Dell Appliance Uses Machine Learning to Automate Data Protection

Dell Technologies today unveiled an integrated Dell PowerProtect Data Manager Appliance that increases cyberresilience by using machine learning algorithms to automatically discover assets—including VMware virtual machines—and then take snapshots to automatically back them up.

Beginning in January, Dell is offering a Cyber Recovery Guarantee as part of the effort that will provide qualifying organizations with up to $10 million in expense reimbursements if data is unrecoverable after a cyberattack.

Dell is also extending the target platform for backups to include its managed APEX services in addition to making its PowerProtect Cyber Recovery vault available on the Google Cloud Platform. Previously, that immutable vault was only available on Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure clouds.

Finally, Dell is applying zero-trust principles to data protection by adding support for multifactor authentication, dual authorization and role-based access controls (RBAC).

Rob Emsley, director of product marketing for data protection at Dell Technologies. said in the ransomware age, backups are regularly targeted to ensure IT organizations can’t recover data they need. A zero-trust approach to data protection is critical to ensure backups are immutable, he said.

A survey of 1,000 IT decision-makers, conducted by the market research firm Vanson Bourne on behalf of Dell, found 91% of respondents work for organizations that are either aware of or planning to employ a zero-trust IT architecture, However, only 12% have fully deployed such an architecture, while 23% claimed they are in the process of doing so.

The same survey also noted that 48% of all disasters that impacted organizations in the last year involved a cybersecurity attack.
Overall, there is a clear need to modernize data protection in a way that ensures greater resilience while also reducing costs, said Emsley. The Dell survey found 85% of organizations using multiple data protection vendors; however, organizations that have standardized on a single vendor are seeing 34% less cost.

A full 99% of respondents also identified at least one as-a-service offering as a high priority to help overcome data protection challenges, with storage-as-a-service (44%), cyber recovery-as-a-service (41%), and backup-as-a-service (40%) ranking as the top three priorities.

The Dell appliance is capable of storing between 12 to 96TB of data, making it faster to recover data from an appliance running in an on-premises IT environment. Rather than waiting to recover data downloaded via the cloud after a ransomware attack encrypted primary data, the Dell appliance makes pristine copies of an organization’s most critical data instantly available.

Historically, backup and recovery have been managed by IT teams; as it became apparent that the only effective defense against ransomware attacks is to be able to access a pristine copy of data, more cybersecurity teams are exercising influence over how and what types of data protection platforms are employed. It’s not clear at what rate organizations are modernizing their approach to data protection to thwart future ransomware attacks, but it may now be more a question of when rather than if given the ever-increasing volume of those types of cyberattacks.

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