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May 27, 2022
Report: Healthcare industry remains top target for cyberattacks
We are excited to bring Transform 2022 back in-person July 19 and virtually July 20 - 28. Join AI and data leaders for insightful talks and exciting networking opportunities. Register today!Incident response firm BreachQuest has released their latest report that examines top healthcare threat actors and methods, observations from past cyberattacks, and insights on ransomware incidence as well as actions and best practices organizations can take to be more secure. With threat actors continuously innovating and utilizing upgraded variants of ransomware and malware, healthcare organizations must explore how they can increase their preparedness. Based on the data and unique challenges found in the healthcare vertical, the report provides perspective tips to ensure insurability mitigation and resilience for organizations. Some of the topics covered include botnets and healthcare; why healthcare data is so valuable; and how healthcare organizations should protect themselves when nearly two-thirds of their breaches come from vendors.Although ransomware remains a common attack vector, the healthcare industry overall is a prime target to cybercriminals for a number of reasons. Sixty percent of the ransomware attacks in the healthcare industry took place within the United States. Because of the sensitive information the medical databases contain, the data is seen to be more valuable and is sold for more money on the dark web or in most cases, is held hostage until a ransom is paid. During the event of encryption, organizations lose many hours in attempts to restore operations and regain access to the data. Most importantly, organizations lose the ability to care for its patients. Ransomware attacks are costlier than other types of breaches, since the data is so sensitive and valuable.Unfortunately, the healthcare industry has been slow in updating its outdated systems and keeping up with cybersecurity technology, most dedicating a smaller portion of their budget to cybersecurity compared to other sectors. In fact, only 4-7% of a healthcare provider’s IT budget is focused on cybersecurity. However, this number is expected to grow. Even though cybersecurity awareness may be increasing, cybercriminals are constantly finding ways to be better and faster.There isn’t a simple solution for healthcare organizations and privacy. The complexity faced with nation-state attacks, zero-day attacks, spying, stolen trade secrets, misinformation and stolen finances will continue to be a problem for healthcare organizations. However, there are great people and organizations providing guidance, frameworks and information and knowledge sharing to help businesses and organizations, including healthcare.The report includes original BreachQuest analysis and data along with pooled research from various sources.Read the full report by BreachQuest.VentureBeat's mission is to be a digital town square for technical decision-makers to gain knowledge about transformative enterprise technology and transact. Learn more about membership.
May 27, 2022
Tape Storage Shipments Increase 40% in 2021
As the market's thirst for storage increases on the back of massive amounts of data production, tape as a storage medium is still chugging along. Far from being abandoned, shipments for tape-based storage media soared 40% in 2021, achieving an impressive 148 Exabytes (155 million TB) of total storage space sent to clients, according to tape providers like IBM, HPE and Quantum.. At the same time, unit shipments have decreased on the back of increased per-tape densities, which can now achieve a whopping 54 TB per cartridge thanks to the backwards-compatible LTO-9 technology.Image 1 of 2Total shipped capacity in tape storage (Exabyte) (Image credit: LTO Ultrium)Image 1 of 2"Despite the significant business disruptions and uncertainty in 2021, LTO tape capacity shipments achieved the largest increase since 2006, surpassing the previous record set in 2019," said Patrick Osborne, general manager and vice president at HPE storage. "We’re continuing to see organizations return to tape technology, seeking out storage solutions that offer high capacity, reliability, long term data archiving and stronger data protection measures, especially as threats to cybersecurity soar."Increasing amounts of produced data means that storage must scale along with it. It's estimated that the world's population created around 79 zettabytes (79 billion terabytes) worth of data in 2021, with projections placing that number at a mind-boggling 181 Zettabytes by 2025. Booms in the creator economy, improvements in capture technology, and increased deployment of AI and machine-learning systems are likely to be the biggest contributors to this growth scenario.Tapes offer some advantages over their other storage medium counterparts — advantages which compound alongside the total storage footprint. Besides being lower power, they're easier to maintain, usually provide higher data longevity than other popular storage mediums (such as HDDs and SSDs), consume less resources when scaling is required, and perhaps more importantly, offer increased protection against ransomware attacks due to their cold storage, offline, and offsite usage.“LTO tape is arguably the lowest-cost, simplest method of achieving ransomware recovery best practices,” said Phil Goodwin, research vice president at IDC. “Ransomware and malware are threats that will not go away. Magnetic tape is an established, understood, and proven technology that can be an invaluable tool for defeating ransomware.”As the number and gravity of ransomware attacks increases, companies with large data storage requirements are likely revisiting their backup strategies, with tape offering itself up as the affordable, last line of defense in the 3-2-1-1 backup rule (three copies of data stored on two different storage mediums, with one off-site and one (tape) that is completely offline.Despite these benefits, the average person — and even enthusiasts — likely wouldn't want to adopt tape storage for their own purposes. This because using tapes to store data comes with trade-offs in latency and throughput that wouldn't make for a great user experience, at least when it comes to frequently accessed data. Accessing a tapes' contents must be done sequentially, adding to the storage's seek times. But in some very specific scenarios for especially prolific content creators, tape might be the best, final level of backup storage.
