<img src="https://secure.leadforensics.com/86554.png" alt="" style="display:none;">

Ransomware protected storage

Serve, manage and protect unstructured data from a single architecture

Written on: Mar 25, 2021 12:13:08 PM

Written by: Alex Raben


[Data Infrastructure, Hybrid Cloud Storage, COOLSPIRiT]

We all respect the threat of Ransomware, but what if you could protect against it at the core of your infrastructure - not just at edge devices or by independent backup products for example?

If you implement entry-level storage infrastructure you would need to rely on alternative technologies and processes to efficiently protect the most valuable asset of your business: Data. However, with the latest technology, you can protect your business-critical data where it resides and is accessed from - ensuring the maximum capability to protect and recover from cybercriminal activities whenever they may strike.

And while we're on the topic of Ransomware - what are the easy data types targeted? Unstructured file data... What if you could implement a system that covers both bases with increased features, efficiency, security, scalability and performance - With Flashblade from Pure Storage you can. If you would like to understand more about these two subjects then continue reading to understand why, with Pure & COOLSPIRiT, you won't be held to ransom by cybercriminals.

Ransomware Protection

When ransomware strikes, two things are needed for recovery. Firstly a valid copy of backup data is vital since ransomware often targets backups. But how can backups be protected when hackers compromise admin credentials? Second, the fastest possible restore is critical due to the scope of the recovery effort: potentially all your data may be encrypted. With FlashBlade, our expert team at COOLSPIRiT can help you implement infrastructure which helps deliver secure snapshots that protect your backups as well as rapid restore capability that provides fast, high-capacity recovery which speeds return to operations - working with your existing backup software, having been extensively tested with Commvault, Veeam, Veritas and others.

From this modern storage infrastructure, you will be completely ready for the threat of Ransomware, with:

  • Enhanced Protection: In the event of a Ransomware attack, your backup data is protected from being deleted, modified, or encrypted by ransomware and hackers
  • Rapid Restore: Speed backup and recovery so you can meet or exceed your internal recovery SLAs
  • Simplicity & Flexibility: SafeMode is easy to set up and maintain, and snapshot cadence and eradication scheduling are customisable

The threat of ransomware attacks are a continual serious concern for business and IT leaders. In fact, a recent ESG survey discovered that 60% of organisations have been faced with ransomware attacks in the past 12 months. This growing threat makes it critical to have a defence plan in place. With FlashBlade and SafeMode snapshots, you will achieve an extra level of readiness for your data protection capabilities. 

We'll discuss later how you can consolidate multiple file and object workloads with the FlashBlade platform while benefiting from increased reliability and performance, simplification of your environment, and reduced operational costs. But above and beyond simply serving data, let's consider the secret sauce here: SafeMode snapshots. With the utilisation of SafeMode snapshots enabled, IT teams can lock down data from malicious attacks. SafeMode creates read-only snapshots of backup data and associated metadata catalogues. SafeMode snapshots cannot be deleted, encrypted, or modified. With SafeMode enabled on Pure Storage, no one can eradicate snapshots for up to 30 days—including attackers who manage to gain admin privileges. To note, SafeMode is available on the FlashArray //c family of arrays too - meaning you can have your block data also protected should you require.

So when you consider storage infrastructure which will serve data how and when you need it and with the in-built functionality of SafeMode snapshots you suddenly have infrastructure that protects at the core, again, bolstering the protection methods against constant threats.

In summary, you would realise the following benefits:

  • Enhanced protection: Ransomware can’t eradicate (delete), modify, or encrypt SafeMode snapshots. In addition, only authorised team members from your organisation can work directly with Pure technical support to configure the feature, modify policy, or manually eradicate snapshots. 
  • Backup integration: Utilise the same snapshot process regardless of backup product or native utility used to manage data protection processes. 
  • Flexibility: Snapshot cadence and eradication scheduling are customisable. 
  • Rapid restore: Leverage a massively parallel architecture and elastic performance that scales with data to speed backup and more importantly - recovery. 
  • Investment protection: SafeMode snapshots at no extra charge. Your subscription or maintenance support contract cover enhancements too.

