A company’s data is their most valuable asset – that’s what makes headlines about data theft all the more worrisome. According to a recent study on the Global State of Information Security, researchers at PricewaterhouseCoopers found that corporate security incidents increased by 38% from 2014 to 2015, and corresponding theft of intellectual property grew by 56%.
If your company’s sensitive data is misplaced or stolen – whether its customer information, intellectual property, health records, or anything else you want to keep private – the company may face lost revenues, legal implications, or a tarnished reputation.
Organizations need a comprehensive strategy to secure their digital assets. Especially one that takes into account the highly virtualized, distributed, and increasingly data-driven nature of IT enterprises and computing today.
Most organizations will invest in safeguards to protect against packet-sniffing or man-in-the-middle attacks when data is in-transit. But the truth is, data spends most of its time at-rest on physical drives. And as these drives leave the data center for repair, retirement, relocation or maintenance, the data stored on them is most vulnerable to being lost or stolen.
SimpliVity’s latest OmniStack hyperconverged infrastructure software addresses this problem by extending protection for data at-rest, with support for self-encrypting drives (SEDs).
With SEDs, data stored on physical media is protected against loss or theft. Encryption renders data unreadable should an unauthorized user come into possession of a SED that has been removed from the data center.
The SEDs in SimpliVity’s hyperconverged infrastructure use the Advanced Encryption Standard encryption algorithm, recommended by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and are approved for Federal Information Processing Standard 140-2 Level 2 usage, including sensitive or classified national security data.
Why Self-Encrypting Drives?
There are a few key reasons why SEDs are a great way to protect data at-rest on your SimpliVity systems:
- Perhaps the best reason is that you can still enjoy the unmatched data efficiency benefits of our Data Virtualization Platform – often thought of as SimpliVity’s “secret sauce”. By globally deduplicating and compressing all data inline, before it is ever written to disk, our customers experience storage savings on the order of 40:1 on average. In fact, about a third of our customers experience efficiency ratios of 100:1 or more. The resulting efficiencies lower the amount of raw storage capacity required to host your virtualized workloads, increase application performance (by eliminating IOPS as a performance bottleneck), and save on bandwidth consumption when data is transferred over the WAN – displacing purpose-built WAN acceleration appliances.
Because SEDs encrypt at the drive level, post-deduplication, there is no reduction in these data efficiency levels. This is important, since most encryption methods occur before deduplication, nullifying its benefits by causing each VM to look like a single block of data.
- Another selling-point of SEDs is that they don’t impose the stiff performance penalties typically associated with third-party software solutions. Instead, encryption processing occurs on-disk and doesn’t rely on any outside compute resources. As such, you won’t see the kind of latency that would normally be introduced with software-based encryption methods.
- Lastly, SEDs are a simple, always-on encryption method. Once enabled, there is no ongoing management overhead. And the encryption always stays with the drive. This ensures that your data stays protected at all times, including when it leaves the data center for repairs or maintenance, for example.
Ensuring the security and protection of our customers’ data, as well as its integrity and resilience, is our utmost priority. And now, support for security encrypted drives with our latest software release is one more step in giving customers piece of mind.