FCM4 and IBM Storage Defender: A Unique AI Approach to Data Security.

Ransomware attacks are escalating, threatening businesses with data loss and operational downtime. IBM's Storage Defender and FCM4 offer a revolutionary solution with AI-powered, real-time threat detection for block storage. Unlike traditional methods, this system can identify and stop ransomware attacks in under a minute, ensuring the integrity of your data and minimizing disruption.

Marcel Klingbacher
+41 58 510 16 08

Data is the lifeblood of many companies. It is the basis on which they make decisions, formulate strategies, and measure success. However, Data security faces a constant barrage from cybercriminals. According to Fortinet's Global Ransomware Report 2023, more than 80 percent of respondents said they were very or extremely concerned about the threat of ransomware[i]. The survey polled 569 cybersecurity executives and decision-makers from organizations of various sizes and industries. Despite their concerns, half of the organizations surveyed fell victim to a ransomware attack last year. To combat such attacks, IBM has now developed a powerful combination of technologies: IBM Storage Defender[ii] and FlashCore Module 4 (FCM4)[iii] with AI.

Cybercriminals use AI to launch targeted cyberattacks and exploit vulnerabilities that are beyond the reach of human hackers[iv]. AI can also be used to automate the extraction of valuable data from compromised systems. However, AI can also be an effective antidote to AI threats. Algorithms can analyze huge data sets to identify anomalies and detect potential attacks immediately. AI-driven threat detection systems can recognize patterns of behavior that human analysts would tend to overlook. This proactive approach to cyber security can significantly reduce response times and limit the damage that can be caused by AI-driven attacks. Understanding these technologies and their potential, and how an organization can benefit from them, is the first step to achieve future data security.


IBM Storage Defender: Guardian of your data

IBM Storage Defender is software that connects your primary and secondary data environment to your DataProtect cluster. It is used for inventory operations as well as test restores and recovery operations. The software includes DataProtect from Cohesity and CyberSense from Index Engines. It promises end-to-end data security in hybrid multi-cloud IT environments. The new version enhances the software's threat detection capabilities, making it even more useful. 
IBM Storage Defender is designed to provide a comprehensive overview of data environments. Storage Defender continuously monitors your data and identifies potential vulnerabilities and threats. This proactive approach makes it possible to address issues before they escalate, minimizing the risk of data breaches and ensuring data integrity.


FlashCore Module 4: Ransomware Protection on Block Storage

FCM4 is the fourth generation of IBM FlashCore Module technology, which is available in the new IBM Storage FlashSystem products. It enables the use of artificial intelligence within the IBM Storage FlashSystem family. FCM4 is equipped with IBM's innovative Ransomware Threat Detection (RTD) and continuously monitors the statistics collected from individual I/O using machine learning models. In the context of FCM4 and data storage, I/O (input/output) refers specifically to the operations that read data (input) or write to memory (output). Each of these operations generates data that FCM4 collects and analyzes. This technology makes it possible for the first time to offer ransomware detection efficiently and in real time in the block storage area. Until now, this was only possible for file data. Real-time monitoring enables the detection of anomalies such as ransomware in less than a minute, regardless of the stored data models, be it databases, virtual servers, file servers or even backup data, directly at storage block level. To detect these threats, AI and inline inferencing are used by training a model with a comprehensive set of features. These features are based on workload anomalies such as changes in compression rate, encryption levels, data entropy and altered data access patterns. By analyzing these characteristics, the system can identify potential threats and take appropriate action. All this happens in real time without any loss of performance. 


Powerful integration

Storage Defender and FCM4 work together to safeguard data integrity across primary and secondary workloads. It uses AI-powered sensors to provide organizations with early warning of cyber threats and, most importantly, automatically creates an immutable copy in the event of a threat. In an emergency, this enables faster and comprehensive recovery. FCM4 is a key component of IBM's strategy to combat cyber threats and improve data security. The synergy between IBM Storage Defender and FCM4 demonstrates the power of integrated security solutions. Working together, these technologies create a defense mechanism that not only detects threats, but also mitigates their impact. This ensures the security and integrity of your data and allows you to focus on your core business. Investing in such technologies is an important step in securing your organization's digital assets in an increasingly volatile cyber threat landscape. 
FCM4 and IBM Storage Defender demonstrate the importance of AI when it comes to secure data storage. The technology is a key component of IBM's strategy to combat cyber threats. IBM and UMB have been working together for decades. UMB is the strongest IBM partner in Switzerland with over 350 IBM certifications and the only one with Elite Speciality Status for IBM Power and Storage. With our above-average expertise in IBM hardware as well as software and services, we guarantee outstanding cooperation. 
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[i]  Report-2023-ransomware-global-research.pdf (fortinet.com)

[ii] IBM Storage Defender Beats Ransomware (umb.ch)

[iii]IBM adds AI-enhanced data resilience capabilities to enhanced storage solutions

[iv] KI, die neue Herausforderung für die Cybersicherheit | Bitkom e. V.