“He who fails to plan, is planning to fail.” ~Winston Churchill
In January of 2017, the Cockrell Hill Police Department in Texas announced they lost 8 years of data, including evidence for current, ongoing investigations. Even with backup systems in place, they still could not recover the data as the backup also was corrupted by the ransomware.
And as ransomware continues to evolve and wreak havoc, if businesses do not modify their backup and recovery strategy, this story will become even more prevalent. In this blog on Barkly.com, a survey found that 81% of ransomware victims were confident they could restore their data completely in the event of a ransomware attack, but only 42% were actually successful.
Scott Petry, co-founder and CEO of Authentic 8 said this to CSO: “If an encrypted file is backed up as part of the backup process it could re-encrypt the environment once the files are restored. This could get a user in a loop of continual backup-restore-encrypt. Any backup process should be implemented alongside malware scanning in order to identify these exploits before backing up or restoring.”
The good news is there is something that you can do in your efforts to protect your business from ransomware attacks.
4 Types of Data Storage Solutions
External hard drives
Inexpensive and easy to use, external hard drives are one option, especially for small and medium businesses who have a relatively small amount of data and endpoints. But there are disadvantages. External hard drives are inefficient when you are talking about enterprise solutions, and they can fail, become lost or even stolen. Additionally, in the case of ransomware, an external hard drive that is attached to the system when the attack is launched is also infected. While the technology is a good, basic single user system, it is not the end-all, be-all of a backup strategy.
The epitome of portable storage devices. But because there are no moving parts in flash drives, the chances of mechanical failure are significantly reduced. Flash storage arrays are also less sensitive to environmental factors, including temperature and moisture levels, meaning that data centers can widen their environmental control settings. The availability levels of flash can reach 99.9999%.) http://www.ingrammicroadvisor.com/data-center/6-benefits-of-flash-storage-array-you-dont-know-yet
Wikipedia defines Network Attached Storage (NAS) as “a file-level computer data storage server connected to a computer network providing data access to a heterogeneous group of clients.” As NAS is confined to a local network environment, and ransomware (like Wannacry) that specifically scans the network of the infected system for additional devices on that network, NAS systems are particularly vulnerable.
Remote, online storage
The fourth type of backup involves an online cloud backup solution. This type of backup is your best line of defense against ransomware…as businesses won’t pay the ransom for their data if they can easily restore the files with a clean backup. Cloud storage involves deduplicated files – and items that are stored in these deduplicated files cannot be overwritten. On top of this, cloud providers (like dinCloud) have worked to gain multiple compliance regulations like HIPPA, SOC 1 Type 2, SOC 2 Type 2, ISO27001 and others.
Mitigate your Ransomware Risk with Nutanix Replication
As you can see from the points above, you need more than one type of backup. You might think you are covered but in the cases of ransomware, it can often affect streaming backups and infrastructures that are on the same network. Ransomware developers are continually modifying the software to find new and creative ways to gain access to your data and prevent you from restoring it without paying their ransom. Additionally, ransomware may actually be covering up other attacks to your system. CEO of Strategic Cyber Ventures, Tom Kellermann, told CSO Online, “Advanced hackers are using ransomware as a secondary infection or to counter incident response.” The same CSO Online article even found that hackers may try to hijack corporate communications and/or website to help spread the ransomware even farther.
Despite the very real threat of hackers and ransomware, there is a solution. Business Continuity and replication through an off-site cloud provider.
According to Wikipedia, replication is the continuous copying of data changes from one server to another. With this in place, you can rest assured that your data is safe in the event of a ransomware attack. Backups can be set for different times on different servers. And since the backup is not overwritten by a new backup, if the ransomware manages to hit your system prior to the next scheduled backup, the previous backup will remain untouched, giving you the advantage in the ransomware fight.
dinCloud – Security is our Middle Name
dinCloud was founded on the belief that all businesses should have access to secure, reliable cloud services such as remote virtual desktops and Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery, but without the high price tag. We believe in transparency in our pricing model and helping your business to better forecast your cloud services needs. With the recent move of our infrastructure to Nutanix’s Hyperconverged Infrastructure, this gives Nutanix users a particular advantage.
Benefits of running dinCloud DaaS on Nutanix Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI)
With Nutanix, dinCloud will provide unprecedented performance and reliability including these benefits:
- Ability to keep a remote copy of VM on a different data center location
- Disaster Recovery capability to on-premise or 3rd party Nutanix HCI
- DR Capability to one of dinCloud’s datacenters.
- Ensure business continuity by spinning up VMs on a remote datacenter running Nutanix HCI
- Speedy recovery of data in case of data corruption or disaster
- Quickly and painlessly recover from ransomware attacks in minutes by walking backward in time, booting up prior recovery points of your protected virtual desktops and virtual servers on Nutanix
- Per –VM snapshots allow the administrator save countless hours compared to traditional approaches
Because the dinCloud platform is natively built into the Nutanix platform, Nutanix customers will eliminate the need to install additional products within the infrastructure to protect your environment. Your IT team to will be enabled to quickly and effectively manage your environment beyond the traditional datacenter confines, and will retain full control over which VM’s will be backed up and when.
The sophistication of ransomware will only grow, but with a good backup strategy that includes both internal and external servers, the risks to your business and data are reduced. We invite you to watch this short webinar on how you can secure your data with DaaS and business continuity and replication.