3 Ways Object Storage can Protect against Ransomware

With the rise of Ransomware attacks occurring globally, IT teams are bolstering defenses to guard against these cyber threats. A significant defense against Ransomware can be found within your backup strategy as we discussed here. Backups, by themselves however, are not an effective defense against a ransomware attack. 

The systems that organizations use to store backup data also require protection. This is because  they are just as susceptible to ransomware attacks as production data. If both your production data AND your backup data are attacked, then your only option is paying the ransom.

In this blog post, we will look at how Object Storage is a vital part of your immune system against ransomware. 

How can Ransomware infect Storage?

Cloud storage is vulnerable to ransomware to a large extent by way that it is syncing with local data storage.

For example, a file sync & share solution such as DropBox allows you to work on your files on your local machine. Any changes that you make are then synced to the cloud where they are stored due to your data storage policy. 

When a ransomware attack occurs, it moves through your files locally and encrypts them. Once this encrypted file is copied and stored into the cloud, the infection is now within that storage system. 

The same concept is true in enterprise scenarios with storage tiering solutions such as cloud storage gateways. The local copy is likely to become encrypted by the ransomware and sync up to the cloud.

How can Object Storage defend against these attacks? 

1) Data can’t be encrypted 

Object Storage allows you to store data in a manner in which it is unchangeable. Traditional Block and File Storage systems are readily encrypted making them key targets for attackers. Object Storage on the other hand can make data “fixed”. Data is written with Write Once, Read Many technology – better known as WORM. 

During your Object Storage Retention period, the data can not be modified or deleted, creating a valuable additional security layer.

Because the data can’t be altered, it cannot be encrypted with ransomware thus almost rendering these attacks pointless. Even administrators cannot alter the data until a preset time limit has elapsed. This prevents rogue employees from propagating an attack (which sounds a little dramatic but is more commonplace than many businesses realize).

WORM is simple to integrate as it works in conjunction with traditional data protection software. As an added bonus, the data is immediately accessible avoiding lengthy recovery procedures. 

2)Data is automatically replicated

Replicating data across multiple sites is a great defense when a specific office has been targeted. Different sites, particularly third party datacenters will provide a new security layer which adds another deterrent to attackers. 

Object Storage systems allow you to automatically set up replication rules for minimal management. A cost effective storage strategy occurs when you replicate highly sensitive files and applications to your most robust backup facility. This ensures you are putting that expense to good use protecting your most valuable data.

3)Data Management is Built In

In the event of an attack, restoring your data becomes a simple task of recovery. Data administrators can simply roll back to the last snapshot before the ransomware was executed, perform a restore, and business is back to usual. 

Traditionally, WORM technology required specialized storage devices complete with a complex workflow that accommodated them. In modern times however, object storage systems are equipped with a feature called “Object Lock”. This enables teams to deliver WORM functionality within an enterprise storage system. Data is now protected at device level, rather than requiring an external defense layer.

Object Lock is a standardized feature supported by multiple data protection platforms. IT teams can, therefore, use Object Lock within an automated workflow, eliminating the need to separately manage protected copies of data.

What next?

With the small but robust features of Object Storage, you can provide an added layer of security against Ransomware attacks. If you’re keen to find out more, take a look at our Object Storage Solutions Page and speak to a specialist today! 


About Paul Butcher

Paul Butcher is Co-Founder of Canada's fastest growing cloud company. Prior to founding HostedBizz in 2012, he was President and Chief Operating Officer of Mitel Networks. He has over 30 years experience in driving strategic growth and creating change within channel centric technology markets.