Monthly Archives: July 2017

It’s the downtime in ransomware that might do the most damage


Ransomware continues to make headlines. Unfortunately, notwithstanding all the news, there are businesses that are still not adequately protecting their data and, as a result, fall victim to ransomware. But even if a business does regain access to its data after paying that Bitcoin ransom, it has no doubt suffered downtime. Perhaps not surprisingly, downtime from ransomware can be more damaging to small businesses than the ransom itself, as reported by in a recent online article.

50 percent of organizations have been hit by ransomware

One of the misleading aspects of ransomware is the small amount of ransom that’s demanded by cybercriminals. The average ransom demand is less than $700. Yes, we read about how cybercriminals collected $1 billion last year via ransomware exploits, but that’s the result of many thousands of successful ransomware outbreaks. When you consider that 50 percent of organizations have been hit by ransomware, it’s easy to understand how thousands and thousands of collected ransoms add up for cybercriminals.

Much of that is the result of spam, in particular through malicious attachments in email that are opened by the unwary. In these cases, a user is directed to open an email attachment or visit a website where the ransomware is presented, masquerading as a legitimate attachment or download. From there the virus spreads, ultimately gaining control of systems—and valuable files.

Ransomware doesn’t have to be perfect

Who knows whether ransomware will ever be perfected? Probably not. But it doesn’t have to be. The goal of the cybercrimninal is a blanket approach: target as many would-be victims as possible and hope that even a small percentage open that malicious attachment.

As we’ve already learned, thousands of small successes can quickly add up to $1 billion.

The ransom isn’t necessarily the most damaging

“Ransomware wasn’t necessarily the most expensive aspect of a ransomware attack: downtime, revenue loss, and fallout were more expensive and far more damaging, especially when you’re talking about small businesses,” says Adam Kujawa, head of malware intelligence at Malwarebytes, as reported by Kelly Jackson Higgins in Dark Reading.

One report found that downtime costs small businesses $55,000 in income every year; that doesn’t even account for the cost of paying employees who can’t work without access to systems or paying them overtime to catch up when systems come back online.

Here’s what you can do

Today, ransomware is one of the primary concerns for organizations—small, medium, or large.

So, what can you do? There are number of things you can do, like don’t open suspicious-looking emails or suspicious-looking attachments. And be sure your data is properly protected. Do not take data protection for granted!

Check out how Mozy by Dell can help you avoid a ransomware disaster.

I Remember the Time I Lost My Data (Part 2)

My data loss story isn’t simple. The data loss was not limited to one file, or even one device. Although this happened almost 10 years ago, the repercussions of this are still being felt in the organization I used to work for.

As I mentioned, this happened almost a decade ago. I had to travel for work to Mumbai, India, and as is required of any Pakistani travelling to India, I had to register with the local police station when I arrived in the city, and before I left.

Because the local office I was working with didn’t have anyone who could drive me to the police station—and this was before Uber existed—I had to rely on the local transport system alone. Aware that I could be mugged while travelling, I left my belongings with some local colleagues who were instead going straight to the hotel. They had my laptop, phone, and all my notes from the day’s meetings.

After I was done with the police station, I went back to the hotel, only to be told that my colleagues had forgotten my backpack on the local transport they used. Although they had spent the last few hours looking for the bag, it was nowhere to be found.

I left my bag behind thinking it was more secure with them than with me and lost a year’s worth of organizational data that wasn’t backed up anywhere.

LOL. Talk about irony.

The phone had valuable contact information, and my laptop had not only notes from the meetings that I had traveled to India for, but all of my data for the last year as well.

Coming back home and realizing that I would need to comb through emails for the last 10 months to recover just a part of the data I had lost was horrifying. I had managed to put my team back months as far as delivering on our goals was concerned!

Over time, I was able to recover about 80% of the data. I had to email a lot of colleagues to ask for newer versions of documents, scour through my emails to find others, and sit and re-create some of the lost data late at night.

I no longer work at the same organization, but there are still times when someone needs a file that was on my laptop and I have to say that I was not able to recover it despite my best efforts.

All my data is backed up now. All my work files, personal files, images, videos are backed up in the cloud, and on an external drive. A reminder in my calendar ensures I never forget to back up to the external storage drive. But even better, cloud backup services like Mozy are set up to back up important files automatically.

Check out the ways Mozy by Dell backs up your important data, from desktops and laptops to small servers. And Mozy Sync keeps your most active files up to date across your computers, smartphones, and tablets. You’ll have your files anywhere you go.

