Rubrik automates data security with cloud AI
When I started working in technology decades ago, I quickly learned how difficult it was to ensure data security, governance, compliance, backup, and recovery. Data has always been essential – twenty years ago and today – making data control and protection essential. The good news is that data security providers have made great strides as they work to stay ahead of bad actors who want to compromise an organization’s data. Even better, these vendors are now improving their offerings using AI.
One company that has made significant progress in all of these areas—most recently artificial intelligence—is Rubrik, which offers a cyber resilience suite that now includes both proactive cyber posture and post-incident cyber recovery. Rubrik’s solutions are designed to prevent cyberattacks from causing significant business impact, with a focus on backups, data protection, threat analytics and cyber recovery across enterprise infrastructures, cloud environments and SaaS applications.
Note that although Rubrik is a client of Moor Insights & Strategy, this article contains our independent analysis of the company, and no one at Rubrik has given final approval for it.
Rubrik’s background, offers and markets
Before we get to the progress the company has made in the field of artificial intelligence, let’s cover some background information. Rubrik, headquartered in Palo Alto, California, was founded in January 2014. Since then, it has expanded to more than 3,000 employees and generates $600 million in annual recurring subscription revenue. Rubrik’s growth has established it as a leader in enterprise backup and recovery, and it is now ranked ninth among Forbes’ Top 100 Private Cloud Companies.
The company’s solutions address the specific needs and concerns of global enterprises, with continuous monitoring to protect against risk exposure. The Rubrik Security Cloud architecture has a strong focus on four key areas: data protection, threat analytics, security posture, and cyber recovery. To protect data, Rubrik creates secure backups and defends against threats like ransomware. Threat analytics detects anomalies and identifies potential compromises in backup processes. Rubrik improves data security posture with a unified command center to control user access and reduce exposure to sensitive data. Finally, cyber recovery focuses on containing the threat once the issue is identified, along with proactive simulations to validate the cyber recovery workflow so that data can be recovered in an organized manner after an incident.
Rubrik’s backbone to its offering is its Zero Trust data security architecture. This framework, influenced by the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Zero Trust model, is based on Rubrik’s unique file system that does not expose backup data over open network protocols. The company also automatically encrypts cloud storage and backups; Better yet, it stores data in an immutable format, a feature not all backup providers offer.
These capabilities address a range of use cases across different industries. In the healthcare industry, organizations use Rubrik to protect and retrieve sensitive electronic patient data. Financial services companies are enhancing customer data protection to automate workflows (eliminating manual tasks to allow faster response times), defend against ransomware attacks and ensure compliance with strict data regulations such as the GDPR. Government agencies also use Rubrik to manage data securely; Its security cloud is designed to comply with standards such as CJIS, FedRAMP, StateRAMP, PERPA, and the Department of Defense Cloud Computing Security Requirements Guide.
Bringing AI to data security
Rubrik has embraced AI-driven technologies, including a new AI assistant called Ruby. Built on Microsoft’s Azure OpenAI service, Ruby is part of Rubrik’s strategy to use AI to improve customer organizations’ response to cyber threats, particularly by making it easier for IT staff — even those with no cybersecurity knowledge — to quickly identify and respond to real threats. . . Ruby combines expertise based on best practices the company has developed by working with thousands of customers, Rubyrick says. When Rubrik detects an indicator of compromise, Ruby notifies security personnel and uses its interactive chat interface to guide them through the steps needed to understand and counter the threat.
In essence, Ruby is bringing the latest wave of AI-driven “copilot” jobs to the cybersecurity space. My colleagues at Moor Insights & Strategy have analyzed this type of functionality as it’s been introduced at Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Intuit, Zoom and others, so it’s not surprising to see it deployed in enterprise security jobs as well. In fact, cybersecurity is moving so quickly that an interactive AI assistant may be particularly welcome to overworked security operations professionals. Time will tell.
Rubi builds on years of machine learning work that underpins Rubrik’s data threat engine. This approach detects suspicious data activities such as unusual deletions, modifications, and encryptions while reducing false positives and negatives. Rubrik also built SentryAI, an in-house AI engine, to analyze customers’ telemetry data. This allows the company’s customer support teams to provide proactive, personalized recommendations to each customer.
