On the Role of Immutable Storage in Enhancing Cybersecurity Strategies. Q&A with Paul Speciale.

Q1. Many flash vendors are forecasting the end of spinning disk (HDD) media in the coming years. What is your take on this?

HDDs going the way of the dodo is not realistic given the reality of remaining cost considerations of SDDs. High-density SDDs have their place for read-intensive and latency sensitive workloads. However, for a wide spectrum of petabyte-scale workloads such as for AI data lakes, imaging applications in healthcare and long-term compliance archives, the reality is they still can’t fully replace HDDs. Given advancements in SSDs, but also in density of new HDDs, this cost differential remains. The promise of cost parity for flash SSDs is on the horizon but we don’t see it fully arriving until very late in the decade.

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Q2. What are in your opinion the toughest data storage challenges organizations face today?

By far the two greatest challenges facing IT today is 1) ensuring a cyber-resilient infrastructure to protect data against malware, ransomware threats at all levels of the technology stack and 2) meeting the demands of AI innovation in terms of large-scale data lakes and for data intensive training workloads.

Q3. Why are traditional security measures falling short of delivering comprehensive protection to modern cyber threats?

From a data storage perspective, we believe that the need for immutable storage as a baseline defense against existing ransomware attacks is an absolute need – but not sufficient on its own. Traditional data security measures often lack visibility to network traffic and focus on perimeter defense measures. Cyber attacks also exploit human vulnerabilities by phishing and social engineering. Traditional security measures don’t adequately address the human factors of a potential breach.  A more holistic cyber-resilient approach is required that looks at the cyber-threat on an “end to end” basis not only for the entire IT infrastructure stack, but also within storage solutions themselves.

Q4. In the rapidly evolving landscape of cybersecurity, what is your view on the transformative role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) with a specific focus on enhancing threat detection and response strategies? Are machine learning algorithms and predictive analytics, and AI in general a solution for this?

With the advent of AI generated attacks, it’s now not a matter of when or if you will be attacked but actually how many times an attack will occur. Organizations are moving towards a proactive multi-layered approach to cyber security, beyond perimeter defenses or relying on humans to find vulnerabilities and intruders. AI-generated security tools will need to be just as sophisticated to seek out suspicious network activity. Leading storage vendors are now looking to embed AI technologies into their products to provide this more active form of protection on customer data.

Q5. How can companies ensure the security of their networks and systems?

The most important protection is the lifeblood of any organization– the data.  A multi-layered, cyber-resilient approach is required as a last line of defense to bounce back quickly if the worst happens. 96% of IT leaders report that immutable storage is now an imperative aspect of their cybersecurity strategy. Now, even the storage layer must deliver on the promise of cyber resilience. 

Q6. How does Scality help make storage infrastructure scalable and secure at the same time? 

Scality’s unique object storage architecture allows for peta-byte scale storage of unstructured data. This starts with the strongest possible form of data immutability – as provided by object storage – where the intrinsic behavior is to preserve data by never overwriting existing data. This means data is immutable at the point it is stored, not delayed (as would be the case with scheduled snapshots, for example).

But this alone is not enough. And that is why Scality has uniquely integrated a set of capabilities called CORE5, that provides this comprehensive end-to-end cyber-resiliency capabilities directly IN our storage solutions. CORE5 addresses threats on five distinct levels:

Application Layer: to prevent attacks that imitate normal S3 API commands but for nefarious purposes, the system implements object locking with configurable retention policies.

  •  Network & Data layer: to thwart attacks from network snoopers or low-level access to data, through secure connections and strong encryption
  •  Storage layer: to prevent common encryption-based ransomware threats, the system provides intrinsic immutability at the object storage layer to preserve stored data
  •  Geographic layer: with the ability to deploy in multiple geographic locations, to protect data in one location from compromising another
  •  Architecture layer: sophisticated low-level attacks may try and compromise systems, which Scality defends against through integrated, security hardened operating systems  that disallow access

Through CORE5, Scality is unique in augmenting data immutability with end-to-end cyber-resiliency for the industry’s most complete ransomware protection for backups

Qx. Anything else you wish to add?

Scality has a total focus on delivering solutions that provide our customers with reliable, secure and sustainable storage solutions. This means our company and R&D investments are dedicated to protecting your data, and doing so for customers across a wide range of sizes from small, medium and large enterprises, government agencies and service providers. Look to Scality for continuing innovations and solutions for today’s cyber-security and AI data challenges.


Paul Speciale

Chief Marketing Officer at Scality. Expert in Cloud Computing, Object Storage, NAS & file systems, data management and database technologies.


All-flash storage all the time? Why it doesn’t make sense for petabyte-scale data By Paul Speciale, CMO, Scality

Sponsored by Scality.

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