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Ransomware: Prevention is Only Part of the Solution

While ransomware threats have been around for a long time, slowly increasing in frequency, complexity and scale over the years, 2017 would have to be the year when ransomware went mainstream. Large-scale, high-profile attacks such as WannaCry, NotPetya and the latest Locky variants have definitely made the term “ransomware” popular on a global level.

With ransomware being such a profitable “business” for cybercriminals and the boom of cryptocurrency, which helps ensure their anonymity, experts are saying that the ransomware threat will only get worse in the coming years. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, it is predicted that a ransomware attack will occur on businesses every 14 seconds by the end of 2019, up from every 40 seconds this year.

For these reasons, ransomware have become a buzzword in the tech world, especially in the security community. But whilst many security products claim that they’re able to block ransomware effectively, the truth is there are too many variables involved that can be exploited to allow an attacker to infect your system. It’s impossible to secure your IT infrastructure 100% and there’s no one method or tool that will completely protect you or your organization from a ransomware attack. Contingency and remediation plans are essential in protecting your valuable data.

When ransomware attack occurs, businesses commonly depend on their backups. However, today’s advanced ransomware techniques will also encrypt always-on backup drives. Without proper backup or if the backups are compromised, affected organisations may be faced with losing the encrypted data forever as there’s no guarantee that paying the ransom will actually resolve the issue. The cost of the ransom, the loss of valuable IT time, and the potential downtime to mission-critical applications can permanently damage a business.

Thus, to ensure the integrity and availability of corporate data, backup and replication expert, Veeam suggests that businesses implement the 3-2-1 rule. The proper execution of the 3-2-1 backup best practices is as follows:

  • Maintain three (3) copies of your data—the primary data and two copies— to avoid losing data to a faulty backup.

  • Store backup copies on two (2) different media types—such as tape, disk, secondary storage, or cloud.

  • Keep one (1) copy off-site—either on tape or in the cloud—in the event of local hazards or ransomware infections within the network.

Veeam’s data availability solution can help organisations have 24/7/365 availability of their critical data and circumvent any downtime caused by not just ransomware, but also hardware failures, file corruption or other disasters. As the solution guarantees minimal RPO and RTO, organisations can get their business up and running again in no time.

The threat of ransomware is real, and businesses need to understand that it is only part of a threat landscape that will eventually penetrate their network. The growing threat means that having an effective backup and availability solution in place is now more important than ever before. A ransomware infection could jeopardize the whole business operation and therefore, companies need to have a few strategies to fall back on when things don’t go as planned.

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