In 2022, the industry witnessed a plethora of events and trends. The incessant ransomware and other malware attacks that plagued organizations globally were certainly among those that made headlines. From Twitter to Uber to student loan servicer Nelnet Servicing, over 4,100 publicly disclosed data breaches occurred in 2022 which led to more than 22 billion records being exposed.
Brian Dunagan, Vice President of Engineering, Retrospect (www.retrospect.com):
“Freedom and flexibility will become the mantra of virtually every data management professional in the coming year. In particular, data management professionals will seek data mobility solutions that are cloud-enabled and support data migration, data replication and data synchronization across mixed environments including disk, tape and cloud to maximize ROI by eliminating data silos. We will likewise see an uptick in solutions that support vendor-agnostic file replication and synchronization, are easily deployed and managed on non-proprietary servers and can transfer millions of files simultaneously – protecting data in transit to/from the cloud with SSL encryption.
Ransomware will remain a huge and relentlessly growing global threat, to high profile targets and to smaller SMBs and individuals as well. There are likely a few reasons for this continuing trend. Certainly, one is that today’s ransomware is attacking widely, rapidly, aggressively, and randomly – especially with ransomware as a service (RaaS) becoming increasingly prevalent, looking for any possible weakness in defense. The second is that SMBs do not typically have the technology or manpower budget as their enterprise counterparts.
While a strong security defense is indispensable, we will see that next year security leaders will ensure additional measures are taken. Their next step will be enabling the ability to detect anomalies as early as possible in order to remediate affected resources. Large enterprises, SMBs and individuals alike will need a backup target that allows them to lock backups for a designated time period. Many of the major cloud providers now support object locking, also referred to as Write-Once-Read-Many (WORM) storage or immutable storage. Users will leverage the ability to mark objects as locked for a designated period of time, and in doing so prevent them from being deleted or altered by any user – internal or external.”
Surya Varanasi, CTO, StorCentric (www.storcentric.com):
“The ransomware threat will continue to grow and become increasingly aggressive – not just from a commercial standpoint, but from a nation-state warfare perspective as well. Verizon’s 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report, reminded us how this past year illustrated, “… how one key supply chain incident can lead to wide ranging consequences. Compromising the right partner is a force multiplier for threat actors. Unlike a financially motivated actor, nation-state threat actors may skip the breach altogether, and opt to simply keep the access to leverage at a later time.” For this reason, channel solutions providers and end users will prioritize data storage solutions that can deliver the most reliable, real-world proven protection and security. Features such as lockdown mode, file fingerprinting, asset serialization, metadata authentication, private blockchain and robust data verification algorithms, will transition from nice-to-have, to must-have, while immutability will become a ubiquitous data storage feature. Solutions that do not offer these attributes and more won’t come even close to making it onto any organization’s short-list.
Consumer attitudes towards online security and privacy will also heighten. A key driver here will be that while enterprises getting hacked and hit by ransomware continue to make the headlines, cybercriminals have begun to hit not just enterprise businesses with deep pockets, but SMBs and individuals. SMBs and individuals/consumers are actually far more vulnerable to successful attacks as they do not have the level of protection that larger enterprises have the budgets to employ. As work from home (WFH) and work from anywhere (WFA) remain the paradigm for many across the data/analytics field, they will require data protection and security solutions that can also protect them wherever they are.
In the coming year, the ideal cybercrime defense will be a layered defense that starts with a powerful password, and continues with Unbreakable Backup. As mentioned, backup has become today’s cyber criminals’ first target via ransomware and other malware. An Unbreakable Backup solution however can provide users with two of the most difficult hurdles for cyber criminals to overcome – immutable snapshots and object locking. Immutable snapshots are by default, write-once read-many (WORM) but in the coming year, sophisticated yet easy to manage features like encryption where the encryption keys are located in an entirely different location than the data backup copy(ies) will become standard. And then to further fortify the backup and thwart would-be criminals in the coming year we will see users leveraging object locking, so that data cannot be deleted or overwritten for a fixed time period, or even indefinitely.”