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How Acronis True Image Uses A.I. To Fight Ransomware

Ransomware is increasingly becoming a big problem for consumers and big businesses alike. With names like WannaCry, Bad Rabbit, Petya and more, these programs are devastating – both in terms of data loss and recovery costs – for anyone infected. Although all systems are susceptible to such attacks, at least to some extent, some of the industry’s top developers are stepping up their games in the fight against ransomware.

Updates to Acronis True Image Backup

Acronis’ True Image Backup utility has been on the market for quite some time, but it’s never really been considered a tool to stave off ransomware – until now. The latest upgrade, which comes to the Active Protection technology that is featured in the popular utility, is designed specifically to battle ransomware attacks; and it’s using some highly sophisticated technology to do so.

Gaidar Magdanurov, vice president and general manager for the consumer and online business division of Acronis, summarized the improvement by saying: “Before, with Active Protection, we detected changes in files. We looked at files, and if multiple operations of encrypting files occurred, an alert was raised. Now, we look at what the application is doing. Ransomware can inject code into the application and, on behalf of the application, it encrypts your files.”

Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning

The process behind the new Acronis True Image Backup is really straightforward. Your data is collected, via the Active Protection utility, and immediately broadcasted to the Acronis Cloud. From here, artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms take over. By analyzing patterns, the program can separate normal operations from unexpected system activities and flag them as suspicious. A message is immediately sent to the administrator to provide early warning of a potential attack.

Integrated real-time monitoring ensures that your computer’s normal operations aren’t affected while the suspicious activity is stopped. Any affected files are easily restored from Acronis’ encrypted backup. This is much easier than having to perform a full restoration after an attack has been resolved – which usually ends with the victim paying the ransom or starting over with a brand new system and infrastructure.

PCs Are Not Alone

Although the majority of viruses and malicious software has, historically, targeted Windows-based systems, this isn’t necessarily the case with ransomware. There are some programs that specifically target Mac systems, including MacRansom, Patcher and KeRanger – just to name a few.

Magdanurov expanded on his earlier statements by saying: ''“There are new types of ransomware attacking Mac computer. It's different in scale because there are less Mac computers. Also, creating ransomware to attack Mac computers is not as easy. With Windows, the attacks use some known security issues.”''

Battling Next-Gen Threats

The problems caused by ransomware are dire enough, but this is really just the beginning of the next-gen threats we’ll likely see over the next few years. As computer technology becomes more sophisticated and networks continue to expand, potential hackers and cyber-criminals will continue to target unsuspecting and novice computer users.


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