Five key steps for strong ransomware defense and a quick recovery
The threat of ransomware has risen to prominence in recent years, and it now poses a significant threat to any organization with a significant online presence. While ransomware and other malware threats are becoming more diverse and manipulative, cloud backup serves as a strategic defense mechanism for data and applications that are particularly vulnerable, such as endpoints, cloud workloads, and SaaS applications such as Microsoft 365, which are all vulnerable. According to a recent study conducted by Aberdeen Group, cloud backup and restore has the potential to reduce the overall impact of ransomware on an organization by more than 90 percent. ¹
There are a variety of data protection solutions available on the market to assist with backup and recovery; however, only the flexibility of the cloud provides a comprehensive approach to protecting against ransomware attacks and assisting with recovery with speed, agility, and confidence. In this blog, we’ll go over five key steps to take to protect your organization, including enabling cyber resilience and business continuity, as well as limiting the effects of ransomware in the event of an incident.
1) Identify key assets and automate your data protection
For a quick and painless recovery from ransomware, you must have a backup copy of your application and business data stored somewhere safe. To understand the full scope of your organization’s data, it’s critical to first understand what exactly needs to be protected and then determine the most effective strategy for doing so. This entails not only conducting an inventory of the mission-critical servers and applications that power your company but also identifying potential entry points through which ransomware can infiltrate your network.
Examine the following common data areas for their level of security:
End-user data — The majority of ransomware infiltrates your organization through your end-users. Make an effort to protect both endpoints (laptops, mobile devices, and so on) and SaaS applications that host user data (Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and so on) to limit access and the potential spread of malicious code.
Data centers are the primary target of ransomware, and the loss of access to these systems can be catastrophic. Protect your virtual machines, network-attached storage (NAS) systems, and the databases that store your data.
Cloud workloads — As cloud computing, such as that provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), becomes more prevalent, it is important to ensure that these environments can be restored as quickly as possible.
Automatic data protection processes and cloud backup ensure that you always have the most recent resources available for a quick recovery. To keep backup data isolated from your infrastructure and thus unreachable by ransomware, consider implementing a SaaS data protection solution such as Druva to protect your data.
2) Using the cloud, you can secure your backup environment.
One of the most difficult challenges of on-premises data protection is the fact that it is exposed to the same ransomware threat as the rest of the data center infrastructure. As a result of its connection to your network, it increases the risk of infection, preventing you from accessing backup data when you need it the most. Cloud backup vendors such as Druva, in contrast to on-premises backup solutions, provide built-in, naturally air-gapped data protection. Backup data is stored in the cloud, which prevents ransomware from taking advantage of the same security flaws. Additionally, because of this cloud-native architecture, your backup data is not susceptible to encryption.
Customers should look for cloud vendors that provide a secure, multi-tenant environment for customer data that makes use of encryption keys and is compliant with the most recent security certifications available. This will aid in the implementation of your in-depth cybersecurity strategy by providing a multi-layered defense that will allow your organization’s administrators to develop situational awareness, detect anomalies, respond quickly, and recover.
3) Identify and prepare for threats as soon as they are identified.
A lack of proactive monitoring may result in your cybersecurity team not discovering ransomware until it has triggered, potentially after it has been dormant inside your data for months or years. Organizations must be able to detect threats quickly, even if the affected data is stored in a backup environment. This necessitates the development of a strategy for regularly monitoring backups for anomalies, as well as for detecting unusual admin and end-user activities that are indicative of ransomware’s common indicators.
When it comes to constantly monitor your environment for threats, today’s leading vendors provide the following features:
It provides complete data visibility while also identifying suspicious activity based on historical usage patterns.
Administration can make proactive security decisions as a result of automated alerts.
The use of a comprehensive analytics platform that includes IP address logging to capture the complete audit trail of admin and user activities is recommended.
4) Respond to the threat in a timely and decisive manner.
The ability to respond quickly and effectively to a potential threat is critical to ensuring the continued security of your organization’s data and applications. Once a threat has been identified, your organization requires the ability to quickly analyze the data environment to determine the source of the infection and determine when the data was compromised.
Optimize your ransomware response by following the key steps outlined below:
Make use of your cloud vendor to locate the most recent clean backup or snapshots taken from infected backups. For example, Druva’s algorithms can go back in time to before anomalous behavior was recorded in the system and recover from clean backups made before the anomalous behavior was recorded. As soon as the last good copy has been identified, thoroughly search your data sources to determine which others may be infected and implement the necessary countermeasures.
Delete all compromised files and snapshots from your computer.
Take the necessary steps to ensure that the ransomware has been eliminated from your network. Ensure all infected snapshots are deleted to prevent them from being accidentally recovered in the future, and that all infected endpoint devices are completely erased by your backup administrators. If your vendor provides federated search functionality, take advantage of it to locate and eliminate infected files or place them in quarantine.
5) Recover quickly by utilizing a variety of recovery options
The sooner your organization can recover from ransomware, the sooner it will be able to get back to its regular operations. Having multiple options for how to proceed, on the other hand, has numerous advantages because not every disaster recovery strategy is the same. There are a few options available from Druva and other cloud backup and data protection vendors, including historical snapshots and bulk recovery.
Using historical snapshot-based recovery, administrators can set a custom retention policy for a specific period to ensure data recovery while minimizing loss of information. In the event of a ransomware attack, your organization will have easy access to clean data from a specific date. This long-term retention of backup data protects your company from data loss threats while also assisting your company in complying with many of today’s stringent regulatory requirements. Keeping data for a long period not only helps to mitigate the impact of future threats, but also helps to reduce your overall storage expenditure.
When it comes to recovering from an attack, the speed, and cost-effectiveness of recovery are the most important considerations for many businesses, and bulk recovery frequently meets these requirements. By enabling bulk recovery of backup data, your organization will be able to provide end-user data restoration that is both admin and user-driven, restore VMs to VPCs, and bulk export files for recovery via alternate options such as network shares or shipping hard drives.
Steps to take next
Much of today’s backup infrastructure, such as on-premises solutions, simply does not have the capabilities to recover from ransomware effectively or quickly enough to keep pace with this evolving threat. These difficulties are exacerbated when dealing with workloads that span endpoints, data centers, SaaS applications, and cloud environments.
Organizations today require a proven data protection strategy, as well as a cloud vendor with extensive experience in cyber resilience and business continuity, such as Druva, to ensure their success. Even though no backup vendor can eliminate the possibility of an attack, Druva guarantees that its 100 percent SaaS-based solution will significantly improve response and recovery times. Protecting, detecting, responding, and recovering faster in the face of any external or internal attacks is made possible by Druva’s comprehensive cloud data protection solutions. The tools provided will enable your organization to reduce costs and complexity, increase cyber resilience, maintain compliance, and expedite as well as protect cloud projects.