Pro Tips for Protecting Against Ransomware

How to Keep Your Data Situation from becoming a Hostage Situation.

There were over 500 million attempted ransomware attacks in 2021 – A 148% increase from last year.

Cloud security is one of the top challenges organizations face, according to the 2021 Flexera State of the Cloud Report.

While more and more organizations are making the move to the cloud to provide a sense of protection against ransomware, there are other critical components of a strong cybersecurity strategy that need to be in place before any organization can breathe a sigh of (temporary) relief.

What Is Ransomware?

Even though ransomware is (unfortunately) becoming a household name, let’s quickly review what it is. Ransomware is a malware attack that takes the data on your hard drive or network (depending on the type of ransomware and your network connection) and encrypts it for, well, ransom.

If you pay the price the attacker’s demand (typically in Bitcoin so that it’s untraceable), they will (supposedly) give you your data back. We say “supposedly” because not everyone who pays actually gets their data returned. Not good.

There’s a whole other conversation to be had about whether paying the ransom is truly a good idea. (It’s generally recommended against paying as it only proves the point that ransomware is a viable way for malicious actors to make money - and lots of it.)

To help keep your business’s hard-earned money (and more importantly, its data) out of the wrong hands, there are several tools and strategies you can employ to provide protection. Keep in mind that ransomware, like any cybersecurity threat, is the beast that never sleeps - you can’t take the mindset of “Well, I’ve completed these checkboxes, so I’m all done now”.

How to Prevent an Attack

One strategy preferred by many organizations is to employ a user-friendly tool like Tenacity to identify and remediate vulnerabilities in your cloud environment before malicious actors have a chance to take advantage. Tenacity can find those problems within hours of an environment being deployed, so you can solve them faster. (Now would be a good time to start.)

Tenacity is just one weapon you can have in your arsenal to battle Ransomware and other cloud security vulnerabilities. Strengthen your security posture further with the following tips:

Follow the 3-2-1 Rule

The 3-2-1 Rule prescribes having 3 different copies of your data, on 2 different media, 1 of which is offsite. Consider sending your backups offsite to the cloud or even tape. If one copy is compromised (say, the one connected to the network), it’s still possible to perform a restore.

Use Air-Gapping for Extra Resilience

Air-gapping is defined as “taking your media offline.” Power off VMs, auto-eject removable storage, and use an out-of-band protection solution (where backups are taken via the same backup copy job on the network), then automatically send to a service provider in the cloud. These are just some of the ways you can “air-gap” your backed-up data.

Conclusion – Be Ever Vigilant

Ransomware is a dangerous, relentless enemy. But one that can be held at bay with the right tools and knowledge. Never assume that because your data is in the cloud - especially public cloud - that it’s automatically safe. Be proactive and take the extra steps needed to secure your environment and that of your customers.

Want to chat more about how you can make sure your cloud environment is secure? Reach out to our Tenacity team today.

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