Data Storage Industry

Part
01
of six
Part
01

Personal and Business Backup Use Cases - Media Mentions

WunderVu was highlighted within the study to have used B2 Cloud Storage alongside the B2 Fireball data transfer service to achieve their storage goals. WGBH Boston was also highlighted as a media case study, where using HyperStore from Cloudian helped them achieve proper archiving and retrievals. Finally, a personal use case identifying email storage in the case study.

Business Use Case

For Business Continuity (WunderVu)

Preventing Data Loss/Archiving (WGBH Boston)

Personal Use Case

Email Storage

Research Strategy

To establish three use cases for both personal versus business back up in the storage industry mentioned in the media, we approached relevant media reports and case studies to gather the information highlighted in our findings.
Part
02
of six
Part
02

Amazon S3 - Conversations in the Media

The most prominent conversations about Amazon S3 both currently as well as in 2018 were surprisingly similar and often negative in tone, as they often covered security issues with the product. However, beyond this less flattering press, more recent conversations tended to positively highlight Amazon's efforts to improve the security of Amazon S3, while slightly older media in 2018 emphasized the education of new and potential Amazon S3 customers.

Traditional Media: Mid-2019 to 2020

  • A scan of traditional media through search aggregator Google News and media engagement tool BuzzSumo suggests that the most significant and widespread conversations related to Amazon S3 since mid-2019 have centered around data breaches involving the product.
  • Most notably, publications such as The Hacker News and RiskIQ reported in July of 2019 that the misconfiguration of Amazon S3 buckets enabled the Magecart Hackers to infect over 17,000 sites.
  • Similarly, a variety of media outlets including GBHackers, Hot For Security, Threat Post and BleepingComputer reported in mid-2019 that an unsecured Amazon S3 server left passwords and other sensitive information exposed for numerous Fortune 100 companies, including Netflix, Ford and TD Bank.
  • Although this security-related news was primarily featured in industry trade publications, these articles were the center of tremendous conversation, with The Hacker News alone receiving 1.4 thousand total engagements on its related article.
  • Moreover, the tone of these articles was overwhelmingly negative, using terms such as "leaky," "exposed," "unsecured" and "reckless" to describe the Amazon S3 product and its handling of the situation.
  • Most recently, however, in late 2019 and early 2020, the conversation has shifted to more benign and slightly positive discussions, such as media coverage of Amazon S3's attempt to improve security through the introduction of Access Points.
  • On these and other related subjects, industry media including ZDNet, Silicon Angle and TechRadar report with a more optimistic tone, suggesting that recent developments may help "fix leaky buckets" within Amazon S3 and make it "easy" for users to work with the system.

Traditional Media: Mid to Late 2018

  • A similar scan of traditional for the comparable period in 2018 indicated a surprisingly similar conversation landscape for Amazon S3.
  • Once again, trade publications including Dark Reading, ZDNet and Threat Post were prominent in discussing how an error by an Amazon employee in August of 2018 resulted in the public exposure of an Amazon S3 bucket for Amazon client GoDaddy.
  • The tone related to this incident was similarly negative, using terms such as "flub," "failure," and "security breach" to describe the product and its support team at Amazon.
  • Additionally, news outlets including The Register and Data Center Knowledge highlighted other security issues with the product, as well as comments by Amazon regarding the stability of its Amazon S3 product.
  • However, in contrast to more recent conversations, coverage in mid to late 2018 also widely focused on introducing and explaining the Amazon S3 product to new and potential users.
  • Industry outlets including N2WS, CloudHealth, Delicious Brains and RedLock are just a few of the traditional media sources that regularly published tutorials and beginners information on what Amazon S3 is and how to use it effectively.
  • As such, an underlying if less highlighted conversation around the product was a discussion that was both educational and relatively neutral in tone.

