This runs the risk of sounding like a broken record but it is worth repeating over and over nonetheless: Data is the new oil. It is important. It is the lifeblood of any organisation. Or, as Ravi Rajendran, Vice President of Asia Pacific and Japan at Cohesity, notes, data is a company’s most valuable asset—so much that more and more businesses are being fuelled by data in this increasingly digital world.
“Companies are now becoming a lot more data-driven,” Rajendran pointed out in an exclusive virtual interview with Cybersecurity ASEAN. “They are also embarking on a digital transformation journey, most of it accelerated by the pandemic. And they are also looking to integrate new technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence, machine-learning, IoT and 5G. What this is just doing is it's generating more and more data and is making data omnipresent. It’s everywhere and is no longer just in the data centre.”
Between the growing importance of data and its unabated, unprecedented increase, it has also become the most at-risk digital asset of any company—at risk of getting breached or, worse, being held hostage in a ransomware attack. This, according to Rajendran, necessitates a modern, next-generation data management platform that is built with some critical principles in mind, and that platform, of course, is Cohesity.
First, among these principles, Rajendran explains, is zero-trust. "It's a principle where you need to have features like user API access authentication and authorisation,” notes Rajendran. “Strong multifactor authentication technologies that are available could be anything from access tokens, to certificates, to smart cards and even one-time passwords."
The second principle, he says, is an intelligent approach driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI). This approach makes use of AI-based ransomware and threat detection capabilities that enable automatic scanning of potential cybercrime in near real-time. These capabilities must be built-in features of a next-gen management platform to allow for the immediate detection of anomalous behaviour—like a spike in activity, for instance—that is oftentimes a sign of ransomware penetrating an organisation’s system.
The third principle is cyber resiliency, or “the ability to continuously deliver the intended outcomes, despite any adverse cyber events.” A crucial component of it is having the ability to recover systems quickly and efficiently —and from the most recent recovery point such that the cyber attack, whatever it is, does not cause disruption to the business (or at least just causes very minimal disruption). This is particularly critical in ransomware cases because if an organisation has the ability to recover quickly, the cybercriminals, “lose the leverage from a disruption of service because they cannot hold the data for ransom.”
Rajendran next zoned in on one of the major points that Cohesity wanted to emphasise at Cohesity Connect2021: That data security and data governance must converge. The former, notes Rajendran, will allow you to identify who has access to your sensitive data and then determine whether or not you are leaking any of this data. The latter, on the other hand, will enable you to locate your sensitive data and prove compliance in the process.
This convergence is ultimately made possible by the Cohesity Threat Defence Architecture, whose underlying zero-trust approach covers all data sources, users and applications. This robust, AI-powered architecture is, at the core, very resilient—encrypted, fault-tolerant and immutable such that no one can do anything to the data that is in your control.
The Cohesity Threat Defence Architecture also enables near real-time AI-driven detection and analytics that will let you know that something anomalous is happening to your system, so it can be addressed even before it becomes a big issue. On top of all that is Cohesity’s collaborations with cybersecurity vendors, each of which has security solutions that, when used in conjunction with one another and with Cohesity’s own next-gen data management features, will only fortify an organisation’s overall security posture.
All that being said, Rajendran admits that “the bad boys are getting smarter,” in their ways and are now targeting backup data, likely because they realise that it is the last line of defence. This inevitably puts even more pressure to not only improve its cybersecurity but also enhance its overall data management so as to enable the convergence of data security and data governance discussed above.
This need, according to Rajendran, “is a 21st century challenge,” that 20th-century solutions can handle—but to a certain degree only. So, why settle for it when you can get not just a 21st-century solution but a next-generation one? That solution, in case it isn’t abundantly clear just yet, is Cohesity and its next-gen data management solutions that offer simplicity at scale, a zero-trust approach, AI-powered insights and third-party extensibility.