Panzura signs data management deal with AWS

Panzura plans to introduce technology aimed at preventing ransomware attacks, using its cloud filesystem and AWS to access and store your data.

The file sharing and collaboration business says its CloudFS, when run on AWS, can do this as a result of a strategic Panzura-Amazon agreement. This includes three joint initiatives: highly secure data migration, Panzura CloudFS on AWS, and Panzura Data Services.

Jill Stelfox, Panzura
Jill Stelfox

Panzura CEO Jill Stelfox said in a statement: “We’ve never lost a file, and we share a common goal to make the world safe for data. Leveraging the scalability of AWS technology stack, we are building a system that will one day make the entire idea of ransomware obsolete.”

The firm says that there is deep integration with AWS services, such as Outposts, easing purchasing and ensuring compatibility. It claims the Panzura-AWS deal will allow even the most sensitive government agencies to move workloads to the cloud without fearing ransomware or internal exfiltration threats.

Howard Wright, VP and Global Head of Startups at AWS, said: “Security continues to be paramount for us and expanding our cloud capabilities for those customers in industries where the bar for compliance and security is set particularly high, has never been more relevant. A key benefit of our collaboration with Panzura is the opportunity to jointly support customers who require this level of data protection.”

In a technical white paper written in 2021, Panzura says that with its CloudFS filesystem technology: “Panzura makes data impervious to ransomware by storing it in an immutable form (Write Once, Read Many) and further protecting it with read-only snapshots.”

When file data is stored by Panzura users at endpoints, it is sent to CloudFS as new data blocks. These are not used to overwrite existing data blocks or cause them to be deleted. Instead existing file pointers are updated to point to the new data blocks. The data blocks are immutable. CloudFS takes read-only point-in-time snapshots and this enables any ransomware-affected blocks to be discarded by a rollback to the last good previous copy of the file, seconds before the infected data blocks existed – depending upon your ransomware attack detection reaction time.

The company says its Panzura Protect facility can provide ransomware alerts within two seconds of an attack. 

This feature builds on a native aspect of object storage that treats objects as unique and, in effect, not having versions. Filesystems have versionality, with a new version of a file overwriting a previous version. Unless the previous version is captured somehow, via a backup for example, when ransomware encrypts a file, the file owner is stuck with either paying a ransom to get the decryption key or somehow recreating the lost file data.

Panzura’s object-based CloudFS bypasses this intrinsic filesystem vulnerability to ransomware.

Panzura has already been co-marketing Panzura CloudFS with AWS, using it with databases for customers such as AmeriHome Mortgage, Stoke Space, and Vanguard. Panzura has a set of smart apps offering things like file consistency and real-time file locking for data integrity, as well as the ransomware resilience, and backup snapshots for granular data recovery. Its Panzura CloudFS supports all cloud and on-premises (S3) environments.