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Multi-level ransomware security

Multi-level ransomware security
DEAC | 05.07.2017 | Rating

The number of cyber-attacks raised by 50% during last year [1], increasing risk potential for business. Moreover, 1 of 4 internet users in EU in 2015 faced external threats [2], urging companies to quickly and appropriately set the new security challenges in their agenda to protect against ransomware.

Data security DEAC

Level 1: attention and awareness

Major global cyber-attacks in the last two months, also known as Wannacry, Petya, NotPetya, Schrodinger’s Petya and Misha, were nothing new as first strains of ransomware appeared in 2005. Ransomware attacks are using the lack of user’s awareness and trust to original source (usually emails are received from friends or colleagues). Virus creates realistic looking email “phish” aka phishing email, which targeted user is likely to open. Just one user click allows ransomware to access system’s authorization information from the computer memory and it spreads through the local network. Afterwards, it uses internet connection to send emails globally. Every user has to consider cyber threats seriously, stay alerted, and increase attention to incoming email with attachments or links.

Number one thing to do would be to educate employees, how to defend against the viruses and malware. Send emails; arrange meetings or 5-minute briefs; use a coffee time to chat with your team. It won’t cost you a cent.

Level 2: personal computer security

According to statistics, 1 of 131 emails is malicious [1], but in reality many of them don’t even reach users. The second best thing to do is to protect against ransomware with spam filters and antivirus software programs on your PC to trap or block external threats. In order to increase the level of security and stop virus from the further spread, keep your operating systems and software updated (with latest patches). Skipping or postponing appropriate updates on corporate computers is one of the reasons, why ransomware Petya crippled organizations globally across Europe and US and easily spread from one computer to another, affecting banks, airports, government offices, advertising companies and even metro. Just to mention: fully patched computer will not give you a 100% warranty of security, as new ransomwares usually appear in modified versions and can easily breach through the newest updates.

Data security DEAC

Level 3: preventive steps and disaster recovery

How can employees, IT specialists or sales help to prevent an attack? What happens with the cloud or server – do they keep working? Most companies cultivate their best practices to keep their data storage and processing safe. If you run any IT processes, it is worth to create thoughtful disaster recovery plan (DRaaS), that will ensure the continuity of business processes and prevent from unexpected downtime. Disaster recovery plan can vary greatly, but its key value is time, during which companies can recover their IT systems and prepare for work.

Company can create its own DRaaS or consider purchasing solution from the outsourcing company – data center operator, which will help to create a comprehensive plan to protect against ransomware viruses or any other cyber-threats. Certified experts will not only develop a set of multi-level activities, they will additionally monitor all of your systems and provide a quick help to restore usual operations in case of disruptive events.

Level 4: layered solutions for 100% security

Is there any way to recover business from the cyber-attack that already happened? How to avoid downtime and money loss, and quickly restore to normal working environment? Cybersecurity market offers various anti-virus vaccines to decrypt infected computers, but their availability is limited and can’t be used on all operating systems as they differ.

It is more productive to think of your security today. Implementing complex IT recovery solutions can evaluate critical business boundaries, diversify risks, increase awareness of potential threats and eliminate sudden crisis immediately. Depending on your IT infrastructure, there are various preventive activities and solutions available to keep your data safe and to restore your work place in the shortest period after the impact.

Companies that use personal computer in their daily work can protect against ransomware with remote desktop solution (DaaS) – by always-available data from any place, at any time. Using virtual desktop you will not see the difference between your own desktop and virtual one. You will be able to use your data and software as always. The only difference is - it will not be stored on your computer, but in the server at the chosen data center. It is recommended to use virtual desktop along with the data backup solution (BaaS). Backup is a simple and effective way to rapidly recover your data, under any circumstances. Company can define the frequency and amount of duplicates and limit or grant access to any person. Keep in mind, that full security can be reached only in case, if data copies are stored in 2 data centers. Ideal case – 3 data centers with different geographical location and jurisdiction.
Choose backup and disaster recovery plan as additional services to protect your dedicated, virtual servers or even a private cloud. Layered security solutions will allow you to restore data easily even in 15-30 minutes. Make sure your provider offers you an individual plan to cover even complex software, OS and application backup. Particular attention should be paid to the software used for data backup. It has to be flexible in order to fully replicate the data system, as well as restore data in the shortest possible time without affecting company's operations. One of the most widely used backup software type is Veeam, usually offered by data centers with a variety of data processing and storage options.


Stay alert and keep your data safe!


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