Mar 06 2023
Data Center

Zero-Trust Architectures Should Include Data Protection, Cyber Recovery

Dell’s Future-Proof Program offers a cyber recovery guarantee, a recent industry trend, of up to $10 million to boost agencies’ resilience.

Data protection and cyber recovery solutions are key components of federal zero-trust security architectures, particularly for civilian agencies with public-facing networks.

Multifactor authentication (MFA) helps control network access in a zero-trust architecture, but agencies must remain vigilant against insider threats. 

President Biden’s May 2021 cybersecurity executive order mandated that agencies develop zero-trust architecture implementation plans. Cybersecurity now tops the list of their buying intentions in 2023, a trend likely to continue for years to come, says Rob Emsley, the director of product marketing for data protection at Dell Technologies.

Every piece of infrastructure in a zero-trust environment must adhere to the pillars of the zero-trust strategy — identity, devices, networks, applications and workloads, and data — which is why tech companies like Dell Technologies offer backup appliances that support multiple MFA options, like Google Authenticator and RSA Security’s SecurID.

EXPLORE: Learn how Dell can help your organization achieve zero-trust.

The Role of Data Recovery in Zero Trust

“There’s no such thing as absolute security,” Emsley says. “That’s why data protection and cyber recovery are so foundational to a zero-trust architecture.”

In 2018, U.S. Cyber Command partnered with the nonprofit Maryland Innovation Security Institute to create a cyber innovation and prototyping facility called DreamPort. Now, Dell Technologies is working with MISI and CyberPoint International to launch the Zero Trust Center of Excellence at DreamPort this spring.

At the Zero Trust Center of Excellence, agencies will be able to test their IT environments on a Department of Defense-approved zero-trust architecture featuring Dell Technologies solutions. Aligning agencies’ zero-trust strategies with data centers is part of that work, as data recovery must happen quickly when information is compromised by a ransomware or other cyberattack.

“Many customers struggle with acquisition of assets, getting what they expect to get from their assets from any vendor and the disposition of assets when they go to refresh,” Emsley says.

READ MORE: Why the DOD is looking to adopt zero-trust security architectures faster.

Future-Proofing the IT Life Cycle

Dell Technologies introduced its Future-Proof Program several years ago to help agencies optimize their IT lifecycles. The program offers a variety of benefits, including a three-year satisfaction guarantee across storage, data protection, hyperconverged infrastructure and networking solutions.

Future-proofing the IT lifecycle simplifies operations, allowing agencies to worry less about day-to-day asset management and focus on more immediate, mission-critical needs, such as coding.

Flexible payment is another Future-Proof Program offering for cash-strapped agencies. “Budgets have not been very full, as far as many of those organizations are concerned,” Emsley says.

Next-generation data protection solutions also present an opportunity for agencies to realize storage cost savings in the form of data reduction.

Rob Emsley
There’s no such thing as absolute security. That’s why data protection and cyber recovery are so foundational to a zero-trust architecture.”

Rob Emsley Director of Product Marketing, Dell

Dell Technologies’ largest data protection storage appliance supports 1.5 petabytes of capacity, but backing up to that architecture is a repetitive process. Eliminating redundant data from data sets through deduplication frees up space, so a typical 42U server rack has a logical capacity of 100 petabytes of backup data storage, Emsley says.

“Data reduction is a real benefit when it comes to cost efficiency,” he says. “If you can store more data within the same physical footprint than another solution, that drops immediately to the bottom line.”

Emsley also notes other ways agencies can save money:

  • Tech refresh and recycle programs for legacy storage equipment
  • Data center asset monitoring offerings
  • Anytime upgrades that reduce the IT management burden

DIVE DEEPER: How the Air Force is laying the groundwork for zero-trust.

Introducing the Cyber Recovery Guarantee

Dell Technologies started to offer a cyber recovery guarantee in November, a move aimed at boosting agency resilience being deployed across the industry. Some companies now guarantee financial compensation in the millions of dollars for ransomware recovery operations.

Dell Technologies offers a $5 million guarantee for qualifying incidents. Similarly, solutions that isolate backup data from more secure attack surface environments, such as the PowerProtect Cyber Recovery vault, come with a $5 million guarantee, for an aggregate $10 million in assurance. The PowerProtect Cyber Recovery vault requires separate credentials and multifactor authentication to access, and it conducts automated integrity checks to determine whether data has been affected.

To keep pace with the increasing volume of protected data at agencies, Dell Technologies further guarantees an agreed-upon deduplication ratio, as high as 55 to 1, to reduce storage costs.

“We really felt that, as a leader in the space, it was important to offer a very comprehensive cyber recovery guarantee,” Emsley says.

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