Responsible AI, data security, and multicloud take center stage.
Luminaries in the enterprise IT, cloud, and cybersecurity industries gathered virtually for Cohesity Catalyst last week.
Cohesity CEO Sanjay Poonen kicked off the conference with a keynote address focusing on three trends that are top of mind for global business leaders: responsible AI, data security, and multicloud. These forces shape Cohesity’s product roadmap, and the priorities of our many partners and customers.
We invite you to watch the Day 1 and Day 2 keynotes in their entirety below.
Watch the full Day 1 keynote program below.
Watch the full Day 2 keynote program below.
Here are 15 more highlights from the event. Click on any of the links below to jump to a particular segment.
Cohesity Turing brings responsible AI to your enterprise
Every IT leader is working on a pragmatic, responsible approach to AI for their organization. For our part here at Cohesity, we’ve used ML and AI insights for quite some time to help our customers deliver better security outcomes. At Catalyst, Sanjay Poonen unveiled Cohesity Turing, a unique, comprehensive, and rapidly evolving set of AI technologies that brings the power of AI to data security and management.
Cohesity Turing is a collection of AI/ML capabilities and technologies that are integrated into our multicloud data platform and solutions. As new AI needs emerge, we will continue to advance the portfolio of technologies offered and powered by Cohesity Turing, while enabling customers to use AI responsibly and securely.
Through Cohesity Turing, organizations can and will be able to utilize the latest AI capabilities to drive more efficient operations, garner greater insight into security risks, and derive more value from data.
Cohesity executives then demonstrated potential applications of Cohesity Turning. In the future, an auditor could enter a simple request into a chat window, such as “Show me all the potential instances of quid pro quo.” The system would then search years of M365 backups hosted on Cohesity Data Cloud, and return email messages where employees may have violated company policy.
The company also launched a new AI Insiders program. Learn more and sign up at cohesity.com/ai.
Cohesity teams up with Google Cloud for generative AI and data
Cohesity recently announced a deep collaboration with Microsoft and OpenAI. Cohesity intends to put forth its AI-ready data structure that, when combined with OpenAI, will advance generative AI initiatives around threat detection, classification, anomaly detection, and more.
“Vertex AI is one of the best platforms for building, deploying, managing and scaling ML models – and we’re excited that Cohesity is joining our growing open ecosystem to help more customers get value from their data via AI,” said Thomas Kurian, CEO, Google Cloud. “Cohesity’s excellent data security and management capabilities, combined with Google Cloud’s powerful generative AI and analytics capabilities, will help customers get exceptional insights into their backup and archived data.”
Watch the full interview with Thomas Kurian, Google Cloud CEO.
Cohesity expands the industry’s only Data Security Alliance
Security is a team sport. When an enterprise faces a security incident, all of their vendors should band together to resolve the situation. That’s the big idea behind the Data Security Alliance.
Through this one-of-a-kind alliance, leading cybersecurity, data security and management, and services vendors partner to seamlessly bridge enterprise IT and security by sharing context and enabling new workflows.
These new workflows are best exemplified by product integrations between alliance member companies. At Catalyst, Cohesity delivered new integrations with CrowdStrike, ServiceNow, and announced an updated integration with Tenable.
The keynote program also highlighted Cohesity DataHawk, a data security product. Cohesity executives discussed recent innovations for the product, including its powerful AI/ML-driven capabilities for threat detection, data classification, user activity tracking, and cyber vaulting.
Cohesity has helped thousands of organizations modernize how they secure and manage their data, including more than 200 federal agencies. The company is committed to serving the public sector, and we’re excited to share a new milestone.
The FedRAMP Agency Authorization has announced that Cohesity Cloud Services for Government has achieved “In Process” status on the FedRAMP Marketplace. This recognition advances the company one step closer to moderate authorization.
Cohesity Cloud Services is a portfolio of software as a service (SaaS) offerings that simplify data management and data security. The solution consolidates data in the cloud, breaks down data silos, and reduces infrastructure complexity, to increase agility and derive more value from data.
