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AI, cloud and security: Synology’s vision

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AI, cloud and security: Synology’s vision

Ivan Gento Pariente, International Marketing Manager Synology, outlines the brand’s strategy, including security, cloud, artificial intelligence and corporate.

– Synology has started to enter the corporate and large company world. What is your position in this field and what advantages do you bring?

If it is true that historically, not only Synology, but the entire NAS sector was strategically positioned towards a prosumer customer, it is because a few decades ago the potential of these devices was not comparable to that of high-end servers which focused exclusively on high performance storage. This situation meant that only a small number of companies – capable of supporting such a high cost – digitized their data, effectively excluding SMEs. Today, Synology has developed and is able to offer a wide range of devices for all types of businesses. Furthermore, technological advances allow Synology to offer high-performance NAS solutions at more affordable prices, making this technology attractive to businesses of all sizes.

Synology-branded storage solutions are also known around the world for their robustness, security and scalability, allowing even a small company to start a data digitization or archiving project without requiring a significant initial investment. This feature is accompanied by a second advantage when purchasing a Synology NAS, namely cost savings: since it is a scalable solution, companies can move from a desktop device to a dockable one without incurring the high costs involved in purchasing a large device.

The costs of management and backup software are also drastically reduced given that Synology NAS do not require third-party licenses to, for example, virtualize an infrastructure or manage backup and disaster recovery activities in an automated and professional way as is possible with Active Backup for Business. The advantage of NAS lies not only in the cost efficiency and versatility of the applications it offers, but also in the ease of use. Nowadays, infrastructure development is increasingly complex, and Synology’s OS, DSM, is extremely intuitive and allows you to efficiently perform infrastructure management and installation, reducing the effort of IT team and increasing security.
Last but not least, Synology has worked hard over the past decade to integrate storage with the public cloud and has developed C2, which ensures easy management even in a hybrid environment.

– How does Synology integrate and develop its cloud presence?

At Synology we understand the importance of cloud in today’s business ecosystem. We have developed a range of solutions that allows companies to create hybrid storage environments, ensuring better storage of critical and sensitive data both on-premise with Synology NAS, and with offsite backups in the cloud with Synology C2 or other services such as Google, Dropbox or Amazon. Approach that includes synchronization with public and private cloud services, as well as cloud backup options, facilitating a more resilient and adaptable storage ecosystem.
Without a doubt, the biggest cloud development is C2 as it is tightly integrated with our NAS devices and is part of our enterprise cloud computing strategy.

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By using Synology C2 for data backup and storage, enterprises can ensure business continuity. In the event of local outages, data stored in the cloud can be quickly restored, minimizing downtime. On the other hand, by integrating global infrastructure management, it is possible, through DSM (DiskStation Manager), to centralize storage management both in the cloud and locally, allowing IT administrators to easily monitor and manage backups and data synchronization.

– Security has become one of the main concerns of companies. And this is one of the areas that Synology has developed the most in the latest software updates. What features stand out in your equipment in this regard?

Security is the basis of all our solutions and devices. In this sense, the development of Synology devices is designed to offer the highest level of protection, including strong data encryption, two-factor authentication and advanced protection against ransomware, to avoid data breaches. Furthermore, constant updates to DSM (DiskStation Manager) ensure that our users are always protected from the latest threats and vulnerability.
In the last year alone we have implemented two important advances aimed at guaranteeing greater security both at a company level and at a user or software level, on the one hand the introduction of WORM with the update of the operating system to DSM 7.2; on the other hand, a new feature that addresses the problem of protection against the most recent threats by enabling the immutability of data, which is essential for complying with compliance regulations and protecting them from unauthorized tampering. Its features, such as modes compliance and enterprise, file locking mechanisms and tamper-proof time stamps ensure that stored data cannot be modified or deleted, providing a strong defense against improper access, tampering and other security risks, including theft for ransom.

