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The Best Ransomware Protection Comes With Physical Layers
Posted: Tue Sep 08, 2020 08:30:02 AM

by Diana Salazar

For every ransomware attack we see in the news, there are hundreds of others that don’t get reported. Strains and cyber criminals have become increasingly insidious in their attempts to penetrate networks and take control of all digital assets, including backups. With a successful attack comes downtime, millions of dollars in revenue losses, and damaged reputation. Every time an organization pays for ransomware, more demand is created making recovery more complicated and time consuming. Quantum has designed a solution to protect organizations against ransomware and enable fast recovery.

Like many others who have fallen victim to ransomware, they experienced many of the most common consequences, such as:

  • Loss of revenue, clients and trust
  • Damaged Reputation and Shaming
  • Paid large sums to attackers and incurred costs of recovery
  • Threat of data and privacy breach
  • Exposing clients and partners to ransomware threats as well as sensitive information that may lead to blackmail, loss of credibility, and compromised positions in society and market
  • Recovery may take a lot time, thus interrupting business and affecting operations for months and potentially years.

Bad actors are getting more invested in data theft and shaming tactics, including engaging in partnerships to produce larger more effective ransomware campaigns against your network and backup environments. The whole scheme is to eclipse any ability to recover and thus, payout the ransom. This means that you have the duty to understand the implications and to defend your network by eliminating their strength, which is the ability to spread a virus through network connected devices. However, if you only rely on your cyber security software or your cyber insurance policy to pay ransom, then you are leaving a big gap in your ransomware protection strategy.

Why not make tape’s offline copy part of your insurance policy? Today, disk is the de facto for ransomware recovery efforts, but it has several disadvantages, here are four:

  1. Backups will always remain online – high chance it will get compromised
  2. Expensive once you add up soft costs
  3. Disk solutions are not designed to protect backups against ransomware
  4. Network connected copies are always at risk; they are a bullseye for hackers

Disk is designed to be efficient, reduce footprint and meet your SLA requirements; For protection against ransomware, disk lacks the ability to truly airgap, so it remains vulnerable and accessible for criminals to encrypt, steal, and use it to your organization’s detriment. Cloud storage on the other hand, can be used as an offline service or “cold storage” but it comes with limitations:

  • No control of your data
  • Egress charges if you need access
  • Recovering from cloud can take weeks or months

It’s long past time for organization to have a true ransomware protection plan that includes an offline copy readily available on prem or in the cloud as part of an insurance policy.

Why Quantum and disk + tape (online and offline copies): Backup appliances like the DXi® are purpose built appliances essential to meet your RPOs and RTOs, not only do you get ultra-fast performance and security with hardware based encryption technology, you also maximize savings with its ultra-dense drives to help you reduce footprint. DXi also has a fine-tuned replication engine that enables multi-site DR protection. This means, that as soon as your data hits the DXi, it immediately begins to replicate data offsite and then to tape. Many customers do not want to wait to airgap tape. As soon as its done writing, they want to airgap it.

The complexity around tape is well known and Quantum’s Active Vault technology resolves those issues. It provides a solid and secure airgap for ransomware protection. Here are some of the benefits:

  • Offers True air-gap ransomware protection with offline in-library vault for onsite backups.
  • Archive, on-site, long-term vaulting, replaces external shelf storage
  • Backup, short-term vault prior to sending offsite
  • Removes the need of handling tapes
  • No network, host, or drive connectivity; Only admin account has visibility and access via multi-factor authentication (MFA)
  • Use of unlicensed slots make active vault very economical
  • Reliable and secure enhancements you can combine: Encryption AES 256-bit, WORM and MFA

Scalar libraries with its offline capabilities and active vault are the most secure, automated libraries in the market for ransomware protection; A virus cannot bypass a physical barrier formed between your data and the network. With a relatively low investment, the ransomware protection you get with the active vault feature is unmatched. No other provider has this level of security and automatization in their libraries. When a ransomware attack bypasses your security endpoints, chances are high your online copies will get compromised. This is where the offline copy can be your best last line of defense and your insurance policy. As you evaluate ransomware data protection strategies, think about the losses associated with a successful attack to your organization…Revenue, clients, reputation, etc.

Consider adding offline storage with active vault as an additional security layer for ransomware protection – It is the most cost-effective alternate solution to expensive disk or paying ransom that by the way, funds the criminal market that you are also protecting your data from.

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