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Everything To Know About Ransomware and Backups

Ransomware is on the rise. It’s always been prevalent, but attacks are showing no signs of slowing down. If your business doesn’t have a strategy for backup and recovery following a ransomware attack, you need to get thinking of one. If the WannaCry attack from May 2017 isn’t going to wake you up to the impact of ransomware, nothing will.

Simply put, ransomware is where your data and/or systems are locked by hackers. You can then either restore using your recovery plan or pay the hackers in the hope they unlock your data. These payments are costly and the hackers have no obligation to actually do what they say they will. But recovering from ransomware isn’t as simple as a standard recovery.

Firstly, don’t think that a ransomware can’t or won’t happen to you. There’s no simple solution to ransomware – it might get patched eventually, if it’s something like an operating system flaw, but that might be too late for you. Storage providers are working on products that help fight against the threat of ransomware, but you shouldn’t rely on that either. You need to have your own solution in place.

According to a report by SentinelOne, IT departments of all sizes across the world have been victims of ransomware attacks. Most of these attacks were caused by phishing via email and social media – so a good first step will be to educate your users on the dangers, though this never going to be fool-proof. Noteworthy is that while a lot of respondents to the survey could recover their data, they felt their reputation was negatively impacted.

At this point you should be asking yourself what you can do to protect yourself against ransomware. First, back up your key data on a server that isn’t connected to your main network. Ransomware can go deeper than just a local machine. Having your backup away from this infrastructure will ensure that it can’t spread. Secondly, if possible, have an offline copy of your data too. And remember, don’t use the same backup credentials between operations.

One of the key points to recovering from ransomware is acting as soon as possible. You can’t afford to let the ransomware sit within your backups too, so you need to make sure that the primary data source and the backups are being constantly monitored for any unusual activity. It’s no good if your backups are compromised too, because then you have nothing to restore with.

Many businesses are able to successfully recover following a ransomware attack. Speak to your solutions provider about what services they offer to help protect your data from these types of attacks. And while you’re at it, make sure that your systems are as up to date as they can possibly be. Do not let cost stand in the way. For example, many public services suffered ransomware attacks because they couldn’t afford to upgrade from Windows XP. Do not let the same thing happen to you. Plan for ransomware attacks thoroughly – then even if it happens, you’ll be ready.


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