How Has Ransomware Changed Data Protection?

The ransomware threat can have a significant monetary impact on the business. Not only are enterprises forced to pay the ransom fee to recover their data, but under various government regulations they also may be charged additional fines per impacted file, depending on their industry. Rogue users and disgruntled employees also can cause similar problems in terms of data corruption and loss. These threats have created new requirements for backup frequency as well as for data recovery.

One of the big changes is the emergence of ransomware variants designed to attack backup files. The disaster recovery site can no longer be presumed safe and protecting backup data itself is now a requirement. At the same time, “geographically safe” data centers are now vulnerable. What’s more, if they are not detected, ransomware infections can be replicated across sites. This is a real concern, because ransomware variants designed to lay dormant and undetected for days or weeks – or to operate in a time release fashion – have entered the industry. In this instance, when the enterprise recovers from backup copies, it is also recovering malware files.

Replicating and backing up data to different targets, to create a point in time and static, immutable copy, is now a requirement. Furthermore, data must not only be stored off site, but there is also a more pressing need for an air gap strategy. All data sets need to be factored in as important and as a part of the backup strategy. When factored in with how ransomware can proliferate across the enterprise, it means that it may be necessary to quickly recover hundreds of thousands of files or even entire volumes. The situation becomes like a full-blown disaster, with file servers and mission critical databases alike needing to be recovered rapidly and to the point in time just before the attack occurred. Backups also need to occur more frequently to avoid or to minimize data loss.

IT professionals cannot have a “won’t happen to me” mentality when it comes to new data loss vectors such as ransomware. Protecting backup data, backing up production data as frequently as possible and recovering data very quickly are rapidly becoming table stakes capabilities. Our on demand webinar with StorageCraft, “Ransomware, Rapid Restoration and Disasters – Recovering from Backup’s Three Biggest Challenges!,” addresses how to adapt your data protection infrastructure to address these new needs. All registrants receive copy of our exclusive eBook, “Modernizing Data Protection Infrastructure.”

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Twelve years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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