Social Media: Mid-2019 to 2020 vs. Mid to Late 2018

  • Meanwhile, a scan of social media since mid-2019 through the present, as well as during the comparable months in 2018, highlighted that conversation on social channels related to Amazon S3 was limited but slightly positive.
  • Specifically, a review of overall social media mentions of Amazon S3 through Social Searcher as well as the top related posts on Twitter revealed that, while conversation about the product has been relatively sparse since mid-2019, it was particularly limited prior to then.
  • Most recently, the tone of these recent conversations on social media have been positive or neutral, and largely relate to information sharing (such as this January of 2020 Twitter post) or slight support for the product (such as this January of 2020 Twitter post).
  • Less positive comments since mid-2019, highlighted subjects such as the data breaches that were discussed in traditional media (such as this January of 2020 post on Twitter).
  • Meanwhile, the less common social media conversations during 2018 similarly echoed the neutral to negative sentiments of traditional media from the period, such as this August of 2018 Twitter post regarding an Amazon S3 how-to article, as well as this media-sponsored post in September of 2018 about an Amazon S3 storage bucket issue.
Part
03
of six
Part
03

Key Issues - Business Storage

Today, companies faces numerous issues regarding storage of their data. Below are two key issues in business storage that affect small, mid-sized and large businesses.

Security

  • A current key issue in business storage is security. Any data that a business has stored somewhere is susceptible to unauthorized access by a third-party.
  • Security is a major issue for businesses because it is a problem that must constantly be guarded against to protect company, employee, and customer data. Data breaches can be costly to a business and hurt their reputation.
  • Small and mid-size companies often cannot afford the expertise to adequately handle security issues. As a result, a data breach has high potential to severely damage or kill small and mid-size businesses. One study states that almost 60% of small-sized establishments close down "within six months of a data breach."
  • Enterprises have more resources to manage security of their storage, however they have a larger responsibility than smaller businesses to protect their employee and company data. Enterprises face greater challenges protecting their storage because it is more difficult to properly control granular access and keep up with security audits for "big data."

Infrastructure Management

  • Infrastructure management involves organizing the storage of a business in a way that properly suits the needs of the company. It includes the use of servers, databases, and business applications.
  • Mismanaged infrastructure is a current key issue in business storage because all data uses space and needs to be organized. Poorly structured storage can lead to data loss, the inability to accommodate growth, decreases in productivity and, as a result, decreases in revenue.
  • Small and mid-sized businesses tend to have IT resources with a more basic understanding of IT infrastructure. Therefore, they are less prepared when met with this problem and need to use a simplified solution, such as a cloud service, for their storage.
  • On the other hand, enterprises generally have a team of highly-qualified IT specialists that are knowledgeable in all the fundamental areas of IT infrastructure and are able to use a traditional management solution.
Part
04
of six
Part
04

Security - Cloud Storage

Obtaining cloud data security presents a broad range of issues and risks to be addressed, including data breaches, lost data, account hijacking, misusing the information, and unauthorized access, through variety of ways to be considered. These risks present themselves through different factors such as the vulnerability of individual accounts outside the cloud server, vulnerabilities to the server itself, (including sharing the server), how the data is stored and organized, the reliability and security of open source and free apps and services, encryption methods, and the overall management of such hybrid data infrastructures.

