The practice of air gapping – that is, storing tertiary backup copies in a storage environment that is isolated from the production and primary backup environments – has long been implemented by IT Operations as a best practice within their backup and broader data protection strategies. These isolated backup environments have become even more necessary with the rise of ransomware attacks, and attacks from malicious insiders such as rogue administrators. In the event that a malicious actor accesses the production or primary backup environment, they cannot access the air gapped copies. As a result, the air-gapped storage provides a clean copy of data that can be recovered from.
As more customers look to implement air-gapped storage for a larger component of their data environments, and as they look for easier accessibility and faster time-to-recovery, customers are looking beyond the tape storage solutions that traditionally have served as the air-gapped storage repository. Many have begun implementing cloud-based “data vaults.” In fact, Evaluator Group’s recent Trends in Enterprise Data Protection study showed that approximately one in five enterprises are using the public cloud as an isolated/air-gapped storage repository.
Background for Cohesity Data Vaulting
Cohesity FortKnox is a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering for data vaulting. Like DataProtect, Cohesity’s flagship backup and recovery offering, FortKnox is delivered as a data service supported on Cohesity Data Cloud, its data protection and security platform.
In 2021, Evaluator Group monitored detailed demonstrations performed by Cohesity, to verify DataProtect’s effectiveness when it comes to ransomware protection and recovery. The version of Cohesity’s software tested was 6.5.1c. The full results of this test are included in the paper, Validation of Cohesity Accelerated Recovery from Ransomware. Drawing on this knowledgebase and the correlations and integrations with DataProtect, Evaluator Group has conducted a subsequent evaluation focused on FortKnox and the ability to vault data, specifically.
In response to this growing customer requirement, a number of data protection vendors have introduced cloud-based data vaulting solutions. However, these solutions are not all created equal and should be evaluated for access and security controls, as well as cost-efficiency and performance.
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