Don’t Fear Ransomware!

Did you hear about the Bay Area light-rail system that was hit by ransomware a couple of weeks ago? You can read about it on The Core, Mozy’s parent company’s blog.

Some ransomware facts

Although it’s true that ransomware sounds scary, you shouldn’t fear it. There are a few things we know about this type of malware. Ransomware:
   •     Is prevalent (there were more than 431 million malware          variants added in 2015)
   •     Continues to grow more sophisticated (some ransomware          uses unbreakable encryption)
   •     Usually gains access through a network’s weakest link (for          example, a user’s email or social networking site)
   •     Has cost businesses millions of dollars this year (US$209          million just in Q1 2016)

Knowing these facts helps us to understand the very real nature of the threat of ransomware to today’s businesses.

It can’t happen to my business…right?

According to the Global Data Protection Index (GDPI), data protection—which includes data backup—is critical for a number of reasons. Of the organizations surveyed by the GDPI:
   •     52% suffered unplanned system downtime in the last 12 months
   •     29% suffered data loss
   •     36% reported internal or external security breaches (including ransomware)
   •     Hardware failure is still the number one cause of data loss and/or system downtime

Clearly, a ransomware disaster is more common than most people think. It can happen to your business!

Ransomware isn’t going away

As already mentioned, businesses have already forked over more than US$200 million just in the first quarter of this year. According to the FBI, ransomware is on course to become a US$1+ billion industry by the end of 2016. There have been 2+ billion records leaked in 2016 as a result of cybercrimes.

Although ransomware isn’t going away, it’s important to remember this: a ransomware disaster is preventable!

So, what can you do?

Like most criminals, cybercriminals are opportunists who are looking for the easiest targets. One of the best things a business can do is no be an easy target! For starters, be sure you can answer “yes” to the following questions:
   •     Are your employees aware of the risks of unsolicited emails?
   •     Are your firewalls and mail filters always up to date?
   •     Are you using expired antivirus software?
   •     Are you syncing data from endpoints up to cloud-based file sync share systems?

But there’s more to be done in order to prevent a ransomware disaster.

Backup and restore

The most reliable form of protection organizations can leverage to safeguard their data is backup. But simple backup is not enough to ensure that your files are protected from ransomware. It’s important to note that common backup solutions such as a USB drive or network-attached storage device (NAS) are not reliable methods for backing up and safeguarding your data. Ransomware typically spreads throughout an organization’s entire file system, including an attached drive or network share, encrypting both production data and backup data.

It’s also important to note that backup off site (away from your primary site) is critical. Mozy by Dell backs up your important endpoint files and server data to the Dell EMC cloud to ensure that it cannot be compromised by ransomware. When a malware infection is involved, restoration of an endpoint or server from a backup works best when you can easily select a moment in time from where to restore. With Mozy cloud backup, once you have identified the point of infection and the time the malware was introduced to the machine, the Mozy solution lets you restore all of the files for the given user from the point in time just before the malware was introduced.

For more information on how you can prevent a ransomware disaster with endpoint data protection, visit Mozy by Dell.