Rubrik is expanding its footprint through acquisitions and partnerships
Rubrik acquired Laminar, a data security posture management platform, in August 2023. Combining Laminar with Rubrik’s existing offerings should provide organizations with additional visibility into their data across all environments to prevent cyberattacks, extending their security posture beyond the traditional network and protecting Endpoint and effectively defend against evolving cyber threats.
To expand its customer reach, Rubrik also partners with leading technology companies including Microsoft, NetApp, Cisco, AWS, and Pure Storage. Among other things, these partnerships provide security for hybrid Azure environments, integration with Microsoft 365 Backup, protection via AWS and automated data management using NetApp APIs. Additionally, Rubrik provides automated data protection for platforms like Oracle and VMware. Rubrik’s latest partnership with Aon expands its data protection solutions, giving Rubrik customers access to Aon’s cyber resilience services and Aon customers access to the Rubrik Security Cloud.
Rubrik faces competition from several important players in the data protection sector. These competitors, including Cohesity, Veeam, Commvault, Veritas, Dell EMC, IBM, NetApp, AWS, HYCU, and Azure, offer a variety of solutions covering backup and recovery, data security, data resiliency, data observability, and data management.
In this competitive arena, Cohesity stands out for its focus on hyper-converged data protection, closely mirroring Rubrik’s specialty. Veeam offers a wide range of backup and recovery solutions, while Commvault boasts an extensive data protection suite. Dell EMC has a suite of backup and recovery tools, while NetApp, known mostly for storage, extends to data management and protection as well. Veritas, known for its data security solutions such as NetBackup and HYCU, continues to play important roles in the data protection industry. IBM Security, which has an expansive ecosystem, is also a major player in this space. When considering vendors in this sector, I suggest evaluating product offerings, market influence, customer reviews, and financial strength to determine the best fit for your organization or sector.
Sometimes, I prefer to use traditional SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats) analysis to better understand goals and objectives. In companies I have worked in, SWOT analyzes have been instrumental in identifying current or potential problems, helping understand areas requiring improvement, or showing how to be more efficient with processes or resources. When I conduct a brief SWOT analysis of Rubrik, I see that it faces notable challenges in the competitive cloud data management market, as it competes with other established companies that could threaten its position in the market. A potential weakness can be seen in the complexity of their technology, which may require additional training or support for customers and potential customers. Rubrik’s lack of a strong focus on integrating its solutions with ERP data within the company may limit its future application scope and be seen as a weakness. The company must constantly innovate to keep pace with rapid technological changes and diverse regional data protection laws, threats that can shape its operational strategies.
However, these challenges also provide opportunities. By establishing additional strategic technology partnerships, particularly with ERP vendors, Rubrik can strengthen its market presence while simultaneously capitalizing on emerging markets’ adoption of digital technologies. While Rubrik addresses its threats and vulnerabilities, it also has significant opportunities for expansion.
Rubrik has grown to become one of the major players in the data security market, which is expected to reach $215 billion in 2024. The company prioritizes data protection through Security Cloud with a multi-layer protection model. Ruby AI Assistant looks promising and matches the growth needs of the data security market. Many companies launch AI products early to keep up with competitors and market demands. It remains to be seen if Ruby is launched in time after extensive testing, or if it is moved to market due to these pressures.
Rubrik’s growth through acquisition and partner program is noteworthy, because it enables the company to expand its offerings and give customers access to complementary technologies. Rubrik’s subscription-based pricing is in line with industry standards, providing flexibility for customers. As Rubrik continues its growth trajectory, competitors will undoubtedly step up their efforts. I’m eager to see how Rubrik continues its vision to meet the ever-changing requirements for data security.
Like all technology research and analytics companies, Moor Insights & Strategy provides or has provided paid services to technology companies. These services include research, analysis, consulting, advisory, benchmarking, acquisition matchmaking, video sponsorships, and conversations. Among the companies mentioned in this article, Moor Insights & Strategy has had or currently has paid business relationships with Amazon Web Services, Cisco Systems, Cohesity, Dell EMC, HYCU, IBM, Microsoft, NetApp, Oracle, Pure Storage, Rubrik, Veeam, and VMware.
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