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Your top five ransomware backup and recovery questions answered

Are you worried about ransomware? If not, you might want to reconsider. Proper preparation and a backup strategy are vital to staying afloat once a ransomware attack occurs.

Depending on your organization's view, a ransomware backup and recovery strategy may not seem necessary right now. But 2016 was a big year for ransomware, and if the May 2017 WannaCry attack is any indication, the trend is not slowing down.

Those that find themselves under attack by ransomware are faced with the choice of paying a ransom to their attackers to unlock their data or trying to recover their data themselves. Considering that payments are costly and attackers are under no real obligation to unlock the data when paid, the second option is often the only true one. But a full recovery is not a simple goal, and it requires a solid backup and recovery strategy.

The answers to the following ransomware backup questions should help paint a clearer picture of the threat ransomware poses, as well as provide a better idea of what type of preparation and response may be required in the face of an attack.

How bad is the ransomware problem?

Don't underestimate the threat ransomware poses to your organization. Analysts agree that there isn't a quick fix out there, so a focus on ransomware backup and recovery is vital.

Data storage providers are developing products and features to combat the ransomware threat, but analysts say the best way for an organization to protect itself is to plan for an attack and hope it doesn't occur.

Who is at risk for a ransomware attack?

If you don't think your organization is a ransomware target, you might want to reconsider. According to a recent report by SentinelOne, IT shops of all sizes across the globe have been victims of ransomware attacks.

Active on social media? Watch out: 81% of attacks documented in the report were caused by email and social media phishing. While many of the surveyed companies were able to recover their data through backups, some also felt their reputations were negatively affected by the attacks.

How do I get started with ransomware protection?

Sufficiently worried about ransomware? Excellent, now you can get to work on a ransomware backup plan.

The best way to combat ransomware is to be ready for it with a strong backup and recovery plan. Backing up primary data on a server outside of your address space is one way to keep backups safe from ransomware. This may be complicated by a pooled storage approach, but using a separate cloud storage pool for backups could combat the problem.

What is the best backup strategy to protect against ransomware?

Ransomware backup is key to anticipating an attack, so you should ensure backups are secure and up to date. Backing up data regularly and checking the status of backups can ensure they are updated and complete.

Storing copies of data offline provides an extra layer of protection if primary storage is compromised, and it reduces the risk of corruption. And, whatever you do, do not use your backup credentials in other operations.

Can you bounce back from a ransomware attack?

Having a strong backup plan can help soften the blow of a ransomware attack, but once your data is compromised, a full recovery may not seem possible. Luckily, there are several documented cases of organizations recovering after a ransomware attack. Vendors in the recovery space are stepping up to the ransomware challenge, providing quick and thorough recoveries to organizations that need access to their data ASAP.

Next Steps

What vendors can do to fight ransomware

Planning for a ransomware recovery

Ransomware isn't the only cybersecurity threat

This was last published in June 2017

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How has your organization changed its backup strategy to deal with ransomware?
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Not relying exclusively on backup is a good place to start since ransomware has shown to infect that too based on Veeam user forums.

https://forums.veeam.com/veeam-backup-replication-f2/yes-ransomware-can-delete-your-veeam-backups-t41500.html

Best bet is a combination of continuous data replication with the ability to use Journal File Level Recovery to roll back to the seconds just before ransomware encryption takes place, which takes a mere minutes to do that as part of a proper DR plan and supporting technology infrastructure.
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