5 Keys to Ransomware Protection

Keys to Ransomware

There are both pros and cons to the speed at which technology moves. While we enjoy the benefits of increased employee productivity and fewer barriers to new business opportunities, the ever-increasing complexity of modern IT environments means defending business-critical data becomes equally complicated.

Ransomware is among the largest cybersecurity threats impacting business and personal data today. This presents a unique set of challenges for IT staff tasked with defending against the various forms and sheer volume of attacks. Understanding what data is at risk during a ransomware attack is critical to preventing massive business disruptions.

Businesses and their IT teams need easy, secure tools to get the most out of their data while keeping it safe as data volumes, infrastructure, and online threats grow.

So, how do you prepare? 

 1. Clean, reliable backup

Previously, having a clean, reliable copy of your data meant you could restore your system without paying the ransom – and it was a dependable strategy. Today, the landscape has changed dramatically, and new ransomware strains specifically target backup agents, software, and files to essentially hold your backups hostage and deny users access to them.

Creating a multi-layered defense is necessary to protect your backups – and access to those backups must be quick, simple, and easy. Why? Attackers are increasingly entering primary environments via endpoints and gaining access to backups first before compromising production environments and shutting things down. 

2. Immutable snapshots

Legacy backups are no longer enough, but luckily there is a solution to this problem – snapshots. 

Snapshots offer a quick “picture” of a server, encompassing its files, software, and settings, at a particular moment in time, just as the name suggests.

Generally, snapshots are an instant capture and preserve a point in time without transferring or duplicating existing data. This is why snapshots go hand-in-hand with most modern backup approaches to provide a stable, unchangeable image to do a backup.

With snapshots, you completely change your posture against cyberattacks because they are fundamentally impervious to attacks. Rather than defending or protecting, they minimize the spread of an attack by not being affected by it in the first place. This is similar to the “write once read many” (WORM) method of data storage, meaning it can’t be altered or modified once written.  

3. Replication

Although virtualization can provide effortless duplication, many companies fail to adequately back up their virtual machines.

Multi-tiering your replication procedures can help you defend against man-in-the-middle (MIM) cyberattacks which some replication technologies are susceptible to. Built-in and encrypted at the cluster level, but also covered through third-party integrations where this happens simultaneously.

4. Hyperconverged Infrastructure

More effective at protecting data than traditional systems, hyperconvergence is a progressive way to simplify your IT operations. HCI pools resources into an infrastructure that can be managed with cloud-like ease for the entire stack (hypervisor, storage, etc.). Virtualization software turns many high-performing processors into multiple virtual machines with their own virtual processors, thus allowing each OS to run its own set of programs independent of other OS running on different processors.

Storage protocol-based attacks simply won’t work with HCI infrastructure. Properly architected HCI solutions radically reduce the attack surface by eliminating storage protocols, not simply virtualizing SANs.  

5. Security through integration

Using various security tools makes management more challenging and less effective. Combining data protection and cybersecurity allows for secure data, systems, and applications reducing the overall risk of cyber threats.

This requires integrated tools that deliver anomaly detection, active protection, air-gapping, immutable storage, and multifactor authentication controls allowing continuous measurement and protection for recoverability. The goal is to identify and address issues, ensure data and business application restoration, and enhance security measures to minimize business risk while providing effortless protection.

Now that you know what the five keys to ransomware protection are, let’s consider the best approach to each one.

Scale Computing is a leader in edge computing, virtualization, and hyperconverged infrastructure solutions.

Working together with great partners like Scale Computing helps us ensure your organization’s cyber defenses work smarter, not harder.

Here’s how:

 1. Clean, reliable backup

With Scale Computing’s integration with familiar third-party backup vendors, users can benefit from various levels of distinctive storage subsystems. Host-level backups can be performed without needing an agent installation on guest VMs. Protecting virtual hosts on the Scale Computing appliance is as easy as selecting the desired VMs.  

With scheduling capabilities that are flexible enough to implement almost any backup strategy, traditional full and incremental backups can be part of the past.

2. Immutable snapshots

Scale Computing protects every virtual workload with snapshots, meaning you can recover in minutes by reverting to a previous snapshot. These snapshots are immutable – they can’t be altered or deleted by their VM in any capacity. Having snapshot immutability means an admin can rapidly respond to a ransomware attack by cloning a previous snapshot taken before the attack was deployed, create a new VM from it, and power it up.  

When cloning takes seconds, recovery is fast. 

3. Replication

All Scale Computing software systems include a free, built-in feature for system-to-system replication at the per-VM level. System-to-system replication operates non-stop, sending modifications to a secondary system as quickly as possible, with the snapshot functionality serving as the foundation for VM alterations.

Replication follows the snapshot schedule assigned to a virtual machine and can clone snapshots as often as every 5 minutes for solid recovery goals.

4. Hyperconverged Infrastructure

Some hyperconverged architectures already withstand attacks simply by eliminating legacy attack surfaces used by ransomware bad actors. Scale Computing’s true HCI integrates bare metal at all layers, such as the compute storage, virtualization, management layers, and data protection features, instead of traditional systems that combine these components from different vendors using open network protocols.

5. Security through integration

There’s no need to juggle multiple solutions. Scale Computing is unmatched in architectural flexibility and native backup and recovery to avoid data loss. It integrates with leading advanced backup and proactive ransomware third-party software vendors, like Acronis, to take data protection to any level customers need.  

In closing

An organization can’t prevent a ransomware attack completely. But, it is possible to mitigate the most negative effects of an attack by improving storage and data recovery systems before one happens.

If business continuity and ransomware protection are important to you, contact us and find out how simple and affordable it can be.


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