Planning a Cloud Migration Journey? How to Implement a Ransomware Strategy for the Edge


With edge operations increasingly the key to success, businesses can achieve the agility required for today’s business and halt ransomware’s threats to their data with flexible, multi-cloud strategies that enable global collaborations with secure file access for all relevant teams.

The ransomware threat isn’t going away any time soon. With IBM’s data breach report stating that the average cost of a ransomware breach in 2022 was $4.54 million and a staggering 237 million ransomware attacks worldwide in the first half of the year, these figures highlight the potential business-crippling impact and likelihood of a cyber-attack. Despite these harrowing statistics, enhanced detection and mitigation capabilities are now a reality where ransomware first strikes — at the edge.

These advances are not only preventing malware’s spread to other locations, but they are also transforming the costs of data protection and attack recovery while ensuring more agile day-to-day operations and better business continuity. 

Organizations now have increased strategic options to “protect,” “detect,” and “respond” to ransomware and other cyber-attacks at the edge, underlining why it is critical to have the right strategy and platform in place to future-proof their most valuable possession – their data. The key to these advances lies in next-generation flexible and secure cloud storage, which provides a highly flexible replacement for traditional network attached storage (NAS) and data protection technologies, consolidating file data in easily expandable cloud object storage at a fraction of the cost.

Protecting your data in the cloud

Picking a strategic cloud vendor will ensure you can resolve file access, team collaboration, and data protection challenges that have become acute with enterprises’ shift to hybrid work and the recent reconfiguration of global supply chains amid geopolitical uncertainty. Since some leading cloud storage vendors now partner with global cloud providers, they can make cloud migrations simpler and contain the risk from multi-cloud strategies needed for international operations. This resilient and flexible service delivery gives growth-focused businesses the confidence to handle data demands ranging from terabyte to petabyte-scale.

It’s essential to manage risks associated with your migration of business-critical data to the cloud while retaining proper security and access controls to safeguard data. An experienced storage provider will help IT teams understand risks to core processes, applications, and users – while assessing the potential for downtime and user complaints while limiting potential attack surfaces. The migration plan must also review user roles and permissions for data, especially where multiple systems are consolidated into a single cloud environment.

See also: Explosive Growth in the Global Edge Computing Market Forecasted

Experienced partners reduce risks

Organizations should choose a vendor with experience in moving data to the cloud, understanding data sovereignty needs, and future-proofing of the storage solution’s design. The right partner will work with the CIO, IT team, and lines of business leaders to assess data security risks as well as data sovereignty and regulatory requirements. The migration process itself will encompass planning how data will be organized and structured in the new cloud environment. It will also include rigorous test migrations and validation processes ahead of the full transition to ensure the process goes smoothly.

Smarter and safer collaboration

Cloud storage’s file access and data protection capabilities mean that enterprises working with the right vendor can rise above data gravity for a better life in the cloud. While traditional networks and file systems struggle to keep pace with the explosive growth of content, unstructured data, and AI models’ computing demands, cloud storage platforms now enable users to access files at the edge from anywhere – and protect files from threats through state-of-the-art file data services.

Choosing a hybrid cloud solution will help you deliver greater operational flexibility and transform your organization’s ability to innovate based on where and how your data is accessed. Forward-looking storage vendors now partner with global cloud providers to make business data available in massively scalable edge data sets across entire regions. Data has been liberated from siloed corporate infrastructures and can be accessed from the edge while meeting application performance requirements, leading to earlier harnessing of data and innovation.

Understanding the different cost models of cloud and traditional storage infrastructures is essential in planning successful cloud migrations that leverage edge operations’ flexibility. As data volumes increase, companies with non-cloud file infrastructures will need to regularly allocate budgets to keep expanding their backup infrastructures’ capacity – as well as duplicating disaster recovery and data centers – to ensure redundancy across locations. Maintaining traditional multi-location storage will demand new capital investment for each location every five years or so. In contrast, leading providers estimate that using cloud storage will reduce both your file storage costs by up to 70% and your administrative resources needed to manage storage infrastructures increase by 60%.

Detecting threats

It’s become essential to detect ransomware at the edge before it reaches your cloud because the greatest cost from a cyber-attack is likely to come from lost productivity as you recover from it. Criminals’ initial ransom demands are often only the trigger for multiple impacts, such as downtime from encrypted file systems to secondary attacks, such as the sale of sensitive business data stolen, and the huge cost of assessing and restoring files corrupted during the attacks.

If you can detect and mitigate ransomware at the edge when it enters your environment, you can reduce the amount of data impacted and, therefore, reduce the time and resources needed for recovery. Some leading file storage tools now include ‘in-line’ ransomware edge detection, executing as soon as new file data is compromised at any edge point. Ransomware attacks are thus detected in real-time, giving businesses greater confidence that their file data can be quickly recovered and ensuring that IT teams need less time and resources to identify the sources and nature of the incident. Using this edge detection, IT teams can organize targeted post-attack damage assessment and recovery rather than being forced to assess entire volumes of their stored data.

Accelerating attack response

The latest cloud storage platforms have unique capabilities that accelerate organizations’ response to and recovery from ransomware attacks. First, their continuous and immutable file versioning capabilities – automated to every few minutes, if required – enable you to synchronize files across multiple sites and then recover them within minutes after an attack or outage. Second, next-generation cloud storage systems enable IT teams to ‘roll back’ file systems to the exact time immediately before a ransomware incident occurs and rapidly restore data through multiple edge points, avoiding data loss, mitigating risks to your wider network, and ensuring business continuity. IT teams can recover data in minutes without downtime for different departments – a crucial benefit in our real-time economy. 

Agile and secure operations at the edge

With edge operations increasingly the key to commercial advantage, you can achieve the agility required for today’s business and halt ransomware’s threats to your data with flexible, multi-cloud strategies that enable global collaborations with secure file access for all relevant teams. Using an experienced cloud partner will help you better address your different business objectives and technical needs, as well as future-proofing your data security and sovereignty requirements.

By enlisting expert storage vendor support to carefully plan, risk-manage, test, and validate migrations, you will not only ensure a smooth cloud migration but also embed intelligent file data strategies in your organization that deliver smarter business insights, whether from AI/ML or other analytic services, needed for today’s real-time operations.

Russ Kennedy

About Russ Kennedy

Russ Kennedy is the Chief Product Officer at Nasuni, the leading file data services company. Russ is a highly regarded storage industry executive with more than 25 years of experience developing software and hardware solutions to address exponential data growth. Before Nasuni, Russ directed product strategy at private cloud object storage pioneer Cleversafe through its $1.3 billion acquisition by IBM. While Russ was helping transition the product to what is now IBM Cloud Object Storage (COS), he began working with IBM partner Nasuni and became convinced Nasuni’s cloud-native global file system is the only data management technology that truly exploits the strengths of object storage. Earlier in his career, Russ served in a variety of product management and development roles, most notably at StorageTek (acquired by Sun Microsystems), where he brought several industry-leading products to market. He has a BS degree in Computer Science from Colorado State University and an MBA degree from the University of Colorado.

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