It’s more important than ever for companies to seek ransomware protection. More than five times each minute, there’s a ransomware attack on a business, according to current research from Veeam. And while the network should be hardened and employees should be trained to reduce the risk of ransomware penetrating a company’s defenses, ultimately, it’s not a question of whether a company will be successfully attacked. It’s a question of when.
Backup is the last line of defense against ransomware. Cybercriminals are well aware, so they target the backups to ensure they are useless for recovery. Organizations must protect their backups at all costs. Below, learn more about Veeam’s suite of offerings for ransomware protection, and how you can arm your company for the worst-case scenario.
Ransomware: The Gift that Keeps On Taking
Even if the backups are protected, they won’t do an organization much good if recovery is slow. The damage done by extended downtime could mean it may be faster and, ultimately, cheaper to pay the ransom, assuming the cybercriminals turn over the encryption key. Of course, paying the ransom gives you a strong reputation in the underworld as a good mark — four out of five companies that pay ransom are attacked again later and it’s frequently the same cybercriminals who took them down the first time. This means you’ll be targeted again and again by criminal gangs that already know your network’s weaknesses … and may still have additional ransomware hidden inside your environment, ready to go off and put you through the wringer once again.
CyberFortress presented a webinar with Veeam’s Rick Vanover on Oct. 18 at 11am ET: Modern Ransomware: The Gift that Keeps on Taking. In the webinar, the panelists went into much more detail about how to protect your backups and, just as important, how to ensure you can recover quickly. There, we focused on backup protection, but you can’t neglect the second half of the equation — fast recovery is essential, and the webinar will provided best practices to enable it.
Secure Your Data Backups from Ransomware Threats
The absolute best way to protect your data backups is to create a physical “air gap” between the backup copy and your network, so there’s no way malware can infect the data. Usually, this means you’ve got a tape backup stored somewhere offline. But remember, if you can’t restore rapidly enough, it’s nearly as bad as having no backup at all, and recovery from tape is usually pretty slow.
Thankfully, IT can emulate a physical air gap while keeping backups online. First, make sure backups are stored on a different workgroup or domain than the production environment. If they’re stored alongside everything else, the backups will likely get encrypted during an attack. Additionally, you can store the backups in an immutable format, which prevents them from being encrypted, and set up a soft delete, which puts a copy in a “recycle bin” first instead of deleting the data outright.
Further, make sure that access to backups is secure and tightly controlled. Relying on passwords alone is simply asking for trouble, because it sets up a single point of failure. If passwords are generated by users, they’re often easily guessed or cracked by algorithms, and even if they are sufficiently strong, social engineering, clever phishing attempts, and other forms of malware can obtain them. IT should employ strong multi-factor authentication to ensure that only authorized users can access backup files.
Finally, while you should encrypt your data backups — there’s sensitive information stored in them that needs to be protected from prying eyes — if you don’t properly manage the encryption key, you will do the cybercriminals’ work for them. For example, if the key is stored in the production network and the production environment is encrypted in a ransomware attack, you can no longer decrypt your own backup files. Store it in a secure service that’s on a completely different domain.
There’s much more to know about protecting your backups from ransomware attacks and setting yourself up for a rapid recovery in the event you are hit. If you’d like to learn more, sign up to receive the recording of the Modern Ransomware: The Gift that Keeps on Taking. You’ll learn:
- The current state of ransomware attacks and their impact on recovery and resiliency
- What aspects of your data protection strategy aren’t up to speed to attain resilience
- How to best use the cloud proactively to ensure resilience from even the most devastating ransomware attack and prove your data protection strategy WORKS
Hosted by Nick Cavalancia, 4-time Microsoft MVP at Conversational Geek, panelists will include:
- Rick Vanover, Senor Director of Product Strategy at Veeam
- Jonah May, Solutions Architect at CyberFortress and a member of the Veeam Vanguard
- Vince Wood, Senior Systems Administrator at CyberFortress and a vExpert
To receive the recording, click here: https://protect.cyberfortress.com/internal/webinar/ransomware.