Cloud Security and the Risks Involved

  • A constant and recurring security issue involved with cloud data security is that even if the cloud itself is not breached by those trying to steal information, it is still possible for them to break into the individual accounts on servers such as Dropbox, Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive, and other cloud data storage providers. Cloud data storage and access being open anytime and anywhere by a range of users, technologies, and data sources, makes considering the vulnerability and security of these individual accounts a high priority to address.
  • Being able to securely and properly store and organize data is a top security issue involved with cloud data. Power outages and server failures, alongside such risks as ransomware attacks and files being deleted maliciously, are a constant issue and high priority threat to be considered when storing important data on cloud servers. It is thus vitally important a person or organization to understand exactly what data is stored, (inadvertently storing confidential and sensitive information, or accidentally not backing up certain data at all), where their data resides, and how it is managed and organized.
  • A critical area of cloud security deals with the security of web applications, as these apps account for 75% of all flagged security incidents within an 18-month period according to a Cloud Security Report from Alert Logic. Web application security firm Veracode reported that 56% of PHP apps alone (PHP being an open source programming language designed for cross platform development) had significant vulnerability issues that left them open for attack to malware infections, denial of service attacks, and undesired viewers. These outside party apps thus are a constant and necessary security problem to address and maintain with cloud data security.
  • One of the major challenges with cloud data security is the use of free file sharing and cloud storage services by employees that may not meet the minimum security standards required or be approved by their organization or company. Employees can significantly put company data at risk by using these services and technologies without IT approval, making this issue is a top security priority to consider.
  • Data stored on the cloud is almost always encrypted, being unable to be read without a certain key. Where and who holds these encryption keys is a major security factor to consider, as some companies have opted to allow the individual users to keep the encryption keys themselves instead of the company whose security practices may have inherent flaws. Of course, these services are not perfect either, as these apps as mentioned may have embedded functions that leave data vulnerable, such as having a window of time when the data is not yet encrypted, thus making the need to encrypt data quickly and securely a major security consideration.
  • Managing the security of data across multiple and varied environments presents major security challenges for cloud data. According to research 56% of small businesses say it is difficult to manage security across such varied infrastructures. The constant monitoring and management of all cloud data across large environments is a top security issue that presents itself.
  • Cloud storage providers do not build specific servers for each user but instead share server space as needed. This puts a person's or company's data at potential risk if the server uploads malicious or hazardous information or software from elsewhere. The reliance on shared servers for cloud data will be a recurrent security issue for cloud data users to understand and consider.
Part
05
of six
Part
05

California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA)

The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) regulations will have a large impact on businesses using cloud storage. The regulations are system-agnostic, meaning that cloud storage of data still has to comply with the various elements of the Act. Businesses now need to take steps to properly understanding their cloud data storage systems, control access, respond to individual requests and ensure security compliance.

Cloud Usage Statistics

  • 90% of companies utilize the cloud. 58% have adopted hybrid cloud systems.
  • Enterprises prefer a private cloud, at 46% to 33%.
  • More than 60% of enterprises are worried about regulatory and security issues with cloud storage.

Businesses Using Cloud Storage

  • The CCPA affects large businesses as one of the qualifications for needing to follow it are revenues above $25 million.
  • Cloud storage is affected because one of the provisions of the CCPA is the need to "maintain a database to track their data processing activities, including the business processes, third parties, products, devices, and applications that process consumer personal data". As more data is increasingly stored in the cloud, companies need to be mindful of keeping track of the transferring of data.
  • Additionally, businesses must be mindful of hybrid data storage, such as local and cloud. The amount of personal data certain businesses hold can be huge, and it is usually stored in multiple places across multiple file types. Most file search tools used today lack capability to search across modern file repository systems.
  • As cloud adoption has grown rapidly, businesses now have to go back and ensure they have a robust infrastructure in place to effectively manage that data.
  • Furthermore, a business's level of security for cloud storage is important. Businesses are now required to, "protect personal information with 'reasonable' security".

Cloud Architecture

  • Overall, there are six themes where the CCPA affects large businesses using cloud storage. To comply with the regulations, companies need to: know their cloud (inventory), know their data assets (map asset lifecycles), identify role of third-parties and beyond in the cloud, effectively be able to manage data requests using cloud-held data, ensure security in shared environments and, finally, ensure incidences and breaches can be controlled across multiple cloud environments.
  • Significant investment in understanding and controlling cloud architecture is now to needed to both track and protect data.
  • Companies need to understand their cloud assets, understand data flows, ensure ownership and governance of the process and sensitive data, ensure security and assess the role of third parties.
  • Futher, operational systems are needed to respond to data requests from individuals, as well as managing opt-outs/delete requests within the cloud.
  • Cloud providers have to increase security infrastructure to ensure companies can control access rights, monitoring and logging.
Part
06
of six
Part
06

Media Mentions - Cloud Storage: 2018-2020

Many recent media mentions surrounding cloud storage trends have highlighted the explosive overall growth of the cloud storage industry, as well as the shift towards hybrid-multi-cloud storage.