On the other hand, we have strengthened the security of NAS systems by implementing two-factor authentication (2FA) and adaptive multi-factor authentication (AMFA). While 2FA isn’t enabled by default, it’s an added layer of security that requires a second form of identification in addition to the password. AMFA, on the other hand, is an advanced security measure that requires additional confirmation to access administrator accounts DSM from unreliable external connections. Measures that significantly improve the security posture, protecting against unauthorized access and strengthening identity management.
Finally, another solution that we launched last year and that we have renewed to strengthen the entire company infrastructure is Active Insight, which introduces new features to combat ransomware and other types of cyber threats.

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By focusing on advanced monitoring and more effective response to security incidents, this means that any suspicious or unusual activity, such as a high number of write requests that could indicate a ransomware attack, will be detected and highlighted immediately. Furthermore, one of the most significant features of this solution is the ability to create automatic snapshots in response to detected security incidents, minimizing the risk of data loss.

– Businesses appreciate solutions that offer high availability and disaster recovery. What should they pay attention to in this area?

For businesses looking for high availability and disaster recovery solutions, we recommend evaluating aspects such as hardware redundancy, automatic backup options and rapid data recovery capabilities.
An essential solution for data redundancy is RAID which protects against losses due to failure of storage disks. Secondly, you should keep in mind that the same infrastructure allows you to take snapshots on a regular basis, with the ability to store them in multiple locations to speed up disaster recovery.
To manage all backups of your storage infrastructure, it is extremely important to have an automated and easy-to-manage solution.
Finally, one of the keys to ensuring that the infrastructure offers all the guarantees of recovery and continuity, we recommend focusing on devices that ensure high availability such as Synology High Availability or that include total device redundancy, such as Synology’s HD6500, which has all hardware duplicated to provide continuous service for critical operations.
But Synology’s NAS systems are also extremely good and offer features, including RAID configurable, snapshot, remote backup and high availability solutions, ensuring critical data is always safe and accessible.

– What role does artificial intelligence play in your solutions and services?

Synology uses AI not only to provide fully scalable and redundant storage, but its role is increasingly important within our solutions, especially in areas such as big data management and analysis, surveillance and process automation. where it improves efficiency by offering users advanced tools for intelligently managing their data.

We have implemented theartificial intelligence for anomaly detection in our Active Insight solution to identify behaviors that may indicate security or performance issues. Another solution where we have given particular importance to AI is the area of ​​video surveillance, where Surveillance Station, together with DVA devices and cameras TC500 e BC500 (read our product review)integrates AI capabilities to improve monitoring, including facial recognition, object detection, behavioral analysis and anomaly identification, enabling faster and more accurate response to security events.
Finally, one last solution where we have introduced AI is Synology Photos where it is used to automatically organize and classify photographs, facilitating facial recognition, image categorization and the creation of intelligent albums to better find and manage your photo.

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– What are Synology’s goals for 2024?

Our solutions will continue to evolve in 2024, and we hope to also enable AI in our mailing solution, MailPlus, to improve email account management and assist in quickly creating emails. We will also bring AI to Synology Office to optimize document search, text analysis, and task automation.
The AI ​​tools built into Synology MailPlus e Office will allow users to review or generate emails, text documents and presentations from scratch, while helping IT administrators better control the flow of potentially sensitive business data with centralized management.
Other areas we will focus on will be strengthening data security, further improving protection functions against growing cyber threats, including ransomware and attacks of phishing.

We will also work to optimize the management of storage infrastructures with a new generation of converged file and object storage that addresses service metrics and data availability. In new scale-out clusters, component-level redundancies will be replaced by single- or multiple-node redundancies. Designed from the ground up as a true scale-out solution, these new file and object storage servers will deliver superior scalability and reliability at an unbeatable price.

Finally, as we look to 2024, we have set a goal to continue to innovate our storage solutions, maintain our leading position in the NAS market, expand our presence in the enterprise and large customer markets, and continue to improve our integration of our solutions with cloud and artificial intelligence environments. And, of course, we will focus on strengthening our presence in the Italian market, where our growth in recent years has been exponential, adapting to the specific needs of local companies.

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