Ransomware Protection Through Cloud Backups
Despite a recent decrease in assaults, ransomware remains a substantial danger to corporations, as illustrated by this month's attacks on healthcare organizations. It is also growing in capability. Ransomware authors, in particular, are aware that backups are an effective safeguard and are altering their programs to detect and delete backups. This suggests that fraudsters are actively looking for and destroying backups, which might result in a complete loss of data if they are successful. To fight this, organizations must be proactive in their backup methods and assure the security and protection of their data. This entails putting a strategy in place that will allow them to restore their data quickly and efficiently in the case of a disaster or system failure.
You're certainly aware that backups help in safeguarding your data from a variety of calamities, including ransomware, but what if your backup becomes infected as well?
Ransomware attacks may be devastating. Businesses that have all of their data backed up, on the other hand, may recover from an assault without paying a ransom. It's a good idea to protect your data with secure backups, but you also need to protect your backups against ransomware.
Unfortunately, your backups can also be infected with ransomware, rendering both your backup and your primary data storage inoperable. We examine ways of reducing your exposure to ransomware. Backing up your data on a regular basis and storing it in a secure location is one of the greatest methods to protect yourself.
Table of Contents
- What is a ransomware attack?
- Ransomware targeting backups
- The Harsh Reality of Ransomware
- Vulnerable Targets Are The Usual Victims of Ransomware
- Windows Backups Aren't Enough
- Isolate The Backups
- Multiple Backups for Additional Precaution
- Monitor continuously
- Keep on Testing Your Backups
What is a Ransomware Attack?
Ransomware is a sort of virus that infects computers and encrypts data, directories, software, and other systems. Once joined to your systems, it encrypts all of your data, making it impossible to access or use. This encryption is incredibly powerful, and it ensures that no one can access your data without the proper authorization. It also prevents any malicious actors from being able to use your data for their own gain.
The entity or person in command of the ransomware then informs you that they have kidnapped your data and want the payment to recover it. Your data is unavailable until you pay the ransom. This is a frightening situation, as the data that has been taken is likely to be of great importance to you. The ransom payment is likely to be substantial, and you may feel unsure of what to do.
Ransomware Targeting Backups
Ransomware will now delete any backups it happens to come across along the way. For example, a common tactic for ransomware is to delete automatic copies of files that Windows creates. This is done to ensure that the user cannot recover their files without paying the ransom. By deleting the automatic copies, the user is left with no other option but to pay the ransom in order to get their files back. This is a particularly malicious tactic that has been used by malicious actors for years. It is a form of cyber-extortion, where the hacker will demand a ransom payment in exchange for the release of data or files that have been stolen or encrypted. This tactic is often used to coerce organizations into paying a ransom in exchange for the return of stolen data or files. In some cases, the data or files may have been encrypted and are only accessible with a decryption key, which is also held by the attackers.
SamSam and Ryuk are two well-known instances of ransomware that target backups. In November, the US Department of Justice charged two Iranians with extorting more than $30 million from over 200 victims, including hospitals, using the SamSam virus. Attackers increased the damage by conducting attacks outside of usual work hours and "encrypting backups of the victims' machines," according to the indictment.
The Harsh Reality of Ransomware
Ransomware enters your system via email. An attachment contains the code for system encryption. Another entry point is rogue websites, which display a message, ironically, informing the visitor that their computer is infected and that they must download a program to remove it.
Ransomware may be concealed behind PDFs, ZIP files, RAR files, IMG files, and ISO files. Of course, EXE files can also be infected with ransomware.
At first, the ransomware merely encrypts the machine upon which it is downloaded. As a result, whenever one of your users opens an email attachment or downloads a file from a website, just the files on that device will be encrypted. As a result, user devices are the most vulnerable to attack, although sophisticated ransomware programs may spread throughout a network. Through syncing, time-delayed viruses may be installed onto shared drives.
These network-connected diseases are the most dangerous. If they get access to your central servers, which hold databases, you might be in big danger. These ransomware assaults would enter your backup system and might infect it. These are the reasons why you should safeguard your backups from ransomware.
Vulnerable Targets Are The Usual Victims of Ransomware
When ransomware goes after backups, it's usually opportunistic, not deliberate. Depending on the ransomware, it typically operates by crawling a system looking for particular file types. It will then encrypt the files, making them inaccessible to the user. The ransomware will then demand a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. Payment is usually demanded in the form of cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin, as it is difficult to trace and track the origin of the funds. This makes it an attractive option for cybercriminals, as it is virtually untraceable and can be used anonymously.
