What WannaCry Teaches Us About Backup and Disaster Recovery

By Alex McLoughlin | May 25, 2017 12:27:15 PM


It’s been a pretty rough few weeks for organisations hit by the WannaCry ransomware attack.

Ransomware holds data hostage by encrypting it so that a user can’t gain access until paying a small fee to unlock it. For more than a decade, this kind of malware has grown in popularity as a tool of criminals online because the business model is simple and it works.

One article explaining the premise behind the attacks said:

The premise is simple: look for vulnerabilities in the computer networks that run critical systems people's lives depend on. These organizations aren't typically the kind who have invested in cybersecurity and thus haven't protect their networks adequately. By targeting a large number of these poorly secured systems around the world, the money adds up quickly.

If that bolded sentences makes you sit uneasy, then you should be worried. Ransomware targets organisations large and small. Some organisations have protection in place, or the money to pay the ransomware. But for many, an attack like this could be a disaster.

Most organisations are focus on deploying security products to prevent malware arriving or activating inside corporate email systems. However, that’s only half the battle, because new variants of malware are being seen daily, therefore it’s inevitable that Ransomware will strike. IT teams must a two-pronged approach, firstly deploy preventative technology that will to stop infection in the first place and secondly they must design for failure i.e. have the right data recovery methodology to get business operational in minutes.

We’ve talked before about the importance of disaster recovery and that the reality is a disaster can put you out of business. So, what can organisations without deep pockets do to protect their data?

Backup and Disaster Recovery is needed

Even if you have the most elaborate and secure systems in place, you will be breached – it’s only a matter of time. A backup and disaster recovery solution should form part of your bespoke plan. Not every business is the same, so you’ll need to decide in the event of a ransomware attack, what you can’t live without.

Regular Backups

SearchDataBackup published an article on why WannaCry ransomware attack shows value of data backups. The article said that “Data protection technology and backup best practices are critical for mitigating the damage that ransomware attacks can inflict on organizations.

“The chances of getting hit by ransomware are high. And it's only going to get worse," said George Crump, president of IT analyst firm Storage Switzerland LLC. "Clearly, backup is one line of defense [against ransomware] ... before, you did backups to protect against a RAID failure.””

So much work gets done in a typical day. Regular backups are needed so that your business-critical files and data can be protected and rapidly restored in the event of an attack. Yet in many cases, organisations view backup as a necessary evil – an insurance policy to protect you from potential threats to your data and the service your business provides to its customers. And yes, it is an expense, but that expense should be managed by working with specialists that can help you design a solution right for your business.

The FBI recommends backing up regularly as one of the best ways to beat ransomware and to verify the integrity of those backups and test the restoration process to ensure it is working.

Automated Disaster Recovery

In the event of a disaster, you cannot wait weeks or even months to be back to work. What you need is an automated solution that can recover your business. Union Solutions can help enable your organisation as ‘Disaster-Ready’ so you’re back in business in less than 60 minutes and at a price point that makes small business sense.

Union’s managed service, Dynamic DR, is an entirely automated service which will recover your business’ IT services inside 60 minutes should a disaster strike. We manage the instant fail-over of your IT services to the Microsoft Azure cloud. The service costs a fraction of trying to build the same level of capability yourself and it provides an auditable safety-net so you can compete even with the big boys.

Don’t fall victim to ransomware. Let WannaCry be a lesson to you for how best backup your data and implement a disaster recovery strategy.

Union Managed Services Helps Overcome Ransomware Attacks

When you fall victim to a ransomware attack, don’t fall victim to the pay-out. Get your business up and running with an enterprise-class managed service at a price that any organisations can afford.

Union Solutions is a trusted advisor delivering managed infrastructure on your premises, in our UK datacenters or in the Microsoft cloud. Focused on the fundamentals, Union Solutions delivers the infrastructure, data protection and recovery with a human touch. At the end of a phone and available 24/7, our team is focused on business outcomes. We worry about IT, you run your business and grow. Learn about Union Managed Services.

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Topics: Disaster Recovery, backup as a service, Backup, disaster recovery as a service

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