May 27, 2022
Tape storage is anything but dead, it's going from strength to strength
Tape storage is far from obsolete (opens in new tab) as a new report from the LTO Program (opens in new tab) has revealed that a record 148 exabytes of tape was shipped last year.LTO Program Technology Provider Companies HPE and IBM have released their annual tape media shipment report which shows that LTO tape saw an impressive growth rate of 40 percent in 2021.Although only 105EB of total tape capacity was shipped during the pandemic in 2020 and 114EB (the previous record) was shipped in 2019, last year’s tape shipments broke a new record as organizations tried to cut cloud storage (opens in new tab) costs when archiving their unstructured data.GM and VP of HPE Storage, Patrick Osborne provided further insight on the report’s findings in a press release (opens in new tab), saying:“Despite the significant business disruptions and uncertainty in 2021, LTO tape capacity shipments achieved the largest increase since 2006, surpassing the previous record set in 2019. We’re continuing to see organizations return to tape technology, seeking out storage solutions that offer high capacity, reliability, long term data archiving and stronger data protection measures, especially as threats to cybersecurity soar.”Cyberthreats continue to drive tape adoptionWhen an organization has its systems infected with malware (opens in new tab) or its files are locked following a ransomware (opens in new tab) attack, this can do irreparable harm to its business. While there are proactive measures a company can take to defend against the latest cyberthreats, tape storage prevents sensitive files and documents from being online in the first place.According to the LTO Program, organizations are increasingly turning to LTO tape technology for increased data protection at a time when ransomware attacks are surging (opens in new tab). This is because tape storage offers an inherent air-gap (opens in new tab) which denies cybercriminals the physical connectivity needed to access, encrypt or delete data.At the same time, ransomware trends are reinforcing the need for organizations to adopt the 3-2-1-1 backup rule (opens in new tab) where at least three copies of data are stored on two different storage mediums with one off-site and one offline.LTO-9 technology (opens in new tab) is also making it easier for businesses to store more data on a single tape as it features an increased tape cartridge storage capacity of up to 45TB when compressed. LTO-9 drives are even fully backward compatible with LTO-8 cartridges so that organizations can continue using their existing tape storage.The question now is whether increased adoption of tape storage will continue this year and will the amount of total tape capacity shipped in 2022 surpass last year’s shipments.
May 27, 2022
Western Digital And Samsung Launch Zoned Storage Initiative And LTO Capacity Shipments Higher In 2021
Sign work zone ahead getty This article covers a couple of recent announcements by Samsung, Western Digital and the LTO provider companies. Samsung and Western Digital announce a collaboration on Zoned Storage and the LTO provider companies announce LTO annual capacity and tape unit shipments, including 2021.Samsung and Western Digital published a blog discussing their partnership to usher in the standardization of next-generation data placement, processing and fabrics storage technologies (D2PF), including Zone Storage. The blog says that, “The two companies believe the adoption of next-generation storage standards is the most effective way to ensure that hardware and software can be effectively combined within the system stack to maximize performance and functionality while reducing costs. In bringing this vision to fruition, Samsung and Western Digital are encouraging a wide-ranging industry collaboration among storage stakeholders. Through collaboration, the companies can help assure customers that storage ecosystem vendors support the new technology standards and system architectures for efficiently handling today’s data workloads as well as tomorrow’s.”Zoned Storage is comprised of two technologies: Shingled Magnetic Recording (SMR) in hard disk drives (HDDs) and Zoned Namespaces (ZNS) in solid state drives (SSDs). Zoned Namespaces SSDs divide their address space into distinct zones, streamlining the drive architecture by equipping the host with the ability to place data in the appropriate zone (which may differ in, e.g. their endurance). The figure below shows a ZNS SSD compared to a conventional SSD.Zoned Namespaces SSD compared to Conventional SSD Image from WDC Blog on Zoned Storage The two companies point out that, “Zoned Storage has unconventional data-writing rules. Zones can be written sequentially starting from the beginning of a zone, and the data within a zone cannot be arbitrarily overwritten. Therefore, it is highly important that the industry aligns around the host software stack that enables storage systems to optimally leverage the power of Zoned Storage. This host-device model alignment is a crucial theme of the overall initiative. Samsung, Western Digital and other ecosystem partners are committed to contributing required software components that will enable Zoned Storage to thrive via the open-source community.”As part of an effort to enable open and scalable data center architectures, the two companies founded the Zoned Storage Technical Work Group, which SNIA approved in December 2021, and are working with the Linux Foundation to set up a similar project workgroup. Within these industry organizations, Samsung and Western Digital will help to define high-level models and frameworks for any innovative Zoned Storage technology. The blog says that ZNS is the first of numerous D2PF collaborations designed to pave the way for innovative new data centers and cloud services.Now on to the latest on magnetic tape. The LTO magnetic tape Program Technology Provider Companies released an updated tape media shipment report, detailing annual shipments through the fourth quarter of 2021. As shown in the figure below 148EB compressed (2.5:1 compression) were shipped in 2021. This was 40% higher than the shipments in 2020. Although there has been fluctuation in annual capacity shipments since 2017, the 2021 shipments seem to continue the growth trend from 2011 through 2017.LTO Compressed Capacity Shipments (2011-2021) Image from LTO Provider Companies The figure below shows the LTO annual unit shipments over the same period of time as the capacity shipment chart. 2021 saw an uptick in unit shipments compared to 2020 but there is a general downward shipment trend since 2011. The shipped capacity growth in 2021 reflects increased sales of higher capacity tape cartridges in 2021 as well as some increase in unit shipments. Magnetic tape remains the lowest cost storage media and is mostly used for data archiving. LTO Tape Media Unit Shipments (2011-2021) Image from LTO Provider Companies Western Digital and Samsung partner on D2PF that includes zoned storage, processing and fabric storage technologies to create an industry initiative to enable open and scalable data center architectures. LTO tape capacity shipments increase 40% in 2021 compared to 2020 mostly driven by sales of higher capacity tape cartridges.Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website.