Ransomware also tries to spread, to infect as many other systems as possible, he says. This kind of worming capability, as with WannaCry, is where it is expected to see more activity in the future. As the world becomes increasingly digital, the threat of cyber-attacks is growing exponentially. Malware such as WannaCry is designed to spread rapidly and infect multiple systems at once, making it difficult to contain and stop. This type of malware can be incredibly damaging to organizations, as it is capable of spreading quickly and easily across networks, allowing it to cause widespread disruption. It is also capable of bypassing security measures, making it difficult to detect and remove. It can be used to steal sensitive data such as banking information, passwords, and other confidential information.
You can protect your backups and systems from these new ransomware tactics by taking a few basic precautions. Firstly, it is important to make sure that your system is up to date with the latest security patches and updates. This will help to ensure that any vulnerabilities in the system are addressed and that the system is secure. Additionally, you should be sure to take the necessary steps to ensure that all data is protected and that any potential threats are identified and addressed. This includes regularly monitoring the system for any suspicious activity, patching any security holes, and implementing a comprehensive security policy.
Windows Backups Aren't Enough
To defend against ransomware that deletes or encrypts local backups of files, they suggest using additional backups or third-party utilities or other tools that aren't part of the default Windows configuration. This is a great way to ensure that your data is safe and secure. For example, you could use a cloud-based backup service, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, to store your data in a secure, off-site location. This way, if your computer crashes or is otherwise compromised, you can easily access your data from the cloud. Additionally, you can set up automatic backups so that your data is always up-to-date and secure.
Isolate The Backups
The more barriers there are between an infected system and its backups, the harder it will be for the ransomware to get to it. One common mistake is when users have the same authentication method for their backups as they use elsewhere. This is a huge security risk, as it means that if someone gains access to the authentication method, they can access the backup as well. It is important to have different authentication methods for different systems, as this will provide an extra layer of security. Authentication is the process of verifying the identity of a user or process, and it is essential to ensure that only authorized users and processes can access a system.
A separate authentication system, with different passwords, makes this step much more difficult.
Multiple Backups for Additional Precaution
Experts recommend that companies keep three different copies of their important files, using at least two different backup methods, and at least one of them needs to be at a different location. Cloud-based backups provide an easy-to-use, offsite backup option. Cloud-based backups are quickly becoming the go-to choice for businesses looking to protect their data. They offer a reliable, secure, and cost-effective way to ensure that data is stored safely and securely in an off-site location.
Many backup providers additionally include rollbacks or multiple versions of the same file. If ransomware attacks and encrypts data, the backup software automatically creates backups of the encrypted versions while overwriting the good ones, so the ransomware doesn't even have to go out of its way to access the backups. As a result, rollbacks are becoming more common, and businesses should verify before deciding on a backup solution.
Ransomware attacks the first device it is downloaded into. If you can identify minute changes in real-time, you can isolate and quarantine the device before the ransomware infects your network. If you just check seldom, the danger grows since by the time an anomaly is identified, you may have passed the point of no return.
Keep on Testing Your Backups
Many companies only find out that their backups didn't take, or are too cumbersome to get back, after they've fallen victim to an attack. This is a huge problem for businesses, as it can mean the loss of vital data, customer information, and even financial records. It is essential for businesses to have a reliable backup system in place to ensure that all of their data is secure and can be easily recovered in the event of a disaster. It is essential for any business. Having a backup system in place provides a safety net for businesses, protecting them from the potential loss of important data due to hardware failure, software corruption, or other unforeseen circumstances. Backing up data is an essential part of any business, as it ensures that all information is safe and secure in the event of any unexpected issues. Without proper backups, businesses can find themselves in a precarious situation, as they may not be able to recover lost data or access important information. This can lead to a variety of problems, such as a decrease in productivity, a decrease in customer satisfaction, and a decrease in overall profits. Furthermore, if the data is not backed up properly, the business could suffer from a lack of access to important information at critical moments. This could lead to a decrease in efficiency, as staff would need to spend time searching for the data they need, rather than focusing on the task at hand.
With the number of cyber threats rising by the day, businesses must have robust data recovery, ransomware protection, and a business continuity strategy that takes advantage of the cloud's benefits to prevent the spread of these assaults. Cloud backup suppliers like Ottomatik provide extensive cloud data protection and strong defense-in-depth security, as well as the peace of mind that comes with knowing unencrypted backup data is always secure and accessible. Having a secure backup of important data is essential for any business or individual. It ensures that in the event of a data loss, the data can be quickly and easily retrieved.