Dell Recovery Expert: Time To Stash Away Key Data In Off-premise Vaults

‘Traditional security tools just don’t work,’ making air-gap vaults and related recovery services necessary, Dell’s Mark Beaton says


Dell’s Mark Beaton

Cyberattacks are increasing at such a frequent and damaging pace that channel players might want to steer their clients toward a seemingly old-fashioned solution: vaults to protect data, a top Dell Technologies executive said Tuesday.

Mark Beaton, senior director of data protection-specialty channels at Dell, told audience members at The Channel Company’s XChange August 2022 conference that the demand for Dell’s “off-premise vaults,” where highly sensitive data is kept on behalf of customers, is dramatically increasing amid the recent escalation in ransomware and other cyberattacks.

Dell’s Apex Cyber Recovery solution, first introduced about five years ago, now has about 2,000 vaults across the globe as companies try to safely stash away key data – and the number of vaults is increasing, he said.

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Beaton said traditional backup services aren’t working as intended because hackers are now breaking into them and stealing data or encrypting backup data as part of ransomware attacks.

He said other cybersecurity technologies and services simply aren’t preventing hackers from getting into systems, with cybercriminals sometimes lurking within networks for months before striking.

“We know they’re going to get in,” he said of hackers. “Traditional security tools just don’t work.”

The Dell Apex Cyber Recovery air-gap vaults, with sensitive data kept outside a client’s computer system, are built into Dell’s data domain backend, Beaton said.

Dell’s recovery solutions – which also include features such as “immutable copies” of data, insider protections, and a “sweet sauce” intelligence service that’s constantly scanning for data corruption and other threats -- provides fast data recovery for firms hit by hackers, said Beaton.

“This is a nice fix for customers,” Beaton told a roomful of XChange audience members, most of them channel players. “We’ve made it financially feasible.”

After his XChange session, Beaton told CRN that Dell Apex Cyber Recovery now generates about $400 million, compared to $50 million three years ago and zero when it started five years ago.

He said Dell is targeting both big, medium and small companies, noting that an “entry-level” vault service could cost under $100,000 a year.

Kurt Sohn, vice president of client experience at Virtual Corp. in Montalba, Texas, said Beaton made an impressive presentation about the need for off-premise vaults to store key data.

But he said he’s also heard reports that such air-gap vaults are becoming obsolete.

He said he also needs to know more about Dell’s pricing, saying most SMB customers can afford a recovery service in the “tens of thousands of dollars,” not something hovering near or above $100,000.

Gary Herbstman, CEO of Byte Solutions, an MSP based in Boca Raton, Florida, agreed that Beaton made a persuasive argument for Dell’s recovery solutions. “It’s peaked my interest,” he said.

But like Sohn, Herbstman said he wants to learn more about Dell’s pricing.

“We need to know more about all the pros and cons” of the service, he said.