Why now is the time to rethink your cybersecurity strategy

cat: CyberSecurity, Data Protection

Historically, enterprises’ primary cybersecurity concerns revolved around protecting sensitive data in case it was needed for recovery. But that’s no longer enough. The scenarios playing out today look different—and they are differently prioritized—than they were just a few years ago. A threat evolution is underway, driven largely by three factors.

  1. Ransomware attacks. Persistent, increasingly sophisticated, and expensive, ransomware has essentially displaced natural disasters as the most significant cyber risk facing companies today. Ransomware can easily infiltrate backup datasets, eliminating the possibility of recovery and risking the permanent loss of vital information.
  2. Internal bad actors. Whether it’s a disgruntled employee or an old-fashioned snoop, insiders continue to gain access to, expose, and even delete sensitive data.
  3. Natural disasters. Nope, they haven’t gone away. The risk of physical damage from natural disasters will remain high for many firms as catastrophic events occur more frequently and spread into new regions.


Traditional disaster recovery strategies fall short in such a complex and dynamic threat landscape. Bad actors are highly adaptable, and they continue to fine-tune their approaches to maximize revenue. Ransomware payments hit $1.1 billion in 2023, the highest number so far, and more customers are finding themselves in untenable positions. They can’t access their backup data, and they can’t run their businesses without it. Many organizations feel they must pay the ransom to keep their data off the dark web, to keep their name out of the headlines, and—perhaps most importantly—to restore their operations as quickly as possible.

Data isolation is the key to getting ahead of today’s cyber risks.

It’s time to incorporate ransomware response into the traditional disaster recovery paradigm, and data isolation gives businesses a proven and effective way to do that. At CyberNorth, we’ve identified four elements that form the foundation of a successful data isolation strategy:

  • Any data isolation solution needs to be able to prevent data deletion. If it can’t do that, it’s not doing its job.
  • True data isolation incorporates the use of separate controls for accessing data. Otherwise, your data remains at risk.
  • Your network must be isolated. It simply cannot be accessible from the production network.
  • The last requirement to achieve data isolation is to harden that isolated network, using security best practices and targeted tools.

Achieve true data isolation with Cohesity.

When it comes to cloud-based data isolation solutions, it’s essential that these resources are not self-managed if they are to be truly isolated. An internal bad actor, for example, or someone with stolen credentials could still access your data and destroy it. Cohesity directly manages its cloud-based solution, FortKnox, to provide that vital barrier. Even though customers using the service don’t have access to delete the data, they can still recover the data. The Quorum controls offered by Cohesity provide a virtual air gap, requiring multiple authorized people to approve access to data within FortKnox but eliminating the wait time for a provider to close the loop.

For businesses that prefer an on-premises solution, CyberNorth developed a secure onsite data vault with a powerful blend of features. It begins with a requirement that anyone wanting to access the data must be physically present in the environment to do so. In addition, the vault is completely isolated from the production environment with its own controls. Accessing the data requires passwords and multi-factor authentication systems that are separate from those used in the production environment.

These methods can be used together to deliver maximum benefits and enable enterprises to align speed, scalability, and security with their unique needs. For instance, a customer maintaining a substantial amount of data in FortKnox may encounter delays if they want to retrieve a large portion of that data from the cloud. By adding on-prem capabilities, the process of copying stored data back into the production environment is greatly accelerated. The implementation of each of these solutions is fast and easy, with just a few policy and configuration changes to begin sending data to the desired isolated locations.

Protect your operations with a multi-layer cybersecurity strategy.

Disaster recovery plans are still necessary, but they’re just one element in a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy. To stay ahead of modern risks, companies also need to strengthen their ransomware response plans by adding data isolation to ensure operations don’t come to a halt in the event of an attack or exposure. Cyber insurance, while useful, doesn’t fill this gap. Insurance companies don’t prioritize restoring your operations. Their focus is on minimizing the effects of an attack as part of their self-protection initiatives. Having an isolated environment that doesn’t need to be brought down and turned off while mitigation efforts are underway allows you to perform forensic analysis to understand what happened and determine which backup datasets are needed to recover your environment. With the right data isolation solutions in place, your operations can be up and running quickly. That’s the power of a cyber strategy that combines traditional disaster recovery and forward-looking ransomware response.

Are you ready to rethink your cybersecurity capabilities?

At CyberNorth, we’re laser focused on Cohesity as a core element of our approach to data security and data resilience. We are the global professional services partner of the year, and that deep relationship with Cohesity enables us to deliver more value to businesses looking for a trusted cybersecurity advisor.

If you’re an existing Cohesity customer, we’d love to help you understand the details behind the latest data isolation solutions. If you’re not a Cohesity customer yet but you’re interested in kicking the tires, we can schedule a demo to give you a better feel for the platform and its capabilities. Contact us today!

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