College Gets Ransomware Protection with StoneFly Air-Gapped Nodes
The college was looking for a solution to protect their reference material, scholarship programs
data, and administrative data from ransomware attacks without having to completely change their
current IT system – and at an affordable cost.
StoneFly DR365 Veeam-Immutable Veeam-Air-Gapped (VIVA) nodes with automated isolation and network and power
- Automated air-gapping,
isolation, and ransomware
- Immutable WORM volumes with file lockdown and S3
object lockdown capabilities.
- Reduced Recovery Time
Objectives (RTOs) using
features such as instant VM recovery, granular file-level restore, and more.
The client is a college in Detroit with thousands of students, enrolled in bachelors and masters’ programs, and scholarship programs for low-income students.
In order to ensure that their students continue to access lectures, reference material, and research papers seamlessly, the college maintains an IT infrastructure that’s accessible from anywhere, at any time. While the accessibility makes it convenient for their students, professors, and staff, it also creates the challenge of making sure that cyber-threats such as hackers and ransomware do not infiltrate and maliciously encrypt or delete it.
In addition to ensuring data security for the study material, the college also needs to make sure that confidential information about the students and faculty such as financial information; Personally Identifiable Information (PII); details about grant programs; is safe as well.
“We needed a data protection solution that didn’t add to the management overhead and made sure that we didn’t have to worry about ransomware anymore” said Thomas, the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of the college, “As the majority of our staff and the entirety of our students were learning from home – downtime or data loss was unacceptable for us”.
After determining the capabilities of the college’s existing environment to be sufficiently capable, StoneFly experts suggested the DR365 Veeam-Immutable Veeam-Air-Gapped (VIVA) nodes as it allowed the college to add to their existing environment without having to change or upgrade their current IT system.
The DR365VIVA is a fully automated purpose-built appliance for Veeam backup environments with immutable and air-gapped with automated network and power management. The air-gapped nodes leverage automation to isolate themselves from the production network – making the critical data stored in them inaccessible and secure from threats such as ransomware, hackers, and human error.
“StoneFly’s air-gapped nodes made sense to us. It’s automated, isolated, secure from ransomware and doesn’t require constant management – and the price was well within our budget”, said Thomas.
Automated Air-Gapping, Isolation and Ransomware Protection
Instead of manually copying data on to offline tape storage, the college can now “set it and forget it” with the DR365VIVA air-gapped nodes. The DR365VIVA are automatically isolated from the production network as per user-defined policies – which makes them less susceptible to human error and more secure. The isolated air-gapped nodes are a secure target storage location for confidential and critical information such as PII, backup data, snapshots, and more.
Having tested the air-gapped nodes, the IT team of the college is confident that if confronted with a ransomware attack, their critical information will be safe and they will be able to restore operations with near-zero downtime.
Immutable WORM Volumes – On-premises and in the Cloud
In addition to being isolated, the DR365VIVA also provide immutable Write-Once Read-Many (WORM) volumes with support for file lockdown and S3 object lockdown. These volumes prevent overwriting, editing, and deletion for a user-defined period of time – only allowing users, with the appropriate access protocols, to read the data stored in them. This implies that the data stored in these volumes cannot be maliciously encrypted by ransomware either.
With the DR365VIVA, the college IT team can choose to set up WORM volumes on-premises or leverage the built-in cloud gateway to configure WORM volumes in the cloud of their choice.
Quicker Restores and Reduced Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs)
In the event of a disaster, the college can recover data quickly using features such as instant VM recovery, disk recovery, item recovery, and granular file-level restore. The DR365VIVA enables the IT administrators to spin up critical virtual machines (VMs) directly on the appliance – which is faster considering that both the backups and the VMs to be spun up are on the same host.
By leveraging the high-performance processor(s), system memory, and NVMe SSDs of DR365VIVA, and having tested the appliance capabilities, the college’s IT team is confident that they can restore operations with near-zero Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) – whenever necessary.
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