Ransomware is a form of Malware that, once activated, can deny access to files on smartphones, personal computers, and servers. In some forms, a Ransomware attack will go beyond denial of service; and the Cyber Criminals will threaten to publish your data. As the name suggests, Ransomware offers to unlock your files if you pay a ransom. While modern day Ransomware attacks can be traced back to 2005, the history of Ransomware goes back as far as 1989. The pace of these attacks doesn’t appear to be slowing down. In 2016, many sources had payouts approaching $1 billion by the end of the year.
As you might imagine, having been around for such a long time, Cyber Criminals have developed several ways to launch Ransomware attacks. Within the data center, our first goal is to keep these attacks out of our systems and away from our production data. IT Professionals protect their production environments by using firewalls, anti-virus software, proper authentication practices, and end-user education, among other measures.
Despite these efforts, there is always the possibility that an attack is successful and systems are compromised. In the event our corporate files do become impacted by a Ransomware event, we must be able to rely on our data backups to restore systems and not be forced to pay a ransom. However, this begs an important question:
This is a question that is being asked more frequently by our clients.
First, we need to acknowledge that backups are not free from the risk of being attacked by Ransomware. However, there are steps that can be taken to reduce the risk of exposure, even if the Malware has found its way into the Production infrastructure. These steps fall generally into three categories: Security, Replication, and Isolation.
The steps listed above are intended to provide guidelines for protecting your backup data from Ransomware. Execution of these steps is dependent on your own infrastructure, the type of backup targets you employ, the backup software you use, etc.
There are many resources available that delve into this topic in greater detail. The intent of this post is simply to make sure you are including backups in your strategy to protect the enterprise against Ransomware attacks. And, of course, Zunesis is ready to help you design a strategy that fits your needs and is right for your environment.