NetApp Snapvault and SnapLock – 100% Data Encryption Protection?

In today's world, where data is a valuable asset, constantly under attack from intruders and incompetent handling by “defense”, protection against encryption comes to the fore. In the current situation, technologies stand out NetApp SnapVault and SnapLock offering a number of solutions promising complete data protection, but can they really guarantee 100% security? Let's find out.

Have you ever wondered what would happen if your important files were encrypted and inaccessible? Imagine if all your company’s critical information suddenly became unavailable to you, and the attackers demanded a huge ransom to return it. If such thoughts worry you, you are not alone. In the digital age, data has become the new oil, and cybercriminals have quickly realized this, developing increasingly sophisticated attack methods. One of the most dangerous types of threats is data encryption followed by extortion – so-called ransomware attacks, which can paralyze the entire work of an organization and jeopardize its future.

The evolution of cyber attacks began with simple viruses that mostly annoyed users, disrupted systems, and caused minor problems. However, hackers quickly realized that they could make huge amounts of money by blocking access to important data and demanding a ransom to restore it. This is how the first ransomware appeared. Since the AIDS Trojan virus first tried to encrypt files in 1989, the situation has worsened considerably. Modern ransomware attacks have become highly organized and targeted, often targeting large companies with deep pockets and huge amounts of data. These attacks have become so sophisticated that sometimes even the most advanced security systems cannot cope with them without specialized technology.

To combat this threat, companies have started developing various protection technologies, one of which is NetApp, a leading provider of data storage and information protection solutions. In this article, we will take a closer look at how exactly NetApp SnapVault and SnapLock technologies can provide 100% protection against data encryption, and how objective this statement is. We will also discuss the latest developments in this area from NetApp, such as Tamperproof Snapshot copies and Autonomous Ransomware Protection (ARP). We will analyze real-life examples and give you an idea of ​​how to implement these technologies into your infrastructure for maximum protection.

Ransomware malware

To understand why NetApp technology is so important, it’s important to dive deeper into the nature of data encryption and its devastating effects. Ransomware attacks can cripple entire organizations, taking down systems that support key business processes. These attacks can block access to critical data and require millions of dollars to restore access. In addition, recovery can take weeks or even months, causing further damage and reputational loss.

In 2017, the virus WannaCry has crippled many large organizations, including UK healthcare institutions. The attack paralyzed their work and caused financial losses of millions of dollars, as well as put the lives of patients at risk due to the inability to access essential data and systems. In 2020, Garmin, known for its navigation systems, also suffered from a virus attack WastedLocker. This attack resulted in the suspension of their services worldwide, causing dissatisfaction among millions of users and significant financial losses, forcing the company to pay $10 million to the hackers.

The main problem is that malware not only encrypts data, but can also destroy backups if they are stored in vulnerable locations or not properly protected. This makes the task of recovering data without paying a ransom almost impossible. Attackers often deliberately search for and destroy backups to increase the pressure on the victim and increase the likelihood of receiving a ransom. This is where solutions from NetApp come into the picture, offering innovative approaches to data protection and information recovery.


NetApp SnapLock is a technology for creating immutable copies of data. SnapLock allows you to lock data for a specified period, preventing it from being modified or deleted. This is especially important for compliance and ransomware protection, as it is impossible to encrypt an immutable copy of data. SnapLock also offers the WORM (Write Once, Read Many) feature, which ensures data is immutable and protected from modification and deletion for a specified period of time. This can be used to protect critical data, such as financial reports and customer data, from accidental or malicious modification.
You can learn more about SnapLock here documentation NetApp and review on our website.

Starting with ONTAP 9.12.1, a new feature called Tamperproof Snapshot copies has been introduced, which allows creating tamper-proof copies of snapshots within each volume. These copies are created on a schedule and locked for a specified period of time (expiration time).

As long as a volume contains locked snapshot copies, the volume itself cannot be deleted, and snapshot copies cannot be modified or deleted until the expiration time has passed. This significantly reduces recovery time in the event of a ransomware attack, as it ensures that there are unaltered copies of the data within the volume itself, without the need to migrate it to external systems.

Another interesting new feature is the Autonomous Ransomware Protection (ARP) technology, which was introduced in ONTAP 9.10.1. ARP uses a built-in machine learning (ML) system that analyzes workload activity and data entropy to automatically detect ransomware. ARP operates in two modes – training and active. In training mode (minimum 30 days), the ML model studies typical NAS volume workloads. After switching to active mode, ARP begins to monitor anomalous activity that may indicate a ransomware attack. When such activity is detected, a snapshot copy is automatically created, providing a recovery point as close as possible to the moment of infection. At the same time, an alert is generated for administrators to analyze the situation and take action. False positives can be easily flagged, and the ML model will take them into account in the future. The main advantage of ARP is that protection is provided without disrupting I/O processes, providing administrators with built-in tools for threat detection, analysis, and data recovery.

How it all works in practice:

  1. Backup with SnapVault: Imagine your company taking snapshots of all critical data every hour. These snapshots capture the current state of the data and create a backup copy that is protected from any changes. In the event of a ransomware attack, you can simply restore the data from the latest snapshot, minimizing data loss and downtime. This significantly reduces the potential damage and helps you quickly return to normal operations.

  2. Immutable copies with SnapLock: Critical data, such as financial reports or customer databases, can be protected with SnapLock. Even if an attacker gains access to the system, they will not be able to change or delete this data, making extortion pointless. SnapLock also ensures regulatory compliance, which is especially important for companies operating under strict legal frameworks.


    So, can NetApp SnapVault and SnapLock provide 100% protection against data encryption? The answer to this question depends on many factors. NetApp technologies do provide powerful tools for data protection, but their effectiveness largely depends on proper implementation and use. It is important to understand that no technology can guarantee absolute protection; the human factor can break through any impregnable fortification. However, SnapVault and SnapLock significantly reduce risks and provide powerful data recovery mechanisms, which makes them indispensable in the arsenal of any company seeking to protect its data from cyber threats.

    Data protection is not just a trendy trend, but a necessity in today’s world where information has become one of the most valuable assets. With cybercriminals becoming more sophisticated and resourceful, technologies like NetApp SnapVault and SnapLock provide reliable data encryption protection, keeping your business safe and operational.
    Implementation of such technologies requires not only financial investments, but also a competent approach to IT infrastructure management. This includes employee training, regular security system updates and monitoring of all processes. If your own competencies are not enough, or there are other areas that require more priority attention, then you can turn to NetApp for deployment services and ongoing support of technologies. contact usV ITGLOBAL.COM.

    In the future, we will definitely continue to discuss new data protection technologies and ways to implement them. Follow our publications and stay in touch! Technologies do not stand still, and together we can find the most effective ways to protect data from modern threats.

This article is supported by the team ITGLOBAL.COM

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