Gartner Summit Sparks Data Security Fervor

Businesses are searching for ways to increase growth through innovation and digital transformation. Attendees at the recent Gartner IT Infrastructure, Operations Management & Data Center Conference 2017 in Las Vegas were interested in the LTO Program’s wide range of expertise including storage and security infrastructure. In this BlogBytes, you will learn key strategies to help protect your data while controlling costs.

Attendees Want Security Answers

The Gartner Summit included comprehensive tracks featuring the latest research on strategies for infrastructure, architecture and development, customer experience, integration and designing the digital workplace. One area in particular that was top of mind for many was protecting data from unwanted corruption via cyber-attacks. Cyber-attacks can come in many forms, from malware hidden in an email to hackers holding data and systems hostage for ransomware. As defined by, Malware, or malicious software, is any program or file that is harmful to a computer user. Malware includes computer viruses, worms, Trojan horses and spyware.

Ransomware is on the Rise

Malware in the form of ransomware attacks continue to increase. These malicious efforts are aimed at companies of all sizes. According to a report from the FBI, on average, 4,000 ransomware attacks occurred per day in 2016. Ransomware attacks come in a few prominent forms.  As described by the Microsoft Malware Protection Center, there are two types of ransomware – lock-screen ransomware and encryption ransomware.

Lock-screen ransomware shows a full-screen message that prevents you from accessing your PC or files. It usually states that you have to pay to get access to your computer again.

Encryption ransomware locks files so they can’t be opened by their owner. It does this by encrypting the files and preventing access and disrupting business operations. In this case, the attackers hold the key to unlocking the files and demand large sums of money to do so.

So what can be done to protect against malware attacks? Create an air-gap!

What is an Air-Gap?

The LTO Program team discussed how an “air-gap” is needed as part of a comprehensive data security plan with Gartner Summit attendees (Figure-1). Using removable storage media helps prevent electronic access to data because the media is no longer accessible electronically – it is offline. Disk systems remain online and are potentially vulnerable to an attack, but with removable media, such as LTO tape, there is an air-gap between the tape cartridge and the computer systems.   An air-gap means that there is no electronic connection to the data on the tape cartridge helping to prevent malware attacks.  This can allow you to restore your copy of the secure tape data and return to normal operations! In addition, since it is offline, the tape cartridge draws no power – helping to conserve energy.

LTO technology can help protect your data by providing “air-gap” security and it can do it economically. In fact, LTO tape solutions have been shown to be up to seven times lower in long-term storage costs than disk solutions in a ten year study. Want to estimate your tape storage costs and compare it to other cloud storage costs? Try the LTO TCO Calculator Tool here.