Your Best Insurance Policy Against WannaCry Ransomware

Why DRaaS is Your Best Contingency Plan

The recent WannaCry ransomware attack infected nearly 300,000 systems in over 150 countries – all within a matter of hours. What’s more, many of us are left with a false sense of security simply because we’ve patched our Microsoft systems.

This is leaving everyone at risk to future attacks; but when we look at the WannaCry attack – the ransom demanded was only $300. Here’s the kicker: it’s not the ransom itself that’s so damaging to a business, it’s the cost of downtime associated with the attack. Let’s look at the numbers:

  • When you factor in operational downtime, staff resources, system replacement – ransomware is costing businesses more than $75 billion per year.
  • WannaCry alone, at conservative estimates, resulted in over $800 million in downtime and lost productivity.
  • With cloud backup solutions, it would take 4-5 hours to restore a production database.

So, what was learned?

Traditional approaches to backup simply don’t work against ransomware. The fact is, there is no single solution for ransomware, it instead requires a comprehensive approach. There are several factors in defense against these cyber criminals:

  • First is with your end users. Train and test end users to know how to recognize phishing attacks and suspicious links or attachments. Admins can use simulated attacks to ensure they’ve been properly conditioned to resist these threats.
  • Secondly is an anti-virus solution. You want to try to catch the threat before it takes root in your systems. Keep your software up-to date to always have protection in the background.
  • Your third line of defense is to have a DRaaS solution in place that allows for a backup of that data and systems (not just files and folders) along with the ability to roll back to a date before the ransomware hit and let you recover a clean version of the entire environment.

Generally speaking, any backup system will do, but keep in mind: You want it to allow you to roll back to a date before the ransomware hit, so you need file history or versioning capability built into your solution. Don’t get stuck with a backup solution in place that doesn’t keep versions of your files, that will be of no use to you when it comes time to recover. Also, you want it to backup your data and systems, not just files and folders on your individual machine – since we know ransomware will work itself through your network and spread like wildfire to the entire organization.

All organizations need a comprehensive data protection plan in place. Make sure to address security and compliance concerns, orchestration requirements, and RTO/RPO needs. Once you have a mitigation plan in place, you’ll be able to isolate the infection when it hits and utilize a disaster recovery as a service solution to quickly recover your files and running systems when you get infected, without having to pay that ransom.

Need to decide which DRaaS solution is your best defense against ransomware? Check out our vendor comparisons to learn more about each solution.

 

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