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Acronis Backup software adds ransomware protection, improved dedupe

Acronis enhanced its business-level backup product with active protection against ransomware that recognizes 'whitelist' and 'blacklist' ransomware sources.

Acronis has integrated data integrity and automated ransomware mitigation tools into its business-level Acronis Backup software.

The vendor this week added three security tools to Acronis Backup 12.5: Acronis Active Protection, Acronis Notary with blockchain-based authentication and Acronis ASign document certification. These three capabilities were included in the Acronis True Image consumer-based backup product released in January.

Acronis Active Protection monitors files and allows customers to roll back to recover from a point in time before a malicious ransomware attack. Active Protection is available in standard and advanced editions of Acronis Backup software.

"With the Active Protection, we use heuristics to watch the behavior of files in your system," said Frank Jablonski, vice president of global product marketing at Acronis, based in Burlington, Mass. "We have a whitelist and a blacklist. We look for known ransomware [signatures], and if we see something [from the blacklist] that is endangering your files, we stop it and ask if you want that to happen."

Blockchain and dedupe aid Acronis data protection

Acronis Notary incorporates blockchain technology to ensure recovered data has not been tampered with. The ASign feature reduces miscommunication among users by ensuring files are authentic with signatures, again via blockchain. Notary and ASign are only available in the advanced version of Acronis Backup software.

"The Notary feature takes a hash of the entire backup and stores it in a blockchain, so I can come back anytime later and validate the integrity of the file," Jablonski said. "You guarantee the backup has not been changed once it has been notarized."

You guarantee the backup has not been changed once it has been notarized.
Frank Jablonskivice president of global product marketing, Acronis

Blockchain technology stores time-stamped data records in a database. Each block includes a hash, and the hashes are locked into a chain. The blocks are stored in different locations, so no official copy exists and data cannot be tampered with or revised.

The advanced version of Acronis Backup software also includes variable block-size deduplication to reduce the stress on networks during data transfers. The enhanced deduplication was added to facilitate moving data into a public cloud.

The software has an off-host operation that reduces loads on the production server by doing select tasks, such as backup staging, replication, validation and retention, on a separate system. It also supports storage area network storage snapshots by offloading VMware virtual machine backup snapshots to NetApp SAN storage. Jablonski said Acronis will add support for more vendor arrays.

In addition, Acronis Backup software has Oracle Database Backup protection that enables disk imaging backup and bare-metal recovery of an Oracle Database server.

Phil Goodwin, research director for IDC's storage systems and software research practice, said Acronis has broadened its backup capabilities to cover on premises, as well as private and public clouds.

"The management of data in different use cases is the biggest development," Goodwin said. "They are providing ease of use and a user interface to do simple deployments in three different environments. That's important for managed service providers in particular, because they have a portal exposing multi-tenancy environments to various customers."

Next Steps

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