-Cloud Environments

MAY 18TH, 2023

By Ahsan Siddiqui, Director, Product Management, Arcserve

Your business likely relies increasingly on the cloud to manage your data as you address more pressing concerns like data security and resilience.

That’s especially true if you’re responsible for complex multicloud and hybrid-cloud environments where your data is distributed across multiple platforms. Statista says that over 60 percent of all corporate data is stored in the cloud.

Immutable Storage: Secure Across Environments

That’s where immutable storage changes everything. Immutable storage saves your backups in a write-once-read-many-times (WORM) format that can’t be altered or deleted. So hackers can’t hack it, and malicious actors can’t victimize you with ransomware. With immutable storage, you can be sure your data is secure and its integrity is assured in multicloud and hybrid-cloud environments.

Immutable storage also gives you a transparent record of all data transactions. Each change to data is recorded and stored as a separate immutable object. If you are attacked, it is much easier to trace the origin of the breach and identify which data has been affected. And immutable storage gives you an added layer of protection against accidental data loss or corruption. Because it can’t be altered once created and saved in an immutable format, it is much more difficult for essential data to be overwritten in error.

Implement Immutable Storage Across Platforms

Some challenges come with implementing immutable data storage in multicloud and hybrid-cloud environments. One of the biggest is the complexity of managing the solution across multiple platforms. Each cloud platform may have its storage protocols, which makes it challenging to maintain a consistent immutable storage strategy spanning all platforms.

Your strategy may work well for one cloud, but another cloud might not support immutability. As your data moves between multiple destinations, the question you need to answer is: Am I getting the benefits of immutable storage everywhere my data ends up?

Shadow IT that may exist within your company compounds this problem. Your organization might have multiple groups—from marketing to product management—all using different SaaS applications without the IT department even knowing it. That means you don’t know if the data is being backed up or, ultimately, whether it will be stored in an immutable format. And that makes shadow IT a problem of outsized proportions. So it’s crucial to ensure that the data generated in all shadow IT applications is stored in an immutable format to maintain data integrity.  

Getting there demands that you implement a unified data storage strategy that spans all your cloud platforms. This strategy should include standardizing on a single immutable data storage protocol or investing in tools and technologies that can help manage data across multiple platforms. 

Immutable Storage Covers Compliance

Immutable data storage also addresses the challenges posed by data privacy and compliance requirements, like GDPR and industry standards for healthcare and finance, which now mandate data preservation or retention by law. Any business subject to these requirements must have mechanisms to prove that it maintains secure copies of its data that can’t 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 makes it easier to demonstrate compliance during audits. And it prevents data alteration while providing an audit trail that lists the history of all data changes, ensuring transparency and accountability. It’s essential because regulators and auditors must verify that your organization follows specific rules and compliance requirements.

With immutable storage as a resource for audit trails, you can show the outside world, including customers, partners, and investors, that you are compliant. That increases trust and confidence in your organization and its capacity to handle sensitive data.

Enforce Strict Access Controls

While a multicloud approach to immutability brings many benefits, it still can be vulnerable due to a lack of controls over privileges and administrator rights to data. Even though an immutable solution is very secure, if a bad actor gains access—whether a malicious employee or a third party with privileged account-management access—they can delete your data. If someone has privileged access to the data, they can delete it, regardless of the security measures in place. That presents a real risk since data alteration or deletion can cause irreparable damage to your organization’s operations.

Think about the keys to your home. If the bad guys get ahold of them and gain access, they can take anything they want. Similarly, if someone gains privileged access to your data, they can delete it, causing significant harm to your organization. That’s why it’s essential to couple immutable storage with strict access controls and monitoring mechanisms to prevent unauthorized access and ensure data integrity.

Immutability is a Must Have

While there are many things you need to do to ensure data resilience, immutability is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. It’s not just a matter of data resilience; it could impact your organization’s very survival.

To get expert guidance regarding the right immutability and data resilience strategy for your organization, choose an Arcserve technology partner. To learn more about Arcserve's immutable storage products, check out our demo

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