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Lockdown and Distancing – Protection against Ransomware

Level 1

$2.3 million – The ransom paid by the world’s largest chain of money-exchange shops to recover from a ransomware attack, is one of the latest incidents highlighting the grave threat of ransomware.

However, that direct cost is a small part of the overall cost that a business incurs after a ransomware attack. Several studies put indirect costs to be 5 – 10 times of direct cost, on average. The losses from downtime leads to loss of business, lost productivity, investigation, third-party remediation, damage to reputation, are significantly higher. Some top recalls from past years show how huge total damage can be compared to ransom demanded

  • Ransomware Attack on Baltimore City government in May 2019 - Estimates put the total cost to recover at over $18 million dollars vs. the demanded ransom of $76,000.
  • Ransomware Attack on Atlanta City government in Mar 2017 – Total cost estimated at $17 million. The ransom demanded was $52,000.

Ransomware attacks are growing at a fast pace, in addition to the increase in ransom demanded and total loss per attack. More than 4,000 ransomware attacks occur daily as per this US Govt report. Ransomware damage costs are expected, in a Cybersecurity Ventures report, to hit $20 billion by 2021 – which is 57x more than it was in 2015. The report also estimates a ransomware attack on businesses every 11 seconds by 2021. This does not include attacks on individuals, which occurs even more frequently than businesses. 

What adds to worry is the multiplier effect of the recent spike in attacks leveraging remote workers. More than 50% of businesses do not have a remote work policy and in the absence of well-defined policy, they are exposed to an increased risk that comes with working remotely. Given that the latest move to work from home has been sudden for most of the companies, it is easy to understand why attacks have grown.

President of the European Central Bank is not wrong with concerns of how the cascading effect of the global cost of cyber-attacks, estimated at $654 billion, can lead to a bigger crisis.

The good news is that we have some easy and very effective measures at our hands to deal with this growing threat - Distancing and Lockdown; the same principles that the global community is following today. BackupExec, the North Star or Pole Star in Data Protection, enables you to use both winning strategies to protect the critical asset, data, in your fight against ransomware.

  1. Distancing – With Backup Exec you can back up your data safely to Cloud and Tape, in addition to Disks. Cloud and Tape, both provide natural distancing or air gap between your Backup Copy and the Source systems. This means that in the unfortunate scenario of Ransomware attacking your systems, it can’t spread further to your backup data because of ‘distancing’.
  2. LockDown – What if your backup is on disk and the disk is still connected to the source system! If a Ransomware Attack happens, it not only damages primary data but spreads further and contaminates the backup copy too. With Ransomware Resiliency feature, Backup Exec provides solid protection by implementing ‘LockDown’ of access to Backup Data. It prevents all unauthorized access to Backup Copy and ensures that the data is safe from Ransomware. The latest release, Backup Exec 21 makes it so much stronger.

When the head of cybersecurity compliance at world’s leading container shipping firm was asked for the key lesson learned, after the firm had suffered one of the worst ransomware attacks resulting in total losses of up to $300 million, the response was – “Protection is important, but it's equally as important to ensure your recovery process is strong.”

Remember, the ‘Backup Copy’ of data is vital in the whole victory plan against a ransomware attack. With Backup Exec, you can easily implement Distancing & Lockdown and achieve the timeless 3-2-1 Backup Rule to protect this vital link. BE Safe.