As companies traverse multi-clouds, immutable storage will keep data safe

As businesses across Australia increasingly deploy multi- and hybrid-clouds to manage data, they face more pressing concerns regarding data security and integrity. There is a solution – immutable storage, which preserves data in its original state, thus preventing tampering and altering. Immutable data storage also ensures data security and integrity in multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud environments by providing a transparent record of all data transactions.

Each change to stored data is recorded and stored as a separate immutable object. In the event of a cyber attack, it is much easier to trace the origins of the cyber breach and identify which data has been affected. Immutable storage provides an added layer of protection against accidental data loss or data corruption. Because data creators cannot alter the data once they have created it, it becomes much harder to overwrite important data.

Implement immutable storage across platforms

One big challenge with implementing immutable data storage in a multi-cloud environment is the complexity of managing the solution across multiple platforms. Each cloud platform has its storage protocols, which makes it challenging to maintain a consistent immutable data storage strategy across platforms. As data travels to multiple destinations, the benefits of immutable storage may work well for one but another may not accommodate immutability.

Shadow IT compounds this challenge. The organisation’s multiple groups, from marketing to engineering to product management, all use different SaaS applications without the IT department even knowing. In that case, you don’t know if the data is being backed up or, ultimately, where it’s going. Is it going to a place with an immutable storage solution?

You don’t know. That’s why shadow IT is an area of serious concern. It’s crucial to ensure that data stored in all shadow IT applications is on an immutable storage solution to maintain data integrity. A unified data storage strategy that spans all cloud platforms will address this challenge. This approach should involve standardising on a single immutable data storage protocol or investing in tools and tech that can help manage data across multiple platforms.

Solve compliance concerns with immutable storage

Immutable data storage can also address challenges posed by data privacy and compliance requirements. Many industries, like healthcare and finance, now mandate data preservation by law. Any business subject to such requirements must have mechanisms to prove that it maintains healthy copies of data that cannot be altered. Here, immutable data storage is often the answer because it ensures compliance with strict data retention and audit needs.

Immutable storage enables organisations to store data in a tamper-proof manner, which makes it easier for them to demonstrate compliance during audits. Immutable storage prevents alteration and provides an audit trail that lists the history of all data changes, demonstrating transparency and accountability. It is essential because regulators and auditors must verify that organisations follow specific rules and compliance requirements.

Organisations with immutable storage as a resource for audit trails can show the outside world, including customers, partners, and investors, that they are compliant. It increases trust and confidence in the organisation and its capacity to handle sensitive data.

Enforce strict access controls

While a multi-cloud approach to immutability is beneficial in many ways, it still can be vulnerable regarding privileges and administrator rights to data. However, the danger of unauthorised access remains even if your data is stored on an immutable solution.

If someone has privileged access to the data, they can delete it, regardless of the security measures in place. For this reason, it’s vital to couple immutable storage with strict access controls and monitoring mechanisms to prevent unauthorised access and keep data integrity.

Immutability is now a necessity. With the rise of multi-cloud providers—and the explosion of cyber threats—it’s now crucial to ensure that all providers have immutability. When it is, organisations can limit the risk of a breach and ensure their long-term survival.

David Lenz is the Vice President, Asia Pacific at Arcserve.

David Lenz, Vice President for Asia Pacific at Arcserve