Reading Time: 4 minutes

When data breaches can take an average of over 9 months to identify and contain, working in cluttered cloud file systems sets a dangerous precedent. Yet, many enterprises need a reliable, connected way to collaborate with their international teams.

As teams accumulate ad-hoc file solutions to wrangle explosive data growth, their not-fully-integrated cloud providers and legacy local NAS data centers make it increasingly difficult to keep data secure, compliant, and low-cost. Multiple entry points create open doors for malicious attackers, and cluttered systems make it more difficult to spot and contain attacks.

What if the issue of enterprise digital security wasn’t solely a balancing act of convenience, costs, and safety? Just as a decluttered home is easier to keep clean, a simple and clear file system is far easier to secure.

A New Standard for Simple, Secure Storage

For better security, let’s rethink the foundation we’re working on. Cleaner, lightweight file management begins with better tech at the ground level.

Lightweight, Consistent, and Accessible Collaboration

First, ease of access should be a top priority with a smart file system solution. Worldwide remote office access often comes with storage space concerns, leading to fragmented data silos to “optimize” use.

Thanks to globally consolidated and centralized storage, a truly intelligent hybrid cloud file system can throw those notions out.

Naturally, you’ll want instant cloud auto-sync to keep all your employees’ local work connected to all your international sites. But local edits can quickly cause duplicates of the same file to crop up everywhere... clutter, clutter, clutter.

However, real optimization is possible when files are chunked into blocks of immutable data via the hybrid cloud. Instead of edits forever overwriting and transforming the original data, any changes create fresh blocks that tie back to the original.

Distributed file locking and byte-range locking gives collaboration with no overwrites and only a single file version to track. When multiple team members have to handle a file simultaneously, intelligent caching gives rapid recall for recently created or accessed data — without the latency flaws that can affect cloud services.

As a final touch, deduplication prevents a single production-ready file from growing into a mess of duplicate blocks across local worksites or the cloud store. After being deduped, compression condenses these file blocks to keep files small with no critical data loss, even when file systems grow hefty with petabytes of data.

Since this is all pre-sync and affects every piece of data created or edited, you end up with a single authoritative view on every file in your network.

Baked-in Redundancy

Of course, data security involves securing archives and backups as well as production files. The resulting redundancy is a long-accepted hassle accompanied by managing multiple, out-of-sync data islands. Disaster recovery can be easier than this.
Chunking data into immutable blocks has the added advantage of capturing restorable snapshots of your file system — from any point in time, at any level. (Yes, even in the face of ransomware.)
Whether single files or system-wide, instant snapshot backups are always available and never drag performance. Being space-efficient means you can effectively meet your archival compliance needs atop your backup and production demands.

Since every site has visibility mapping into all component blocks, no single point of failure can disrupt the wider system.

Total Data Deletion (When You Need It)

Worried that all these data block safety nets will make your data too permanent? Sometimes remaining compliant means deleting data forever, which can mean physical drive destruction.

A smart hybrid cloud file system should give you confidence with a secure erase method. When you decide to totally delete files and all their related blocks in the cloud, each site’s filer obliterates the data by overwriting it with zeros.

Native Security Perks of Intelligent Hybrid Cloud

So now that we’ve got the foundation cleared up, what’s this mean for your security?

A clean, tidy space gives your organization more visibility into exactly what’s going on with your data. This is where you can reclaim control over exactly who sees what, and how fast you can bounce back when something goes wrong.

1. Easier to set access controls

Let’s recall that newfound confidence that every file and folder you see is the one and only copy available. Access control lists (ACLs) let you tap into this visibility to set very granular permissions to block eyes from getting where they don’t need to be.

When the human element is always going to be the weakest point of any data security plan, access control is a strong proactive measure. Having an authoritative view into your file systems gives you the power to implement these controls effectively.

2. No more post-deletion data residue

Cleaning out the breadcrumbs of old erased data is essential when you’re trying to remain compliant with today’s privacy protection policies.

The right hybrid cloud file system ensures you’ll have the confidence to know that confidential data can be cleared without a trace only when absolutely necessary. Being able to retain what you need for archive purposes and remove what you must is an essential step towards true data protection.

3. Keeping unauthorized users confused

When someone intercepts what they shouldn’t, a clever hybrid cloud file system would make sure it’s fully illegible to them.

Fortunately, attempting to read deduped and compressed data without permission is a fool’s effort. These processes help to obfuscate the data as an extra security layer. When stacking military-grade FIPS 140-2 certified encryption atop this, hackers will realize they’d spend decades trying to crack the data and walk away.

4. Shrug off even the worst of cyber attacks

The baked-in data durability of object-data blocks, when combined with an immutable file system architecture, acts as a highly effective replacement for traditional backups. As flashpoints for pre-infection states, these intelligent systems can reverse nasty data-transforming cyber attacks.

For example, ransomware looms as an oppressive culprit for malicious business disruption, yet cannot lock you out of data managed by a good hybrid cloud file system.

Instead, the inability to destructively overwrite data means new infected blocks are created with old clean blocks intact. Your team can restore from one of today’s biggest potential data disasters without losing a byte.

Taking Control of Your Security with Hybrid Cloud

IT teams no longer have to imagine using a single globally networked solution with baked-in redundancy. Having a single file version to live as production, backups, and archives is a practical reality when this same solution is centralized, robust and automatically resilient.

Ultimately, there’s almost no question: when it comes to thorough enterprise data security, hybrid cloud file systems are the way of the future.