Mozy Saves the Day

During the past couple months, I immersed myself into answering one simple question: What is Mozy? As a recently hired Dell EMC intern, I wanted to know everything I could about the many ways Mozy protects data; in particular how Mozy protects against a cybercrime that has become very prevalent in recent years—ransomware.

What is Mozy?

Mozy is a cloud-based service that backs up your important data from endpoint sources, like your laptop or tablet. For SMBs and large enterprises, Mozy helps soften the blow of the unexpected by maintaining the reliability of business-critical data. Having productivity stop because an employee’s laptop was stolen or your data was encrypted by ransomware is not good news to hear!

After learning about Mozy’s easy-to-use and worry-free data protection features, I now know Mozy is a good choice for anyone who wants peace of mind about the security of their data. Whether it is a business or just a personal computer at home, backing up important information is crucial. As a writer myself, I wouldn’t want to see my budding novels held hostage at the grasp of a cybercriminal!

For example, my current way of backing up my data is on a twelve-year-old USB drive that hasn’t been updated since 2014. I hold onto it with my life, but that isn’t the safest place for the files I treasure. And as much as I hate to admit this in public, each file within the USB is almost four years old. If my computer crashes for any reason, all of that hard work is lost and all that is left will be the four-year-old documents collecting dust on my USB. Wouldn’t that be a damper on a good day!

With Mozy, you don’t have to plug it in, keep it in a safe place, or even remember to update it. It is purely cloud-based storage that protects your files. I like to think of Mozy as the fastest route to a safe computer. Not only is there an increase in time management with less manual labor in securing files, you also have the luxury of always knowing your information is safe and accounted for.

What is ransomware?

Learning about ransomware is honestly terrifying. The realization that there are ways to randomly attack people online is shocking. What’s even more of a surprise is how ransomware affects a computer. It is as simple as opening a malicious link or an infected attachment in an email. Before you can say “I want my data back!” your whole system will be locked at the whim of the cybercriminal. The kicker is spending money to possibly regain the data being held for ransom. Holding your data in exchange for ransom would make anyone fear for the safety of their information.

How Mozy saves the day

With backup and recovery along with threat detection and prevention, Mozy makes absolutely sure that your information is safe and in your control. Ransomware tries to give the illusion that a faceless person has the power over your data’s future. With your data backed up to the Mozy cloud, the effect is useless.

Removing the fear of cyberthreats with the help of Mozy assures you that the small bumps in the road will always be taken care of. This software will allow you and your colleagues to rest at ease.

Now that I am aware of the danger from ransomware, I back up my important files with Mozy. I don’t want to jeopardize my future bestseller from getting published!

Learn more about how Mozy is a second line of defense against ransomware.

Mozy Supports Key Management Interoperability Protocol

The MozyEnterprise service now offers another encryption key option, furthering Mozy’s commitment to data security. Mozy supports the Key Management Interoperability Protocol, at no additional cost to our customers. At this point, you’re probably asking yourself a few questions.

What is KMIP?

Key Management Interoperability Protocol—or KMIP for short—is a communication protocol that defines secure formats for the manipulation of encryption keys on key management servers (KMS). There is a general trend in enterprise IT toward the centralized management of encryption keys across multiple applications using KMS.

What does this mean to me as a customer?

Today, Mozy offers three encryption key options:

   •     Mozy default encryption key: Mozy assigns an encryption key to your users. This key is stored and managed by Mozy          for the most seamless experience.
   •     Personal encryption key: The user enters a passphrase that is used to create the encryption key. Each user manually          creates a unique personal encryption key.
   •     Corporate encryption key: The administrator enters a passphrase that is used to create the encryption key. Your Mozy          admin can create a key for all users in the company or a unique one for each user group.

With the introduction of support for KMIP, Mozy now offers a fourth data encryption method. Enterprises prefer that applications using encryption keys be KMIP-compliant so they can be managed via a KMS. KMS provides a secure, single point of encryption key management across multiple IT applications.

KMIP ensures the privacy of your data. An advantage of KMS for Mozy customers is that it enables backup admins to easily create and manage per-user local encryption keys. This provides finer encryption granularity (that is, increased at-rest data security) than a corporate encryption key while retaining its on-premises advantages.

Which Mozy products include KMIP?

KMIP is now in directed availability for the MozyEnterprise service at no additional cost. KMIP is currently only supported on the Windows platform. Mac integration is coming soon. On the KMS front, KMIP is currently supported on SafeNet’s KeySecure KMS. If interested in KMIP, please reach out to us via email.