Over the last year or so, a new type of virus has quickly become the newest IT Boogeyman. Getting it's name from it's ability to encrypt all your data so that it's unusable and then holding it for ransom, many credible businesses have had to fork over tens of thousands of dollars to recover data that is crucial to their business.
Because Ransomware viruses are so new, and changing daily, you can have antivirus, email spam filters and a hardware firewall and still get hit. Your only protection from Ransomware is to have reliable and diverse data backups.
But before you go buy an external hard drive and put a weekly reminder on your Outlook to copy your stuff over, let's talk about how to keep your backups safe.
Most Ransomware work by encrypting everything with a drive letter. That includes external hard drives that are plugged in and mapped network drives. So if you get hit with a Ransomware and your external hard drive is still plugged in that you store your backups on. Those backups are now useless. Same thing goes for that network share that you use for your backups.
The most reliable backup method to shield you from Ransomware are secure cloud backups. Mostly because most cloud backup solutions are continuous and versioned.
Continuous backups mean that it's backing everything up throughout the day so that if you get hit at 3:30PM on a Thursday, you don't have to go back to Wednesday nights backup and lose a day's worth of work.
Versioned backups mean that there are multiple versions of the same file stored in the cloud. So if you get hit and it's several hours before your realize you've been hit and all those unusable files are backed up to the cloud. You can easily restore your files from the most recent useable version.
If you aren't confident about your backups please contact us. All of our contract clients have secure cloud backups and we have other noncontract clients who have just asked us to set something up for them. All businesses are at risk, and we're here to help all businesses.
Tim Dixon is the owner of Solve IT Security.