Unstructured Data

Now we've understood how you can help protect your data, let's discuss the system architecture a little further and how FlashBlade’s modern architecture can enable organisations to deliver truly integrated protection against ransomware alongside the management of unstructured data, which makes up for a vast amount of data, all in a single architecture. With over 20 years' experience in delivering data storage solutions, from a COOLSPIRiT perspective it is truly refreshing and exciting to be able to offer technology from a manufacturer who is a clear innovation leader, and who has more to come... When engaging with our customers, our expert team constantly find that IT teams need modern storage solutions to solve modern data challenges, so they can focus on driving more ambitious outcomes with their data, which their organisation desires, instead of worrying about whether they have the infrastructure to do so. Fast file storage is nothing new, but combining native fast file and fast object in the same system, architecturally speaking, is groundbreaking. And it’s something viewed categorically as a new paradigm in modern storage. Pure's “secret sauce” is the software that leverages all of FlashBlade’s various components as a cohesive system and delivers scalable performance to applications without special configuration. As a result, you can do more with one FlashBlade than you can with two, three, or even four legacy retrofitted products. Modern data requires multiprotocol and multidimensional access with architecture that can deliver performance regardless of the kind of data you have.  

Yes, it has been mentioned that you can also manage data within an object storage format - this just shows the progress available in today's architecture and how they can support your business objectives. Considering a unified storage approach with file and object presentation is investment protection for the future, why have multiple systems, when one can achieve both tasks and better than sperate systems due to consolidated and integrated function?

You will find publically that Pure advocate for a new architectural mindset that’s shaping the future of unstructured data storage: Unified Fast File and Object (UFFO). Or, put differently, the belief that one storage platform can and will span capacity-optimised and performance-optimised file and object workloads to meet the increasing demands of modern data. In 2020 IDC published research recognizing UFFO as an emerging category in its latest report, and the industry has publicly acknowledged their leadership position in pioneering this architectural mindset. While there is a multitude of straightforward technology benefits to be gained from the implementation of a UFFO platform, a more subtle yet equally as important benefit - investment protection - is critical to ensuring customer innovation happens continuously and without disruption.

With unstructured data growing at an exponential rate and organisations estimating to triple their file and object data requirements within the next three years, IT teams need to consider deploying infrastructure that eliminates potential future problems - being built to handle the requirements we anticipate for tomorrow as well as those we know exist today. One key question that needs to be considered by IT teams is “what can this technology do for me today AND tomorrow?” before any investment is made. 

Helping provide organisations with faster time to insight, so that new advances and offerings get to market faster, this technology eliminates data silos which could keep critical data locked away so employees can make better decisions. It delivers a cloud-like user experience that consumers, particularly IT professionals, have come to expect at home and in the workplace. Your problem solvers can focus on the true task at hand rather than worry about getting “stuck” because of infrastructure and safe in the knowledge that it is also protected should cybercriminals try to target their invaluable data.

To help manage ever-increasing amounts of unstructured data effectively and help you achieve your business objectives, this industry-leading architecture offers:

  • Elastic scale-out:  Built to scale effortlessly and linearly from small deployments to very large deployments.
  • Natively multi-protocol: Designed with a core object store at the centre and the ability to easily add scale-out protocols
  • Management simplicity: The goal was a design so simple that anyone could manage it at any scale—not just IT personnel and storage administrators, but also developers, data scientists, engineers or anyone else. 
  • Capacity: Seamless scalability to support tens of billions of files and objects in a remarkably condense all-flash footprint. 
  • Performance: Deliver the consistent performance of all-flash storage with no caching or tiering, as well as fast metadata operations and instant metadata queries.


We hope you have found this blog useful and inspire you to make infrastructure changes that will deliver tangible business benefits. The protection of critical data against cybercriminals is a task which, unfortunately, has to be front of mind for all IT professionals today - and when it includes the management, storage and delivery of data, in a single solution we believe this is true industry-leading technology.

If you would like to talk simply call our expert team on 01246 454 222 or email hello@coolspirit.co.uk

Discover our latest insights

Enhance your knowledge by browsing our extensive library of case studies, brief sheets, data sheets, ebooks and white papers. If you have any immediate queries or requests, why not reach out to our team?