Data backup is more than just a contingency measure for emergency— it’s a means of ensuring continuous functionality through statistically-predictable service outages. Don’t have an attitude of “if,” have an attitude of “when.” Your business is going to encounter IT scenarios where your service delivery lags. You’re going to have downtime, even with the most up-to-date, proactive protection solutions. Whether that downtime is several minutes, or several hours, is up to you.
One of the biggest problems modern MSP businesses regularly encounter involves what has been called “ransomware.” Ransomware is CaaS, or Cybercrime as a Service. Billions are made on a yearly basis from innovations in the cybercrime community. Ransomware is one of the chief income generators for CaaS, and it works like this: you’ll get a message that says your files are locked unless you pay a certain amount in a certain way. If you don’t pay the amount, you can’t access your files— that is if you’re lucky. In many scenarios, ransomware will erase all the files if you don’t pay by a certain time. The idea is to pressure businesses into paying the amount before a secondary solution can be sourced.
If you’ve been victim to a ransomware attack, you should understand the software is going to do its best to spread itself in a viral way throughout your network. Since military-level encryption algorithms brought to bear, the only way to get past them is by completely shutting down your system and rebooting. If you don’t have a continuously updated backup, you’ll lose all work between the time the virus invaded your system, and the time you shut everything down and reboot.
Solutions Designed To Maintain Functionality
With cloud computing, you can back up your operations on a rolling basis that continuously ensures the most recent change to the system is reflected in a reboot, and then the only thing you’re really out is the time it takes to restart. With cloud computing, that update and reboot can take a few seconds. Big data is continuously working with amounts of data in excess of a terabyte in real time, meaning in the worst case, you’ll only lose a diminished amount of time compared to traditional backup measures, and that’s not to mention the cost-reduction from outsourcing tech services. When you run your business’ informational needs through a cloud service, you no longer require a server array on-site, you don’t need maintenance to keep it up, and you don’t need another backup system that’s likewise continuously upgraded and maintained. This saves literally tens of thousands of dollars— even millions, should the business be large enough–on a yearly basis. It’s a technologically superior means of data backup.
Other Means of Defense Against Ransomware
There are additional things you can do to preserve your systems against ransomware:
• Policy updates
• Disable macros
• Ensure daily backups
• Only use vetted USBs
• Specifically back up endpoints
• Asses backups to determine how far they go
• Continuously update, patch, and purge your systems
• Contact the FBI if you’re subject to a hack attack
• Properly train your employees pertaining to security protocols
Implementation of data backup solutions will include regular updates of policy that require training of employees for an understanding of issues, and what proper practices should look like. Don’t download attachments and be careful what e-mails you open— check the addresses beforehand. Be proactive and vigilant to watch for ransomware attacks. Remember, most ransomware attackers do so on a basis of random interaction. They spam out thousands or millions of e-mails and hope for a “bite,” then try to reel you in with their demand for pay. You’re also going to want to rid yourself of document macros, as these are prime breeding grounds for ransomware intrusion.
Make sure to Backup regularly, as previously pointed out. But take a step further and institute a policy of endpoint backup. You’re also going to want to check how far backups go in order to ensure you’ve got proper coverage. If you additionally ensure you regularly update systems, install patches and purge antiquated programs, you’ll hopefully never have to contact the FBI and tell them you’ve been compromised. Ransomware is out there, but you can defend against it.