Ransomware and Data Centers: Avoiding a Worst Case Scenario
Ransomware attacks make the news again and again, typically striking fear into anyone with important data on a computer or server. According to Trend Micro, ransomware is a family of malware that either prevents or limits access to computer information by encrypting data or locking the screen until someone pays a financial ransom. It’s an interesting paradigm shift in how malware operates because it prevents data access instead of stealing information. A ransomware infection can cause your business to lose time, work, and money. The best thing your data center can do to avoid losses from a ransomware attack is to take proactive measure to prevent attacks and devise a reactive plan.
Why Attack Data Centers?
According to Guardicore, data centers are an attractive target for hackers using ransomware because the servers house important data that would be expensive to replace. Data centers typically have more money than private computer users and need to get downed servers running again ASAP. Data center outages can cost upwards of $7,900 a minute so paying off a $15,000 ransom might make sense.
Reactive: Devise a Better Backup Strategy
The obvious solution: decrypting the encrypted data without paying for the key, does not work. Ransomware utilizes encryption keys that could take years to crack, so your business’s best bet to get back up is to restore the infected server to the most recent backup.
Establishing and utilizing a fast way to access backups is among the most efficient and cost-effective ways to recover from a ransomware attack. In an ideal situation, backing up your server data every four hours will minimize the amount of information your data center could lose. If you have an infected server, clear the infected storage device and restore to the backup point. Your IT staff also needs to make sure ransomware can’t infect backups. Additionally, network traffic monitoring software can help identify malware moving between systems, which can help intervene with an infection before it encrypts data.
Proactive: Protect the End Devices
Restoring from backups isn’t always the best option because it can result in substantial downtime. Ransomware typically finds its way to the server through an end-user device running an old operating system with known vulnerabilities. Therefore, your company can proactively make it very difficult for ransomware to infect a device by keeping programs up-to-date including operating systems and security software. Ransomware can strike through other programs as well. According to Networkworld, Ransomware is most likely to attack applications made by Adobe, Microsoft, and Oracle. Additionally, turning on Windows User Access Control can help prevent Ransomware from infecting files because it forces a request for all administrative actions, which are often necessary for infection.
Smart security culture can help your company prevent a data center ransomware infection, but behavior alone won’t stop all attacks. Taking proactive preventative measures and establishing a reactive recovery plan are essential for fending off ransomware.
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