Ransomware (and human error) Protection

Why the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy Really Works

You’ve no doubt seen the sensational headlines in the news recently –RIVIERA BEACH, FLORIDA – CITY PAYS $600K RANSOM TO RECOVER DATA FROM HACKERS” or RANSOMWARE ATTACKS AGAINST BUSINESS ON THE RISE.

These stories are scary, the headlines are MEANT to scare you, I’m scared! YOU SHOULD BE TOO!

Reading these stories, they all have a common theme – A hapless employee infected the computer network by opening a malicious email attachment disguised as an invoice or other tantalizing file and now the poor victims cannot recover their encrypted files. With no working backups and no other options left, they agree to pay the ransom in the hope of getting their precious data restored.

Riviera Beach, FL was held ransom not once, but twice in only a few short weeks having just recovered from another attack 3 weeks prior and recently approving a nearly $1 million hardware upgrade hot on the heels of the first attack. These ransom attacks held the city hostage for over a month. Forget about the cost of the ransom payment, can you imagine the amount of money the city lost during these attacks due to downtime? What would YOU lose if YOUR data was held hostage even for just 1 day? Could you even recover? Here’s another scary statistic – 60% OF SMALL COMPANIES THAT SUFFER A CYBER ATTACK ARE OUT OF BUSINESS WITHIN SIX MONTHS.

But I already have an Antivirus solution that claims it can protect against ransomware, aren’t I protected?

The simple answer is: No. Windows 10 already includes free Antivirus software in the form of Windows Defender so every computer on the market today already has some form of protection built-in, and this is a very good thing! The truth behind the marketing is this; Antivirus software is great at blocking and removing known threats but it cannot adequately protect against the unknown nor does it offer protection against human error, fire, flood, or other disasters. Bad guys are increasingly inventing sophisticated attack methods designed to circumvent Antivirus software and other protection mechanisms to give themselves a foothold on your computers and networks and we need to face the facts that we are human and humans make mistakes. That report you’ve been working on for weeks and saved to the network share may have gotten accidentally deleted when accounting was clearing space for the next big tax audit. It happens. . .

BUT WAIT, IT DOESN’T HAVE TO END UP THIS WAY

Now here’s a headline you probably haven’t read – SARASOTA, FLORIDA – CITY RECOVERS FROM RANSOMWARE ATTACK WITHIN 14 HOURS”

How could this city recover in less than a day from the same type of attack that crippled another Florida city for weeks on end? Was the ransomware some special strain that had already been cracked? No. Were their IT staff smarter than others? YES!

The ONLY proven, time tested solution to recover your files and get back to work when disaster strikes is by having a backup. In the case of the Riviera Beach, FL ransom, backups were not being tested, were not stored off-site and stuck between a rock and a hard place, the city council felt they had no choice but to pay the ransom to recover their data – TWICE. Sarasota, FL on the other hand had recently installed a new backup system that not only used an encrypted, on-site storage system that was separated from the application software they used but also stored a separate copy of their data in the cloud. They routinely tested the backup capabilities of this new system and their off-site backup solution even allowed them to mount a virtual machine image to a production server and get 2 of their servers back into production almost immediately.

The 3-2-1 Backup Strategy

  • 3 independent copies of your data – one being the original or official working record with the other 2 copies being both full and incremental backups – full backups are used to recover from catastrophic incidents while incremental backups can restore individual files even when changes to those files have been made and the original file overwritten.
  • 2 separate storage solutions – the backup copies should not be stored on the same media as the rest of your company data and should not be accessible to the general users or network applications to ensure your data does not become corrupted in the event of an emergency situation.
  • 1 copy stored off-site – having your data backed up is great but what good does it do you if the backups get destroyed along with the building they were stored in. Having a copy of your data stored off-site protects against the unknown or other acts of god.

Following the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy is the only proven way to safeguard your important records and any data you deem important, as well as offers the assurance and security that you’ll be able to access this information in the event of an emergency situation.

At Power On Computing, our backup goal for your company is not to sell you on the next big thing but rather to work with you to find a solution that fits your needs to ensure that WHEN disaster strikes, you know that you will be ready. Our innovative solutions encompass on-site, secured storage, email and cloud file backup, and off-site cloud storage with virtual machine replication and everything in between. Talk to us today about your company’s backup needs and we will make your data and recovery solutions our priority. That’s our promise to you!