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94% of IT leaders rely on immutable storage to protect data as ransomware attacks skyrocket

Scality, a global leader in reliable, secure and sustainable data storage software, announced the results of a survey of 500 IT decision-makers across France, Germany, the UK and the US to gain insight into the role immutable data storage plays in an organisation’s overall cybersecurity strategy.

Key findings reveal:
-94% either already rely on immutable data storage or plan to implement it within the next 12 months, and an additional 2% plan to deploy it within the next three years.
-69% consider immutable data storage essential to their corporate cybersecurity.
-Only 12% of those who deployed immutable data storage say it is not essential to cybersecurity.

Results from the independent survey by Vanson Bourne demonstrate that IT leaders consider immutable storage as a must-have in the fight against cyberattacks. Ransomware threats are now understood by organisations to be inevitable. Reports show 1 in 4 organisations that pay a ransom never get their data back, and just 16% are able to recover without paying a ransom[1].

This reinforces the role immutable data storage plays as an essential last line of defence within a cybersecurity toolkit. With immutable storage, data cannot be deleted or modified once written, increasing data safety and ensuring organisations have the power to restore data with 100% accuracy in the event of a breach.

Survey insights: Vertical market and regional nuances
Comparisons among IT leaders surveyed across vertical industries and specific countries reveal a number of notable differences:

Vertical market:
-Manufacturing organisations (95%) are most likely to deploy immutable storage. 84% consider it essential to their corporate cybersecurity.
-Financial services firms (74%) report the lowest reliance on immutable storage. 60% say it’s essential to their corporate cybersecurity.

Regional:
-A majority of IT leaders across all regions currently use or plan to use immutable data storage: The US has the highest level of current or planned immutable data storage deployments, with 98% of respondents either having implemented it or planning to do so within the next year. This is followed by France at 96%, Germany at 94% and the UK at 85%.
-While a relatively low number (12%) of IT leaders worldwide who currently use immutable data storage do not regard it as “essential” to their cybersecurity strategy, a larger percentage resides in the UK: 24% of UK respondents have deployed it but say it is not essential to their cybersecurity, compared to 11% in France, 9% in the US and 6% in Germany.

Dave Russell, VP of enterprise strategy at Veeam Software: “Widespread deployment of immutable storage reinforces an increased awareness of the critical role secure backup plays as an active defence against cyberattacks, specifically coupled with immutable backup data. Veeam believes that achieving Zero Trust Data Resilience with immutable storage implementations — that are indeed truly immutable — is a great opportunity for IT leaders to reduce the risk of growing data security threats and improve their overall cyber resilience.”

Does traditional immutable storage still leave a window of exposure?
The survey reveals the criticality of immutable storage at a time of evolving industry dialogue about data cybersecurity best practices and technologies. But it’s important to note that not all immutability is created equal — some forms still leave a window of exposure.

Unlike forms of immutability enabled by traditional solutions (such as NAS/file system snapshots, dedupe appliances, Linux-hardened repositories or tape), true object storage solutions are inherently immutable at the core architecture level.

The system implements proper protocols and true object storage semantics to preserve data in its original form the very moment it is written — which is not the case for other immutable solutions that can introduce time delays before data is immutable. Each object, even those written nanoseconds apart, can never be overwritten, deleted, or modified. This architectural reinforcement provides a crucial last line of defence against ransomware attackers’ attempts to encrypt data and extort victims.

Read our blog for the immutable storage checklist and learn what key criteria IT practitioners should look for to assure “true immutability” in a storage solution for increased ransomware protection.

Paul Speciale, CMO, Scality: “Immutable data storage is an insurance policy against ransomware. While the survey data shows IT leaders resoundingly agree that immutability is a cornerstone of cybersecurity strategy, 31% still did not report it as essential. Here’s the reality: Being able to restore quickly from an immutable backup means the difference between a successful and unsuccessful ransomware attack. Without storage that’s truly immutable, you’re vulnerable to cybercriminals’ demands. The perception among some respondents that it’s not essential to cybersecurity is misguided and represents an opportunity to shift more IT leaders towards achieving a modern, inherently immutable object storage solution as a much-needed last line of defence to keep data locked and immune to ransomware exfiltration, modification or destruction.”

The survey was recently conducted by global technology market research firm Vanson Bourne across several industries, including manufacturing, telecom, professional services, financial services, and retail. Respondents were asked: “Is immutable data storage an essential element of your organisation’s corporate cybersecurity strategy?” To qualify, each respondent carried a manager or above title in an enterprise-sized commercial organisation with over 1,000 employees and is primarily employed in the IT function.

Key findings in the UK:
-85% of UK respondents currently rely on immutable storage or plan to implement it within 12 months. This is the lowest of the four regions (US, UK, France, Germany).
-47% of UK respondents across all vertical markets consider immutable storage essential to their corporate cybersecurity strategy.
-54% of UK respondents in the IT, technology and telecoms sector deploy and consider immutable storage essential to their corporate cybersecurity strategy. This is the highest score among all sectors surveyed in the UK.

About Scality
Scality solves organisations’ biggest data storage challenges — growth, security and cost. Delivering 100% uptime, unbreakable ransomware protection and utmost resilience, Scality RING and ARTESCA make storage infrastructures infinitely scalable in all critical dimensions: capacity, performance, applications and data location. From core to cloud to edge, Scality object storage software is reliable, secure and sustainable. The world’s most discerning companies trust Scality so they can grow faster and execute new ideas quicker — while increasing efficiency and avoiding lock-in. Recognized as a leader by Gartner and IDC. Follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn. Visit www.scality.com, or subscribe to our blog.

[1] Veeam Ransomware Protection Trends Report 2023

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