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Enterprise Storage and Backup Devices Average 14 Security Risks

Continuity research shows.

Continuity, Inc., provider of cyber resilience solutions, published the 2nd edition of The State of Storage and Backup Security Report 2023.

Continuity The State Of Storage Backup Security Report 2023 Cover 2303

The research showed that an average enterprise storage and backup device has 14 vulnerabilities, 3 of which are high or critical risk that could present a significant compromise if exploited.

The findings underscore a significant gap in the state of enterprise storage and backup security, and shows how much it lags behind the security of other layers of IT. With the growing sophistication of data-centric attacks, the high volumes of data at risk and tightened regulations, enterprise storage and backup security clearly require urgent attention.

Securing enterprise storage and backup systems has become a critical part of organizations’ cyber resiliency strategies,” said Dennis Hahn, principal analyst, data center storage and data management, Omdia, analyst firm. “As important as rapid data recovery is to business continuity if data is lost or stolen, it is arguably even more important to protect data anywhere it lives and not let storage and backup systems themselves become an entry point for attack.”

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Key findings
The report assessed 245 environments with 8,589 storage and backup devices from providers including Dell, NetApp, Veritas, Hitachi Vantara, Pure, Commvault and others. Just over 60% of organizations were from the banking sector. Other industries included healthcare, financial services, telecommunications, media, shipping carriers, and it services.

Key findings include:

  • A total of 9,996 discrete security issues (e.g., vulnerabilities and security misconfigurations) were detected, spanning more than 270 security principles that were not adequately followed
  • On average, an enterprise storage and backup device has 14 security risks, of which 3 are of high or critical risk rating, meaning each would present a significant compromise if exploited. This finding is practically identical to last year’s report, indicating little has been done to address this high-risk area
  • While deployment of immutable storage is rising, this can lead to a false sense of security if not implemented properly, and unfortunately, the analysis detected a significant number of misconfiguration issues specific to these features
  • Unpatched vulnerabilities in storage and backup systems are the main points of attack for most ransomware. Users are not aware of the fact that traditional Vulnerability Management tools do not cover those systems well

Top 5 security risks found in this year’s analysis were:

  1. Insecure network settings (use of vulnerable protocols, encryption ciphers, etc.)
  2. Unaddressed CVEs
  3. Access rights issues (over-exposure)
  4. Insecure user management and authentication
  5. Insufficient logging and auditing

The report provides additional details about these risks and recommends best practices for remediation. Other resources include the NIST SP-800-209 Security Guidelines for Storage Infrastructure, co-authored by Continuity, and a selection of practical guides on the company’s website.

We conducted this research to offer greater insight into the scope of the problems in data storage and backup security,” said Gil Hecht, CEO, Continuity. “Not only did it help to quantify the high level of vulnerabilities and security misconfigurations in the average enterprise storage and backup system, it also underscores the importance of taking a proactive and automated approach to fixing them.”

Continuity Storageguard Scheme 2303


The company’s product, StorageGuard, scans, detects and fixes security misconfigurations and vulnerabilities across storage and backup devices.

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StorageGuard gives customers complete visibility of security risks in their storage and backup environment, while hardening these critical systems and guaranteeing compliance with security regulations and industry standards.

The State of Storage and Backup Security Report 2023 (registration required) and information about StorageGuard are available online.