Data security

What Is Immutable? Topic Explained

Nothing is more crucial for enterprise businesses to maintain consumer trust or client protection than processing people’s data and files safely.

Large organizations may suffer serious financial, righteous, and legal consequences from lost data. Because of this, conventional backups, while often useful, should not be used alone. To protect your data instead, the backup procedure needs to be strengthened. They are referred to as immutable backup storage for those data reserves.

What Is Meant by Immutable?

Immutable storage is currently mainly discussed in the realms of backup and recovery.

In the case of a malware or ransomware attack, an immutable backup—a backup that cannot be destroyed or changed—provides crucial security. Data is encrypted by ransomware, and the original files are removed. It’s essential that backups can’t be deleted or encrypted to recover. Immutable backups stop this since they forbid data from being altered in any way.

However, immutable storage does not guarantee the reliability of your backups. Immutable backups alone cannot guard against security issues, including stolen credentials, angry workers, and privilege escalation.

How Do Immutable Backups Work?

You essentially “lock” your data with an “object lock” when you generate an immutable backup. This lock prevents anyone from unintentionally modifying or deleting the data for a predetermined period of time—typically set by the user who generates the backup. Although unchangeable, the data is regarded as WORM-protected. The term “write once, read many” (WORM) refers to the fact that once data has been saved, it can be viewed however often is necessary but cannot, under any circumstances, be overwritten.

The object lock will be released after the specified time has passed, making the backup no longer immutable. Because every organization’s data evolves and an immutable backup could become significantly outdated with time, it’s conceivable to make a backup immutable for an endless amount of time, although this is not particularly popular.

Why Should You Use Immutable Backups?

Immutability is currently one of the highest levels of backup security that a company may have. Immutable backups are unchangeable, undecryptable, and unreachable throughout the user-specified time frame.

The rising frequency of ransomware attacks is one reason businesses increasingly use immutable backups. In a ransomware attack, an attacker encrypts an organization’s data or systems and demands payment before the firm may regain control of its data. Attackers with expertise can also alter, encrypt, or erase data backups to increase the probability that a corporation will pay a ransom for its stolen data. However, the ransomware assault becomes far less dangerous if the backup data cannot be encrypted. While no security, not even immutability, is 100% successful, it can stop most malware, viruses, and other attacks in addition to ransomware threats.

Having an immutable backup makes it simple and quick to get your systems back up and running if you lose your data due to an attack, a natural disaster, or when it becomes damaged or lost.

When it comes to laws requiring multiple copies of your data, immutable backups can also be a real advantage. Organizations can save a lot of money by adhering to these standards by avoiding fees and reputational damage if their disobedience makes the press.

The Benefits of Immutable Storage

The unsung hero of data security is immutable storage. Adopting this strategy has a wide range of advantages, such as:

File Recovery at Any Time, Without Stress

Immutable backup storage’s ability to be quickly deployed to your production servers in the case of a data breach or loss is one of its most vital features. The data is perfectly saved and ready to use when required. Unlike with regular backups, you don’t have to be concerned about immutable files being compromised. Information security is guaranteed by immutable storage.

Consistent Protection Against Disaster

Immutable storage offers a trustworthy defense against ransomware, calamities, outages, and other threats. Your data is not susceptible to virtual or physical hacking in this backup environment. It offers peace of mind for many organizations that need that level of safety and security.

Stronger Data Compliance

Many organizations, including healthcare, finance, and data protection firms, must maintain clean records and comply with severe retention requirements. Immutable storage enables compliance with these standards by offering a secure, accessible location for clean files.

Quicker Data Recovery

It’s critical to recover lost data rapidly in the case of a data breach or loss, whether caused by a cyberattack or another issue. Using immutable backup storage assures that a fresh, up-to-date copy can be transferred to the servers in minutes.

What Qualifies as a Backup Provider with Immutability Support?

When looking for an immutable backup provider, look for one with a cloud-based hyperscale architecture that stores all backup data in internal clusters inaccessible to any outside user or application.

It is also critical that backup snapshots are saved in read-only mode. Any efforts to write to an immutable backup snapshot, such as incremental backups, should be made on (zero-cost) clones, which should likewise be declared read-only once each backup is completed. Writes to internal views should be restricted to trusted internal services and authenticated APIs during backups.

Are Immutable Backups Safe?

While no security system can prevent every attack, immutable backups are a formidable defense against accidental and intentional data change, encryption, corruption, and destruction. They also protect against malware, ransomware, viruses, and other assaults or data disasters. Combined with other security and data protection technologies and policies, immutable backups should be vital to every organization’s security strategy.


The secure management of people’s data and files is essential for business organizations to maintain their customers’ confidence and protect their clients’ privacy. Large firms incur considerable financial and legal risks if vital data is lost. These risks include the possibility of being sued.

Immutable backups, which cannot have their data removed or altered in any way, offer an additional layer of safety, particularly in the face of ransomware and other forms of malware. Although they are not perfect, they are an essential part of the overall security strategy that every organization should have.

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