Quantum Scalar Ransom Block provides data security for cyber-resilient archives

Quantum Corporation announced its latest innovations to protect against ransomware and other forms of cyberattacks. Quantum’s Scalar Ransom Block is a feature of Quantum’s Scalar tape systems that eliminates the risk of data being accessed or compromised over the network.

Quantum Scalar Ransom Block

“The threat of ransomware and other forms of cyber-attacks are one of the chief concerns of our customers,” says Jamie Lerner, chairman and CEO of Quantum.

“Tape storage systems are a critical part of building cyber-resilient infrastructures, both for large archives and as part of a comprehensive data protection strategy. However, even data stored on tapes can be compromised if the tape library itself is hacked, which is why we designed these new features in partnership with a large cloud provider. Quantum Scalar Ransom Block is an industry-first solution that ensures data is protected and secure with a click of a button and provides the ultimate layer of protection for data stored on tape.”

Ensure your data on tape is safe from attack with Quantum Scalar Ransom Block

Cyber threats are unrelenting, and data is being encrypted, stolen, and leaked on the dark web. According to a recent study by analyst firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) of more than 300 IT and line of business executives, two out of five respondents reported that their organisations had experienced successful ransomware attacks, and more than 80 percent had paid ransoms to retrieve their data. When ransomware breaches a network successfully, the monetary damage can be substantial, as are the risks from downtime of critical systems, lost revenue and damaged reputation.

Tape systems are a critical part of a comprehensive strategy to ensure data is protected and quickly recoverable in the event of a ransomware attack. Tape systems are inherently more secure than hard drive (HDD) or flash (SSD) storage systems because the data stored on tape is not connected to the network.

However, because the tape library itself is a network connected device, there is still some risk of a remote hack in the unlikely event the tape library itself is hacked. To address this risk in a simple, automated way, Quantum designed the Scalar Ransom Block feature.

How Ransom Block works

Tapes stored in the library sit in a magazine. Quantum’s patent-pending design partially ejects the magazine so the tapes cannot be selected by the robot until an operator physically re-inserts the magazine. Because the magazine is only partially ejected, the barcode scanner on the robot can still scan the tape barcodes, so that system administrators can perform periodic audits of the tape system to ensure tapes are still present.

The tapes are inaccessible until an operator, who must have physical access to the tape library, re-inserts the magazine. Tape systems can be stored in secure data centres that require badged access.

In addition, Quantum has introduced Logical Tape Blocking, which enables administrators to use software commands to prevent tapes from being loaded into a drive while the magazine is being filled with tapes, before it is ejected. Although still software-based and not a physical blocking mechanism, this new capability further reduces the risk window until Ransom Block is initiated.

Latest innovations are part of a comprehensive security framework

Ransom Block and Logical Tape Blocking are the latest innovations that are part of a comprehensive security framework that make Scalar tape systems to be one of the most secure tape storage systems on the market.

Many features are unique to Quantum Scalar Tape Systems, including:

  • Scalar Ransom Block and Logical Tape Blocking to ensure data stored on tape is secure, even in the event of a remote hack.
  • Scalar Active Vault enables tapes to be moved into a secure, isolated in-library vault partition that has no network connectivity and is not visible to any application or network.
  • Scalar Media Security Alerts notify the administrator when media is removed – either expectedly or unexpectedly – from the library.
  • Multi-factor authentication can be enabled for administrator and user logins, providing additional security for access control.

These features are part of over 25 features and capabilities that form the Quantum Scalar Security Framework, a comprehensive security framework that controls system access, provides system monitoring and event detection, data security and encryption, and unique features for cyber protection and data integrity.

Availability and pricing

Ransom Block and Logical Tape Blocking are expected to be available on new Scalar i6 and Scalar i3 tape libraries in December 2021. The remaining features listed as part of the Quantum Scalar Security Framework are generally available now. Certain features are sold separately, and not all features are available on all models.

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