The “In-Process” designation serves as a formal notice that Cohesity is actively working towards FedRAMP Authorization and shows commitment to receive a FedRAMP Moderate Authority to Operate (ATO) in the months ahead.
With Cohesity Cloud Services, government agencies could utilize a fully-managed backup as a service (BaaS) that will run on AWS GovCloud. As such, it’s an attractive product for agencies that seek to offer a simple, efficient, and secure option to protect and manage data while improving cyber resilience as they move to the cloud.
Future-proof your journey with Cohesity Flex licensing
Organizations aim to back up and recover their data wherever it happens to reside—on-premises, in the cloud, and at the edge. Cohesity offers customers the choice between self-managed software, and Cohesity-managed services in the cloud. (Both options are managed through a single user interface.)
As business requirements shift over time, Cohesity meets you where you are with flexible licensing for on-prem or SaaS deployments. Now, organizations can seamlessly shift their license with Cohesity between these two delivery models as needs change.
Want to learn more? Contact your account team.
Industry leaders speak out
VMware’s Raghuram: IT executives are “playing offense and defense” at the same time
VMware CEO Raghu Raghuram shared many insights on the state of enterprise and multicloud.
Raghuram said enterprises are “playing offense and playing defense” simultaneously—enterprise IT leaders are building new apps and experimenting with AI to grow the business, while optimizing cost and protecting against ransomware with solutions from Cohesity.
He noted that enterprises are now using a “cloud smart” strategy. Here, IT teams are running applications in the optimal location, according to performance, security, and data sovereignty requirements. In fact, Raghuram mentioned that 70% of VMware customers use two public clouds, in addition to VMware. He sees this trend continuing in the years ahead for the simple reason that the world is going to see more apps and more AI in the future.
Finally, Raghuram was keen to highlight that VMware’s multicloud strategy would continue under the proposed merger with Broadcom.
For Cohesity customers, VMware is the top workload that’s protected with our technology. At Catalyst, we previewed how our Cohesity BaaS solution will soon protect VMC on AWS.
Watch the full interview with Raghu Raghuram, VMware CEO.
Watch the VMC on AWS demo.
Customers benefit when technology providers work together, says NetApp’s George Kurian
NetApp CEO George Kurian has led a remarkable cloud-centric resurgence there over the last decade. NetApp has modernized its product architectures for the multicloud era, and forged deep relationships with the three major hyperscalers and other vendors.
Customer need drives these industry relationships. Kurian notes “Customers benefit when technology providers work together to make use of their mutual technologies easier.”
Cohesity also is a believer in this mantra, and we’ve long protected critical NAS data on NetApp for many of the world’s largest organizations. In fact, NetApp is one of our most widely-adopted workloads for backup and recovery.
And the relationship between Cohesity and NetApp is getting stronger. We’ve recently released integration with NetApp SnapDiff V3. Joint customers will now benefit from a new integration with the Snapdiff V3 API to improve backup performance in several ways. This new integration is block-based, so instead of backing up the entirety of a changed file, only changed blocks are backed up. With this approach to incremental backups, combined with deduplication on changed data for higher storage efficiency, customers will benefit from much faster backups that improve RPO.
Cohesity customers can access documentation on this new feature at docs.cohesity.com, under Cohesity DataProtect v7.0.
Watch the full interview with George Kurian, NetApp CEO.
IBM Storage GM: Shared vision drives Cohesity partnership
Kennelly remarked that Cohesity and IBM have the same view of the market—an essential element of any successful technology partnership. In particular, he cites alignment on the answers to three important questions: How do you prepare? How do you protect your data? And most importantly, how do you recover when the unthinkable happens? Cohesity’s product line has unique, differentiating capabilities that support best practices in all three areas.
IBM Storage Defender, launching soon, is powered by Cohesity. The product is designed to help users understand where all of their critical data, as well as secondary and tertiary data, are stored, and what protection policies are in place for said tiers of data. The product will protect structured as well as unstructured data. Perhaps most importantly, the product features immutable backups that can be recovered and restored quickly. This capability will help IBM customers test their resilience, and ensure that recovery policies work as designed to meet SLAs.
