IBM FCM4 with AI: Detect Threats in Under 60 Seconds.

The UK business landscape thrives on innovation and data. However, this reliance on information makes it a prime target for cyberattacks, with ransomware ranking among the top five threats, according to a November 2023 TechTarget report.

What’s New with FCM4?

Listen to what Steve Hollingsworth, Sales Director at Covenco has to say about the latest Flash Core Module (FCM4):

Traditional data storage solutions, while offering a baseline level of protection, are often ill-equipped to handle cybercriminals’ ever-evolving tactics. This is where IBM FlashSystem, with the latest generation FlashCore Module (FCM4), steps in, offering a revolutionary approach to data security that leverages the power of advanced machine learning.

IBM Flash Core Module with AI

The Growing Threat Landscape: Ransomware and Beyond

Ransomware attacks are a constant worry for UK IT professionals. The consequences can be devastating, leading to operational downtime, financial losses, and reputational damage. However, ransomware is just one piece of the puzzle. The 2024 IBM X-Force Threat Intelligence Index paints a concerning picture of a rapidly evolving cyber threat landscape. The report highlights the potential weaponization of AI by attackers, creating a new level of sophistication and complexity in cyberattacks.

This underscores the critical need for data storage solutions that can not only protect against existing threats but also adapt to future attack vectors. Traditional security methods based on signature detection often struggle to keep pace with the ingenuity of cybercriminals. This is where advanced machine learning offers a paradigm shift.

Introducing FCM4: An AI-powered Early Warning System for FlashSystem

The latest IBM FlashCore Module 4 (FCM4) provides resilient data storage in the event of a cyber-attack. The new technology enabled by FCM4 is designed to continuously monitor statistics gathered from every single I/O using machine learning models to detect anomalies like ransomware in under 60 seconds.

Key points to note include:

  • Real-time threat identification and action automation
  • Respond quickly enough to minimise and contain the blast radius
  • Uses machine learning to combat AI-powered threats

The introduction of FCM4 marks a significant leap forward in data security for IBM FlashSystem users in the UK. This innovative technology integrates AI and machine learning directly into the storage infrastructure, creating a powerful early warning system against cyber threats.

Here’s how FCM4 works:

  • Continuous I/O Monitoring:
    FCM4 constantly monitors every data input/output (I/O) operation within the FlashSystem storage. This provides a comprehensive view of data activity, allowing for the detection of even subtle anomalies.
  • Machine Learning Threat Detection:
    The collected I/O data is analysed by sophisticated machine learning models trained to identify patterns indicative of malicious activity. These models can learn and adapt over time, constantly improving their ability to detect new and emerging threats, including those potentially launched using AI.
  • Real-time Threat Identification:
    FCM4 operates in real-time, analysing data streams as they occur. This enables the system to detect ransomware attacks within a minute of their initiation, providing a crucial window of opportunity for IT teams to take action.

Beyond Detection: Taking Actionable Measures

FCM4 goes beyond simply identifying threats. It empowers IT professionals with the information they need to take decisive action. By analysing I/O statistics and behaviour patterns, FCM4 can differentiate between normal data activity and malicious actions like unauthorised encryption attempts often associated with ransomware attacks. This actionable intelligence allows IT teams to:

  • Isolate Infected Systems:
    Rapidly identify and isolate compromised systems, preventing the ransomware from spreading and encrypting additional data.
  • Initiate Swift Recovery:
    Leverage existing FlashSystem features like immutable copies to restore clean, uninfected data backups, minimizing downtime and data loss.
  • Enhance Security Protocols:
    The insights gleaned from FCM4 can be used to strengthen security protocols further and identify vulnerabilities within the network infrastructure.

A Holistic Approach to Data Resilience with Storage Defender

FCM4 doesn’t operate in isolation. It works seamlessly alongside IBM DefenderQRadar and Predatar software to provide a comprehensive data resilience solution. Additionally, Covenco’s integrated approach can deliver a multi-layered defence strategy that includes:

  • Inline Data Corruption Detection:
    Real-time scanning of incoming data for inconsistencies and corruption, potentially indicative of a cyberattack in progress.
  • Cloud-based Threat Analysis:
    Leveraging the power of IBM’s cloud infrastructure to analyse data patterns for anomalies and potential threats.
  • Immutable Copies:
    Creating unalterable backups of critical data that can be quickly restored during a successful ransomware attack.

The combined power of FCM4’s AI-powered early warning system with Predatar orchestration and QRadar creates multi-layered protection and a robust defence mechanism.

The Benefits of AI-powered Data Security

The adoption of FCM4 within FlashSystem offers a multitude of benefits:

  • Enhanced Threat Detection:
    AI-powered threat detection provides a significant advantage over traditional signature-based methods, allowing for the identification of both known and unknown threats.
  • Faster Response Times:
    Real-time threat identification enables a quicker response to security incidents, minimizing potential damage and downtime.
  • Reduced Downtime:
    The ability to isolate compromised systems and restore data from immutable backups ensures business continuity and minimizes operational disruption.
  • Proactive Security Posture:
    The insights gleaned from FCM4’s machine learning models can be used to identify vulnerabilities within the network infrastructure, allowing IT teams to address security gaps and strengthen their overall security posture proactively.
  • Reduced Operational Costs:
    By minimizing downtime and data loss associated with cyberattacks, FCM4 can help UK businesses save on recovery costs and lost productivity.
  • Improved Regulatory Compliance:
    Many UK businesses operate within industries with strict data security regulations. FCM4’s advanced threat detection and data resilience capabilities can help businesses comply with these regulations and avoid hefty fines.
  • Peace of Mind:
    Knowing that a cutting-edge AI-powered solution protects their data allows UK IT professionals to manage their data infrastructure with greater confidence and peace of mind.

The Future of Data Security:

The fight against cybercrime is an ongoing battle. As cybercriminals develop new tactics, data security solutions must evolve, too. Integrating AI into data storage solutions like FlashSystem with FCM4 represents a significant leap forward in this battle.

However, it’s important to remember that AI is a tool, not a silver bullet. The most effective approach to data security involves a collaborative effort that combines cutting-edge technology with human expertise.

Here’s how IT professionals can maximize the effectiveness of FCM4:

  • Staying Informed:
    Keeping up-to-date with the latest cyber threats and attack vectors allows a more informed interpretation of the data and insights provided by FCM4’s AI models.
  • Ongoing Security Awareness Training:
    Educating employees about cyber threats and best practices for data security remains a critical component of any defence strategy.
  • Regular Security Audits:
    Covenco can help you perform regular security audits of your IT infrastructure, identifying vulnerabilities and ensuring optimal security posture.
  • Leveraging Covenco and IBM’s Expertise:
    Covenco delivers a wealth of resources and expertise to help maximize the effectiveness of FlashSystem solutions, including FCM4.

By combining the power of AI-powered data security with Covenco’s expertise and proactive security culture, you can create a robust defence against cyber threats and ensure the continued success of your data-driven operations.

Investing in a Secure Future

Cyber threats pose a significant risk to all UK businesses. The good news is that advancements in technology offer powerful solutions. By adopting AI-powered data security solutions like IBM FlashSystem with FCM4, business owners and IT managers can gain a significant advantage in the fight against cybercrime.

FCM4’s early warning system, real-time threat detection, and actionable intelligence empower IT teams to take decisive action and protect their critical data. This, coupled with a proactive security approach from Covenco, empowers UK businesses to operate confidently, knowing their data is safe and their operations are resilient in the face of ever-evolving cyber threats.