How the Cloud Defeats Ransomware Attacks


Using cloud technologies, businesses can improve their resiliency and recovery from ransomware attacks. Andres Rodriguez, founder and CTO, Nasuni, shares how the cloud will minimize disruptions to business continuity.

The question is no longer if your company will have to deal with ransomware or recover from other forms of disaster but how you will recover. Cybercriminals prey on human nature and curiosity, luring people into a fateful click that will download a malicious payload. Phishing and ransomware are two of the more devastating forces in recent technological history, making investing in both prevention and effective recovery methods a business necessity. Enterprises must ask what tools will make the recovery process as fast and easy as possible and, ultimately, how to protect their business. 

The 3-2-1 Rule Is a Fallacy

In a global enterprise with thousands of employees, all it takes is a single click to set a ransomware attack in motion. Once malware gains access to the network, it can spread undetected, encrypting systems and files. By the time the issue is detected and reported, it’s usually too late. 

Once detected, two processes must begin: recovery of data and tracing the origin of the attack. Ignoring step two means the organization will likely repeat step one soon and often. One organization in the U.K. learned this lesson the hard way when they were infected again, in the same manner, less than two weeks after the initial attack. 

Recovery typically begins with the organization’s backups, but current methods of file backup are ineffective. Despite modern data transfer speeds, rehydrating file servers and copying terabytes of backup data can take weeks. The more files and servers there are, the longer it takes. This delay is unavoidable. It simply takes a long time to copy a gigantic number of files back to a restored server. 

Another requirement: the backup files must be malware-free. Hidden malware can and does get backed up, which renders the restored files useless and increases the amount of data lost, as IT has to dig deeper into its history to find a clean version of the files they need. 

See More: Backup Data: Why Companies Should Invest in It

The Best Backup Is No Backup

The cloud has revolutionized IT. Cloud-based object storage has proven to be the most scalable, high-performance, cost-effective solution for storing unstructured data and files. Files are stored as immutable objects that cannot be encrypted by ransomware. Using storage snapshot technology, one can build a file system for the cloud that looks and feels just like a traditional file share but has a history that’s impervious to malicious encryption. 

The big three cloud providers maintain levels of availability and data durability that most enterprises can’t come close to matching in their own environments. The cloud has emerged as the safest, most secure choice for storing critical data.

A global file system leverages the durability, ubiquitous access and economics of the cloud, while enabling IT to manage the entire centralized file share and maintaining local access speeds for users. Enterprise IT can also enable version control through global file locking and snapshot file changes as frequently as every few minutes. Those file deltas, fully encrypted, are stored in the cloud and then propagated out to end-users. 

Furthermore, writing new data to the cloud as write once read many (WORM) objects ensures data cannot be corrupted or overwritten. Having separate metadata versions for each snapshot enables rapid restores of metadata while also granting fast access to any urgently needed files stored in the cloud without requiring a full restore or migration. Essentially, this enables IT to restore access to the entire file share instantly. It also eliminates the need for backups of the file system. 

See More: Supply Chain Attacks: Why Risk Management and Business Continuity Planning are Essential

The Need for Speed

Increasing the resiliency and speed of recovery using a true cloud-native global file system, in conjunction with a cloud object store, is a very cost-effective way to minimize interruptions to business continuity. Depending on their chosen snapshot frequency, enterprises may lose no more than a few minutes of productivity before recovery. And not having to miss a beat after a ransomware attack or outage is what every business in the world is after.

Did you find this article helpful? Tell us what you think on LinkedInOpens a new window , TwitterOpens a new window , or FacebookOpens a new window . We’d be thrilled to hear from you.