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A lot of enterprise data storage today is on-premises—whether it’s hot data that is actively being used and needs to be accessed immediately or cold data that you don’t touch for weeks, months or even years.

Additionally, research by Enterprise Strategy Group finds 33% of companies still use tape and, in their 2021 annual report, storage leader Iron Mountain says storage of tapes and paper documents is holding relatively steady and more than 50% of physical records that entered their facilities 15 years ago are still with them today.

Cold data now comprises 60% of enterprise data and maintaining data on-prem is expensive. Migrating cold data storage to the cloud can reduce storage costs by over 70% and also eliminates the hidden costs of tape and paper including physical management, maintenance and retrieval. Beyond the huge cost savings, at ShardSecure we see additional, significant benefits organizations can realize by moving cold data to the cloud.

In conversations with CIOs and CISOs from Global 1000 companies, I consistently hear that while reducing operating costs is always good for business, during these uncertain times they are prioritizing data security and resiliency. When the data used to run the business is at heightened risk due to factors including digital transformation, working from home, and the current geopolitical environment, protecting and maintaining control of data takes on greater urgency. Concerns over data security are holding some companies back from moving cold data storage to the cloud. That’s why we are working with leading storage and data migration companies for both secure cold storage migration and data resiliency.

Cold data is still critical data

Just because cold data isn’t active, it is still critical to business operations. Think about employee and customer records, corporate tax filings, contracts with third parties, and product designs and patent documentation.

You need to know you can retrieve cold data immediately on demand and that it is secure, even if you don’t access it frequently. Data archived for legal, compliance, historical, and audit purposes contains sensitive information, including personally identifiable information (PII), financial data, and intellectual property (IP).

The impact of a ransomware attack, tampering, or leakage of any of that data could be devastating.

Check all the boxes

Fortunately, technological innovation has advanced to the point where organizations can move cold data from on-prem or aging alternatives like tape and paper, to cloud storage and check all the boxes: improved data security and resiliency as well as cost savings.

Microshard™ technology provides you with greater control over data security in the cloud. Microsharding is a three-step process that consists of shredding, mixing, and distributing data across multiple storage repositories of the data owner’s choosing—multi-cloud, multi-region, or hybrid cloud. It essentially makes sensitive data unsensitive and unintelligible to unauthorized users.

When data is shredded into microshards, they are too small to contain sensitive data. Mixing that data with poisoned data and distributing it helps to ensure unauthorized users never have a complete, intelligible data set should storage be compromised. Regardless of the point of entry, type of ransomware used, or what happens to the affected microshards—whether they are encrypted or exfiltrated—Microshard technology mitigates the impact to your data. Data is self-healing, meaning it is automatically reconstructed from the other storage locations, typically without users knowing. Since you maintain control of your data, your security teams are alerted, and you stay apprised of the security of your data. And business operations continue as usual.

In addition to making your data more resilient to bad actors, Microshard technology also makes data more resilient to outages, network issues, misconfigurations, and other disruptions to improve availability. The storage locations can be spread across different regions and different cloud providers of your choosing. If one location or cloud provider experiences a disruption, the affected microsharded data is reconstructed in real time using the self-healing capability enabling resiliency of your cold data. With global failover there is no single point of failure and no downtime. Data remains highly available and accessible with little to no impact on data retrieval, and in many cases retrieval improves.

The business value of cold storage migration to the cloud has never been more compelling. With Microshard technology you can enable cold storage migration to reduce costs and improve data security and resiliency in an uncertain world.