Turning to the future, Kennelly notes that Cohesity’s focus on data management, data security, and AI applied to search and security—all across hybrid cloud—is identical to IBM’s view of the world.
Watch the full interview with Denis Kennelly, IBM Storage GM.
Speed or security? AWS leader says you need both
While the popularity of the public cloud has soared—AWS alone has hundreds of thousands of customers—IT leaders have historically wrestled with balancing speed of software delivery and security of enterprise assets.
Francessca Vasquez, Vice President, Technology and Customer Solutions at AWS, says that’s now a false choice. “Once upon a time…companies felt like they had to make a trade-off between speed and security. And now, that’s table stakes. You actually have to be able to do both as an organization,” Vasquez said. “We’re seeing many customers actually move more of their workloads and applications to the cloud as a way to actually strengthen their security posture.”
Big trends for data security and management in the future will be consolidating data sprawl, increased use of serverless platforms, and responsible adoption of machine learning and AI services.
These trends will require an influx of talent, greater presence of underrepresented groups, and new skills for the current workforce.
Vasquez said AWS aims to address the talent shortage head-on with a goal of training “29 million people in cloud-related technology skills over the next 5 years. You have to have those types of big bold ideas to really have an impact and I just couldn’t think of a better industry that could really be a pioneer in the space.”
Watch the full interview with Francessca Vasquez, Vice President, Technology and Customer Solutions, AWS.
Kevin Mandia offers essential advice for security leaders
Kevin Mandia is one of the world’s foremost cybersecurity experts, and a Cohesity board member. During his keynote discussion at Catalyst, said attackers are going after backups and secondary data, because they know it’s the last line of defense. What’s more, boards now accept that attacks are inevitable.
Based on today’s environment, he offered advice on what’s most important for leaders today. Here’s a sampling of what he said:
Prioritize second-stage detection capabilities. When you’ve done the hygiene, you’re still at risk, because your hygiene is being circumvented.
Resilience is the key criteria to measure. He notes that’s why “Cohesity is utterly critical.”
Resilience for ransomware attacks is similar to resilience for disasters. That means that similar questions familiar to a disaster recovery strategy are relevant.
Ask the tough questions. How resilient are we? How fast can we recover? What are our key assets? Are our backups secure?
Do a tabletop exercise for the worst case scenario. What’s the disaster you’re most worried about? Answer that and do a tabletop exercise. Focus on the worst attackers, the worst data loss, the worst system outages.
Redefine the win. Know what excellence looks like, and drive towards that. Measure it in a way that feels valuable to your team. After all, most incidents are not impactful.
Watch the full video with Kevin Mandia, CEO, Mandiant.
Jen Easterly, CISA: “Everyone has a role to play” in cybersafety
The Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency has a unique role in the federal government. The agency focuses on public-private partnership, specifically to protect and defend critical infrastructure.
Jen Easterly, director of CISA, joined Catalyst to discuss how this work is progressing, and the status of cybersecurity in the US today.
“Critical infrastructure are the systems, networks, services that Americans rely on. But these are owned by the private sector, not the public sector. We at CISA need trusted partnerships.”
She notes that the evolution of the Internet and the digital economy “wasn’t created with security and safety in mind.” Rather, our digital world “was created with incentives of features, speed to market, driving down cost.”
The “cybersecurity industry has been built up after, which adds complexity. We want technology that’s secure by design and secure by default.” For example, multifactor authentication for digital services could be like how a seatbelt comes with a car.
Easterly suggests that the nation’s security can be improved simply by changing how we talk about it. “We all have a role to play in communicating cybersecurity to the American people. We all need to understand how to keep ourselves, our families, and our communities safe. ‘Safety’ implies everyone has a role to play. It helps get the narrative that this is a responsibility for all of us.”
She also notes that stopransomware.gov is an essential website that every cybersecurity expert should follow. The site brings all the resources from the federal government into one place.
Watch the full video with Jen Easterly, Director, CISA.
From 18 systems to one: Nationwide drives operational efficiency with Cohesity
Nationwide is a Fortune 100 insurance provider that aims to protect people, businesses, and futures with extraordinary care.
