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Congratulations, your files have been encrypted! The only way to decrypt your files is through access to our decryption programme and a private key. Please pay within 12 hours because if you don’t the key will be deleted and you won’t be able to decrypt your data.’
No reason to panic, the message above is fake. However, chances are very likely that you will see a similar message popping up on your screen soon because ransomware attacks are on the rise. Mainly because there are still too many business owners out there who believe that they’re not a reasonable target for cybercriminals. Either because they think that their company isn’t big enough to be a target or because they don’t address specific vertical markets like healthcare, the public sector, or finance. Last but not least it’s often a lack of knowledge of what risks the business is facing which results in denial and a dangerous belief that it’ll only affect others.
We’re very sorry to let you know that you’re wrong and need to urgently get prepared to deal with the unthinkable. Making sure that a ransomware attack doesn’t encrypt your files or exposes sensitive data publicly is a supreme duty even if you’re running a small to medium-sized business or a small enterprise.
Tools and techniques to fight ransomware attacks successfully are on the rise mainly because the threats continue to grow exponentially. However, it takes more than just one tool to establish proper cybersecurity hygiene and ransomware immunisation. It doesn’t come for free either. You need to ask yourself a very important question: how much is the lifeblood of my company worth? You also need to acknowledge that proper protection of your business data against the big trouble is similar to paying for risk insurance and somewhat leaves you between a rock and a hard place: either pay huge amounts of money in ransom to criminals or have sensitive and confidential company data exposed. Just think of all the negative consequences for the reputation of your business because a data leak will not remain underneath the radar.
Unfortunately, ransomware attacks are becoming more sophisticated and cybercriminals also found a way to target backup files. This is why it takes more consideration than just buying a subscription for the backup software that best fits your business needs. Let’s have a closer look at what else you can do to protect your data.
Just like the two sides of a coin, backup can’t go without storage because your backup files have to live somewhere. Traditionally, you would have a backup system using a separate storage subsystem via a network that also needs to be secured. If the admin console gets compromised, data on that system can be wiped. If you don’t get the read/write permissions right in the network you’re also allowing ransomware to do the malicious job and encrypt backups.
One step to simplify your life, is using a storage appliance instead of the complex environment described above. Storage appliances combine storage with the backup server making that storage ‘local’ to the backup. An on-premise appliance is always on and thus still available even if the lights are out for any reason. Integrated software turns storage appliances into simple and intuitive software-defined storage solutions providing you with ‘WORM in a box’ and other beneficial features to protect your data. Here’s a high-level overview:
Further essential levels of your data protection strategy include an incident response plan. When disaster strikes it’s too late to discuss what you need to do next, when you need to pull the plug and how you will communicate with stakeholders when Email is down. When you talk about a zero trust policy and the need to identify high risk employees it’s not pleasant terminology. However, it’s not always a rogue employee but often a simple human error that leaves the door wide open for cybercriminals. Implementing a secure keyword policy, separating administrative roles and multi-person authorisation workflows are additional levels of your data protection strategy. Not to forget about enabling good old 2-factor authentication on all company and social media accounts.
Last but not least do not forget about the power of education. The more the entire team knows about cybersecurity, how they can identify phishing emails and other malicious content, the more likely you will be able to prevent an attack.
Still, no reason to panic because implementing a proper backup strategy including ransomware protection is easier than you think and also affordable for smaller organisations. Yowie® Storage appliances from RNT start from 32 TB usable capacity and include all the features described above. It takes only 30 minutes to complete set-up and go beyond traditional architectures that are not built for the SMB/SME. With Yowie® . With Yowie® you’ll get even more than just ‘WORM’ in a box. RNT also brought together two of the most powerful tools in the data protection business, Immutable Storage and S3. Having them all integrated into Yowie® you’ll get easy-to-manage enterprise-grade storage at entry-level storage cost.