Backup Solutions Answer Problem of Ransomware

Protect Critical Data from Ransomware Attacks by Having a High Integrity Backup Solution

Many of us are not that well informed as to what ransomware technology really is, and why it’s such a hot topic. You may assume your security software has all angles of the strategy covered but these attacks target users. We thought we could suggest the best way to protect yourself against it: A robust backup solution.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents or limits users from accessing their system. This type of malware forces its victims into paying the ransom through certain online payment methods (often Bitcoin). This action grants access to their systems or a hefty sum to get their data back.  As it is sent directly to users, security software can sometimes miss the attacks.

How can I prevent ransomware attacks?

Email attachments are the number one way ransomware can strike. Phishing emails are deliberately sent to collect critical data from staff. Security Awareness Training is key. Ensure your staff are diligent in what they open from email. They should never download or open email attachments from sources they do not know or have solicited. They should also be able to recognise phishing emails when they arrive.

Admin controls are also key – ensure staff cannot install unauthorized programs or modify their work machines. Block access to untrusted websites.

How do I protect my company from ransomware attacks?

The best way to ensure that you are able to reverse any attacks is to have a strong backup solution in place. If your company is victim to a ransomware attack, there is the chance that you may lose a document created earlier that day. With this strategy, you can recover your system to an earlier snapshot or clean up your machine and recover other lost documents from a backup. It is important to remember that CryptoLocker (a form of ransomware) can also encrypt files on drives that are mapped. This includes any external drives such as a USB thumb drive, an external hard drive, the operating system, a shared network drive or any type of file stores that you have assigned a drive letter.

So, what you need is a backup solution that not only stores your data on premise (without necessarily being mapped/assigned a drive letter) but also to an offsite backup service.

Why to an offsite backup service you ask?

If the ransomware can access shared drives via the operating system and the local backup repository it could render your backups useless. If you use IT best practices and have a backup offsite, IT WILL NOT be affected by the ransomware attack. This is because there is no path for it to access the offsite storage. We prescribe to the 3-2-1 rule: 3 copies of your data, on 2 different devices and most importantly, keep 1 offsite. Having an offsite copy will allow you to wind back prior to the attack, without having to pay anyone. The offsite copy is your critical data insurance policy.

Ransomware is not a trend to take lightly. It is important that your employees have had security awareness training. The also need to be diligent about what email attachments they open.

Dealing with ransomware attacks can be simple providing your company has a proper backup solution and follows the 3-2-1 rule.

Not sure where to start? HostedBizz backup specialists can help! Get in touch with our team 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.

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