The Security Benefits of Object Storage
Generally speaking, object storage offers finer-grained and more flexible security capabilities than file storage. There are several reasons for this, but it mainly comes down to richer API support.
Object storage supports a broad range of APIs, while file storage only supports a handful of APIs. Because of its rich API support, including support for homegrown APIs, object storage systems can be tailored to deliver customized security features. With object storage, different encryption algorithms and key management methods can be selected, and different access policies can be applied at the object, bucket or user/group levels.
The ability to ensure data security is critical for local and state governments. According to an August 2020 report from BlueVoyant, cyberattacks on state and local governments have increased by 50 percent since 2017. Various state and local governments have been victims of high-profile cyberattacks in recent years. The majority of these were ransomware attacks, which pose the greatest cybersecurity threat to the public sector today, including surging costs. The BlueVoyant report found that the average ransom for state and local governments rose from $30,000 in 2017 to $380,000 today.
Object storage’s flexible API support has made it particularly effective for combatting ransomware attacks. Several object storage systems have recently added a new anti-ransomware capability called Object Lock. Object Lock incorporates WORM (write once, read many) technology within a highly cost-effective storage system, protecting against ransomware attacks through data immutability.
It enables governments to create backup data copies that cannot be changed for a minimum period of time, making it impossible for hackers or malware to encrypt, alter or delete these backups and guaranteeing that a safe copy will always be available for recovery. With backup data immutable, governments are essentially immune from the impacts of a ransomware attack.
On the other hand, file storage’s limited API support prevents it from being able to quickly integrate emerging features such as Object Lock. So, although there are file storage solutions that support WORM, it’s more costly to implement and more difficult to manage.