Cloud Storage Trends in 2019

  • Cloud storage expert Leonovus published an article in December of 2019 which summarized a recent survey of technical professionals across a wide variety of industries about their experiences with cloud storage.
  • As part of this analysis of survey results, the article provided a data-backed assessment of current trends in the cloud storage industry.
  • Among these key trends were the shift towards hybrid-muiti-cloud storage, ongoing challenges with data retention & control and a new focus on enhancing security & compliance controls with cloud storage.

Top Trends in Cloud Data Storage

  • Approximately one year earlier, in November of 2018, data expert Formstack Sync published an article that provided a basic overview of what cloud storage is and how it works.
  • Within its introduction, the piece discussed overarching trends related to cloud storage, such as the momentum of businesses towards cloud storage services, amid the "explosive" growth of data storage needs and tight IT budgets.
  • Moreover, throughout the summary's methodical review of the various aspects of cloud storage, it highlighted industry trends, such as the growing popularity of object storage over block and file storage.

Top Ten Cloud Storage Trends

  • Meanwhile, at the beginning of that same year, in January of 2018, security expert Datamation clearly and concisely outlined the ten top trends in cloud storage overall.
  • This listing included higher-level trends, such as the "rocketing" levels of adoption of cloud storage across enterprises, as well as the increasing fragmentation of the cloud storage industry among public clouds, private clouds, niche providers and others.
  • Additionally, the article echoed trends highlighted in other media outlets, such as the rise of hybrid-multi-cloud storage, and how financial concerns have motivated many corporations to move to cloud storage.

The State of Storage: Cloud, IoT, and Data Center Trends

  • In contrast to these articles, big data trade Datanami recently published a widely syndicated article in July of 2019 that discussed cloud storage trends alongside developments in IoT and data centers.
  • Most notably, the article repeatedly mentioned cloud storage's growing dominance in the storage industry as a whole, adding that it will account for 49% of global data storage by 2025.
  • However, the article also briefly discussed other related trends, such as the shifts to solid state drives and advanced NVMe technology.

Cloud repatriation is a symptom of a wider cloud storage trend

  • On the opposite end of the spectrum, storage technology outlet SearchStorage published an article in September of 2019 that thoroughly discussed the narrow trend of cloud repatriation, or the shift of organizations to pulling data out of the cloud and storing it on-premise.
  • According to SearchStorage, however, this movement towards cloud repatriation is really just a sub-trend within the growing enterprise trend to re-balance and more strategically divide data storage between on-premise as well as cloud storage.
  • To substantiate this trend, the article quoted statistics from a June of 2019 survey of 900 IT leaders, which found that while only 32% of respondents believed that cloud storage and related services met all of their expectations, a significant 58% still believed that they received benefits from using the cloud.

2019 Data Storage Trends: Cloud-Based Storage Shone

  • Meanwhile, IT trade ITPro Today discussed a variety of data storage trends within its December of 2019 article, including trends that were relevant to cloud storage and also specifically discussed the growing "cloud-focus" in data storage overall.
  • Among key discussion areas was the "significant increase" in attacks against cloud-based storage, and the migration to multicloud storage by budget and security-conscious businesses.

Public Cloud Trends in 2019 and Beyond

  • Finally, media outlets including MSDynamicsWorld covered the release of a February of 2019 report by Spiceworks, which discussed not only the most current trends in cloud storage, but also future trends in the industry.
  • One key finding of the report was the fact that the use of public clouds is expected to double by 2020 or 2021.
  • Additionally, the nine-page report indicated that 33% of businesses are expected to adopt container technologies as well as serverless and edge computing by next year.
Sources
Sources

From Part 02