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Executive Corner: How IBM Storage is Helping Customers Recover from Cybercrime

By Sam Werner posted Tue July 20, 2021 12:30 PM


by Sam Werner, VP, Storage Product Management, IBM Systems

As you know, recent events have highlighted a shocking rise in cybercrime. The Colonial Pipeline, Irish Healthcare system, and JBS incidents among others are the latest episodes of a problem that continues to worsen for enterprises of all sizes. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cyber attacks doubled, with an increase expected as "cybercriminals exploit the fear and uncertainty caused by the pandemic." Left unchecked, cybercrime damages might reach $6 trillion this year — equivalent to the gross domestic product (GDP) of the world's third largest economy.

Cybercrime is costly and causes organizations to lose valuable data, the trust of customers, and suffer severe reputational harm. As a result, organizations are prioritizing this real threat. In the KPMG 2021 CEO Outlook Pulse Survey, participating CEOs identified "cyber security as the greatest risk to company growth over the next three (3) years."

Given the sophistication and resources of cyber criminals, even the most security conscious organizations can be victimized by cybercrime, ransomware, and malware. Despite diligent efforts to stop attacks, they still happen. For us, the focus is on providing solutions that enable customers to recover quickly and successfully when a cyber attack occurs.


Data is critical for any organization to sustain their operations. And with malicious actors omnipresent, organizations need data copies that are resilient and beyond the reach of cyber criminals. That's where IBM Safeguarded Copy (SGC) comes in –  available today for DS8K and mainframe environments, and now extended to IBM FlashSystem.

This solution gives customers point-in-time copies of data that are hidden, unalterable, and only usable after recovery. Plus, with its offline-by-design functionality, data copies have an air-gapped buffer between them and production data, ensuring data resilience if production data is compromised. And to prevent unintentional corruption by internal users, Safeguarded Copies can have a separation of duties between administrators of production data and those of Safeguarded Copies.


Because of its powerful capabilities, Safeguarded Copy is having a positive impact on our customers and earning strong feedback. During Think 2021, Gail Greener, VP, Hybrid Cloud Product Management, IBM Storage, hosted a discussion with infrastructure and data protection team members at a large financial services firm. Their feedback included the following statements:

  • "We jumped at the opportunity to add Safeguarded Copy (SGC) when it became an option (for our mainframe environment)."
  • "We've already implemented SGC in our development environment – things are going very well. We now have plans to move SGC into production later this year and also evaluate IBM's Cybervault offering."
  • "We like SGC because it's not attached to the host, which mitigates insider threats. And we consider SGC to be an excellent supplement to Tape."


To extend our leadership position, we have delivered Safeguarded Copy in Spectrum Virtualize for FlashSystems and SAN Volume Controller on July 20, 2021. By adding this valuable capability to our award-winning FlashSystem family, we will boost the data resilience of more customers and help them recover successfully from cyber attacks. Protecting data from cyber attacks is a priority, and Safeguarded Copy is just one of many security and data protection strategies customers can use to combat cybercrime.

To learn more, please see the following valuable assets:

As we near the halfway mark of 2021, it seems clear that cybercrime is not going away, and data remains critical to organizations. IBM helps customers with another tool that can help customers protect and recover their data when cyber criminals strike.