It is easy to project that for 2024, multiple topics will drive the conversations within the NonStop Community. Whether it’s the ongoing pursuit of a digital transformation, modernization of interfaces, tools, utilities, and development platforms, or the need to consider bolstering an enterprise’s digital resilience, there seems to be no let up in the number of posts and articles addressing these topics. Likewise, there may be no bigger catalyst to these conversations than the threat created by Ransomware attacks and the subsequent damage from the fallout when such cyber-attacks are perpetrated on an unwary enterprise.
What has been circulating among the HPE NonStop community is a number of options when it comes to ensuring protection from the disruptive behavior of bad actors who threaten the continuous operation of the business. The architecture of the NonStop operating system is such that it provides a very strong defense against the intrusions of those intent on disrupting the day-to-day business of some of the biggest enterprises that today depend on NonStop systems. Nevertheless, digital resilience has displaced the more traditional conversations about fault tolerance, as in today’s highly connected world, cyber threats can come from almost anywhere.
“In the world of cybersecurity, a threat may be defined as a potential negative action or event facilitated by a vulnerability that results in an unwanted impact on a computer system or application,” according to the post of September 4th, 2023, to the RedLegg Blog. “Simply put, this means that there are technical weaknesses in our devices, systems or networks. A person or an organization with malicious intent can break into systems or networks through a weak spot and inflict damage. The individual or group carrying out such cyber threats is called a cyber threat actor.”
However, when it comes to digital resilience, there is a cost and the price to be paid for shoring up defenses that has led to greater evaluation of the options available. Digital resilience is centered on examining the status quo and taking the first steps toward a transformation, as resilience is all about preparation for what lies ahead. For the NonStop community, with its premier marketplace being the support of global financial institutions, providing cost-effective solutions for the foundation of resilience and the backup of critical data has been at the very core of the business pursuits of ETI-NET. “Security in Australia is by and large still a grudge purchase,” according to a Sydney Morning Herald column of January 5, 2024, quoting Jamieson O-Reilly, founder of cybersecurity firm Dvuln.
“Organizations that weather and thrice following a cyber incident have a strong culture of resilience, have invested in securing their networks and systems to do what they can to prevent a breach, and have prepared as best they can for an attack in this ‘when,’ not ‘if’ environment,” said CyberCX’s Shamela Gonzalez in the same column. “It’s the combined scrambling to understand what has happened, re-securing systems without inflicting more damage, and communicating effectively in a matter of an hour.”
For ETI-NET, the NonStop community’s strong culture of resilience and willingness to commit to a strengthened cyber-threat defense stands out. When it comes to the NonStop community, there are good solutions available, even as some are better than others, and it has been a welcome development, as it is very clear from the conversations surrounding the cyber threats posed by bad actors, persons, or organizations with malicious intent are treated very seriously. Starting with BackBox® (BB) and the task of reliably providing secure backup of data, the NonStop community has a partner and a product that is resilient. The addition of integrated support for QoreStor® (QS) only adds to the resilience of the ETI-NET backup strategy. However, penetration of NonStop systems by bad actors that increasingly include those knowledgeable of a NonStop system is a distinct possibility.
According to Mike Mitsch, ETI-NET Director, Business Development, “While there are potential holes in any architecture, it is not without saying that observation and proactive planning continues to be the optimal approach. And with the latest release of BackBox® with QoreStor® 4.11, ETI-NET and HPE are giving NonStop users enhanced functionality to recover from cyber-attacks and capabilities that better support best practices backup data protection that have proved successful over time.” In combination, BB / QS brings an advanced hybrid VTC hardware and software solution to the NonStop marketplace that delivers the flexibility to implement best practice backup data protection while reducing the complexities of complete system restoration. “We have seen first-hand the challenges that organizations face with separate IT staff responsibilities between NonStop production and backup/recovery storage. BB, with integrated software-defined QS storage management, opens various storage options, including native S3 / cloud object storage to supplement the existing infrastructure. This approach not only helps separate IT staff establish common ground by delivering another level of architectural flexibility, but it also builds collaboration within the IT organization. And when it comes to making a choice, flexibility is always a welcomed option.”
What is digital resilience, and how does it apply to NonStop? Taken literally, resilience suggests a model that bends to absorb the challenges being faced while not breaking. “Often previously associated with concepts such as cybersecurity and online literacy, digital resilience now encompasses the various ways organizations use digital tools and systems to quickly recover from or adjust to crises,” according to an introduction by Forbes magazine back in 2021. “As we begin the new year, how might we think about expanding our efforts in digital resilience?” Looking for common ground as the conversations among members of the NonStop community grew, it became clear to ETI-NET that BackBox® with integrated QoreStor® would play a prominent role in the evolution of primarily a digital data resilience initiative in support of NonStop systems deployments.
This became clear during the recent NonStop TBC 2023 Conference, where the message from ETI-NET about the data backup strategy was encapsulated by the 3-2-1 rule. According to TechTarget’s analyst, Rich Castagna, “Three copies are made of the backup data to be protected, the copies are stored on two different types of storage media, and one copy of the data is sent off-site.” Considered a best practice option dating back many years, this rule has been extended of late to become the 3-2-1-X rule. “At ETI-NET, our focus of the past year has been on providing NonStop customers with opportunities to build out their defenses as deep as they want to go,” said Mitsch, “and with BB / QS, we are pleased to be able to say, as extensive as your backup, restoration and data protection provisions become, ETI-NET has you covered. Not just as being a good option but acknowledged among NonStop customers as the best solution for ensuring digital data resilience.”
With this in mind, the NonStop community should feel encouraged by the steps ETI-NET is taking with regard to enhancing BackBox by synergistically adding strategic functionality to the product portfolio. With a strong reputation in the field of monitoring and alerting, the Sentinel product is shaping up to be a real boon to those NonStop customers that have or are in the process of deploying BB / QS. “What’s new with Sentinel is that through the acquisition of Insider Technologies, we are bringing decades of experience in monitoring and alerting to now support BB / QS,” said Karl Gilbank, European Director at ETI-NET. “What excites ETI-NET is how the market has swung around to focus on resilience, which calls for monitoring and alerting of disruptive actions. More important still is how Sentinel then interacts with BB / QS to initiate proactive steps to minimize any potential damage that might otherwise arise.”
What makes ETI-NET excited with Sentinel? Developed over time and aligned with real-world use cases, Sentinel caters to the NonStop customers looking for global views of all activities across a NonStop system. This includes the consolidation and rationalization of EMS events together at a global level that includes all NonStop nodes, networks, subsystems and utilities, files, events, and applications. Visualization is delivered in an intelligent manner, reducing the amount of guesswork that may otherwise be triggered. In many situations, there is knowledge within Sentinel to automatically resolve routine problems.
In the coming months, expect to read a lot more about synergistic enhancements within and extending outside of the ETI-NET portfolio to bring seamless integration of products, providing even greater business resilience. HPE has been championing modernization and digital transformation together with everything-as-a-Service (XaaS). Going hand in glove with these initiatives has been the message of simplification. Enterprises may still be grudgingly accepting of the need to prevent disastrous breaches of their systems and networks but, at the same time, are looking for simplicity as delivered by a knowledgeable partner. With ETI-NET, the NonStop community has such a partner, and now that siblings are working together, defenses against bad actors everywhere will be nullified.
It is still very early days in 2024, but ETI-NET is already committing to greater participation in NonStop conferences and events worldwide. Should the subject of digital data resilience be topical and your need for further information a priority, then please reach out to us either by email or by phone. ETI-NET can be best reached as follows –
Web – https://etinet.com/contact-us/
Phone – (514) 395-1200