The frequency and scope of ransomware attacks on businesses continue to grow. By 2021, it’s projected a new organization will be targeted by ransomware every 11 seconds, and those losses from these attacks will reach $20 billion globally1.
Today, ransomware can target the entirety of an organization’s data and infrastructure, making it particularly threatening given our increasing dependence on all-things-digital. For ill-prepared businesses, recovery may require disconnecting networks to prevent additional damage and time to determine the best recovery strategy; some organizations could be looking at days or weeks of downtime. The latest ransomware strains can even infect backup data, making it difficult or impossible to recover from an attack. And financial losses from downtime may be compounded by compliance issues, lawsuits, and reputational damage—especially if sensitive data is publicly exposed.
With so much at stake, IT teams cannot afford a reactive approach to ransomware. A proactive strategy is required, supported by a comprehensive resiliency solution providing data and infrastructure protection and visualization, and the ability to recover at scale in an automated, orchestrated fashion.
Be proactive to protect data
A strong frontline defense is essential to protecting your organization from ransomware, but you need more to confidently take on the threat. Cybercriminals are engineering sophisticated forms of ransomware capable of circumventing frontline security and taking advantage of modern multifaceted IT infrastructures to propagate.
A multilayered approach to protection can give you confidence that if one defense measure fails, there are others in place to secure the system. To help avoid losses from ransomware, take these proactive steps.
1: Improve awareness, alerts, and reporting
Hybrid multicloud environments can provide many benefits to the enterprise, but also add numerous variables to data management and protection. To successfully defend your organization’s IT system, start by understanding details on its data and infrastructure—where and how data is stored and who can access it.
Armed with this information, you can develop baseline measures for data and infrastructure behavior, then establish reporting to alert administrators of unusual activity. Once notified, IT teams can take rapid action to deter ransomware from doing damage.
2: Reduce IT attack surface with hardening and immutability
In complex, interconnected IT environments, one phishing email to a single employee can give cybercriminals access to your organization’s entire system. If an attack occurs, your backups will be key to recovery, so it’s crucial to protect them from deletion or encryption by ransomware.
To decrease potential attack surfaces and safeguard data, use hardening best practices, such as multifactor authentication, risk-aware password management, and role-based data access. Make multiple copies of backup data on at least two forms of media and use air-gapped and immutable storage to defend against destruction or encryption. These preventative tactics can help ensure your organization’s backups will serve their purpose when they’re most needed.
3: Automate and orchestrate strategic recovery at scale
In diverse IT environments with hundreds or thousands of servers, manually recovering data can be nearly impossible. If malware corrupts backup data, restoring it could do more harm than good.
Prepare for rapid recovery from a ransomware attack by implementing an automated, orchestrated recovery solution that works across environments. A solution that enables non-disruptive testing, including testing backup data for malware, can help guarantee your recovery tool will work in a crisis.
Proactive planning means peace of mind
Today’s organizations are up against a lot, including the increasing threat of ransomware. A preemptive approach to data security can help your organization defend against and recover from attacks with assurance data and infrastructure that can be effectively, efficiently restored.
By proactively planning, following industry best practices, and implementing the right protection, detection, and recovery solutions, you can strengthen your organization’s operational resiliency to ransomware and gain peace of mind.
1 The National Law Review, “Ransomware Attacks Predicted to Occur Every 11 Seconds in 2021 with a Cost of $20 Billion,” Feb. 13, 2020.
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