Brooke Ignet Hocker, AVP, Infrastructure & Operations at Nationwide described some of the outcomes the company has achieved since adopting Cohesity for data security and protection.
Her team moved to Cohesity from 18 separate interfaces for data backup. This switch to a single solution dramatically streamlined operations, and enabled IT engineers to “go deeper” with Cohesity. This additional knowledge and skills has in turn expanded the amount of data that Nationwide can protect, without requiring additional staff.
The financial impact of this shift is profound, saving the company over $2 million annually.
She emphasized the importance of partnership with Cohesity, and looks forward to continued involvement with the company’s customer advisory board. She feels that the two companies work so well together because they are so similar.
“Both companies are selling a promise that we will be there in their time of need, should that opportunity present itself,” said Ignet Hocker.
Cohesity helps Delta Airlines navigate the dark, icy road
For Delta Airlines, summer is the most important season. In fact, René López, Managing Director at Delta spends a good portion of the year getting ready for this period of intense travel. López drives operational excellence by keeping three principles in mind: automation, security, and simplification.
“We’re always looking for simplicity,” López said. When it came time to select a modern backup tool, Lopez was looking for one simple solution that could work across all of Delta’s environments. And of course, the product had to be easy to use.
The focus on simplicity made Cohesity’s offering attractive. López compares his job in data management to driving on a “dark road,” when it’s icy at night, with poor visibility. “You have to prepare yourself, and be ready, predict what will happen next.”
His team has invested the time and training to become experts in Cohesity APIs, and key processes can be simplified with these APIs for automation. López emphasized the importance of keeping workflows as consistent as possible, and having confidence in how APIs behave.
That way, you can be ready “if something jumps out around the next corner.”
Broadcom CIO: Cohesity delivers reliable, consistent restores at scale
Broadcom is emblematic of a Fortune 500 organization: global scale, demanding users, regular M&A activity, and aggressive SLAs for pretty much everything. The IT numbers tell the story: 12 data centers, 200 PB of storage, and 15,000 engineers.
When it comes to backup and restore, Broadcom CIO Alan Davidson notes that “you need to restore. Having reliable, consistent restore timing is actually a key element.” Immutability and security are other important factors. “Making sure you don’t back up any malware is also key.”
Despite Broadcom’s size, Davidson said their IT team is “fairly small.” Third parties, like Cohesity, play a big role in keeping things running. But a small team means that essential tools need to be simple and easy to use.
“Defined policies that people can understand and follow” are mission-critical. “From a user interface perspective, [Cohesity’s product] is really clean. You can effectively manage and use it without too much training.”
“This is a critical function for us. If things go badly wrong, this is the technology we’re relying on to keep the lights on.”
Pearl River Community College CIO: Offsite SaaS cyber vaulting with Cohesity FortKnox is “seamless”
Colleges have become popular targets for identity theft and ransomware attacks. In fact, cyber attacks in higher education have doubled since the Covid-19 pandemic. To protect student information and keep operations running smoothly during disasters, Pearl River Community College (PRCC) wanted an air-gapped backup copy isolated from its network.
Matt Logan CIO of PRCC and his team found an answer in Cohesity. Today, the college has two immutable backup copies: one on campus, and another on Cohesity FortKnox, a Cohesity-managed cloud vault hosted in AWS.
Now, backups complete in a fraction of the time, so additional off-hours jobs can run smoothly. And the IT team has peace of mind knowing they can quickly restore data and virtual machines from FortKnox in the event of a cyberattack or disaster affecting backups at both data centers.
Logan offers three bits of advice for other IT leaders:
You need advanced threat protection on your servers for quick insight.
Enable multiple layers of security for systems that have critical or sensitive information; multifactor authentication is a great place to start.
Deploy a rock-solid backup solution that enables you to restore your environment as quickly as possible.
You can watch Catalyst talks on-demand here. In addition to sessions listed here, we also had 20 breakout sessions, including, “The Future of Cyber Risk,” “Treat Your Data Like It’s Currency,” and “Addressing Modern-Day Data Breaches With Cohesity Security Solutions.”