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5 minute readRun for Your Lives! Ransomware Attacks are Rising

How Do You Fight An Attack You Can’t See?

Ransomware attacks are becoming more prevalent. While you don’t want to assume you’ll be hit, you do need to know what precautions to take to protect your data center. There are proven ideas to mitigate your risks.

Rethink Your Data Protection

Ransomware attacks are increasing in prevalence for many organizations around the world. Companies are having to rethink their data protection infrastructures and backup systems so that they don’t end up in news headlines as the next ransomware victim.

The reality is that organizations must evolve their backup systems and infrastructure to mitigate the risks posed by malware such as ransomware attacks. Not all ransomware attacks can be prevented, but organizations can take steps to greatly simplify the recovery process after an attack.

Organizations must evolve their backup systems and infrastructure

One of the best ways that organizations can simplify their recovery process after a ransomware attack is by using a modern infrastructure that includes an air gap to tape backup system. An air gap to tape backup system is considered the most secure and economical solution for ensuring a successful recovery from a ransomware attack.

In this article we’re going to discuss what ransomware attacks are, including some recent examples, and how an air gap to tape backup system provides the simplest and most effective recovery from a ransomware attack.

 

What are Ransomware Attacks?

Ransomware is a type of malware that denies organizations access to their own data and systems. In a ransomware attack, the victim’s files are encrypted by the ransomware. Once encrypted, a ransom payment is demanded in order for the victim to receive a decryption key to regain access to their own files.

For organizations that are not properly protected against ransomware attacks, paying the ransom may be the easiest and least expensive way to regain access to their files. We have seen ransomware evolve over time. For example, there are now some variants of ransomware that include a data theft component, which increases the incentive for ransomware victims to pay the ransom.

Let’s take a closer look at three of the most notable ransomware attacks in recent years.

 

WannaCry Ransomware Attack

The WannaCry ransomware attack was a malware epidemic that spread around the world in May 2017. The attack affected more than 300,000 machines across 150 countries. During the attack, 80 hospitals in the United Kingdom were forced to divert patients to other hospitals because the ransomware prevented clinicians from accessing medical records.

 

Colonial Pipeline Ransomware Attack

Colonial Pipeline is an American oil pipeline system that carries fuel to the southeastern U.S. In May 2021, Colonial Pipeline experienced a ransomware attack that impacted the computer-operated equipment of the pipeline. As a result of the attack, Colonial Pipeline ceased all of the pipeline’s operations and fuel shortages began to occur at gas stations amid panic buying. In fact, 71% of gas stations ran out of fuel in Charlotte and 87% ran out of fuel in Washington, D.C. Average fuel prices reached their highest levels since 2014, increasing as much as $0.25/gallon within a week after the shutdown, reaching over $3.00/gallon, an increase of 9% in one week.

 

Kaseya Ransomware Attack

In July 2021, REvil ransomware attacked the network software provider Kaseya. The attack shut down more than one million systems and a $70 million ransom was demanded. More than 800 grocery stores in Sweden were shut down for over a week because of the attack. Some of these grocers were located in small communities that had no alternative food stores.

 

Using an Air Gap and Tape Backup for Ransomware Attacks

A ransomware attack can compromise many months of backup data. These attacks ensure that the victim cannot restore their systems from recent backups. In fact, it can take months before a victim even realizes that they were compromised.

It is, therefore, advisable to regularly generate a series of backup copies and completely isolate them so they remain uncompromised and available for use in case of an attack. In order to isolate backup copies, a physical air gap is used in the storage media. Air gaps are removable storage resources such as tape backups that are physically disconnected from the network.

Because an air gap is a physically disconnected copy of data, it prevents ransomware from accessing all of your backup copies. This physical air gap is created by copying data to removable media then storing that media offline.

Tape media is often the best solution for most data centers

Tape media is often the best solution for most data centers. Tape media is kept in library racks so they are offline, protected by the air gap, and not electronically accessible by ransomware. This isolation process of backup copies allows for the simplest, most efficient recovery possible.

Tape media, although seeming dated, can be the best storage method even for large-capacity data centers. The Spectra TFinity ExaScale tape library has one million terabyte (practically an exabyte) of data.The advent of LTO-9 tape, with its faster transfer speeds, makes this kind of backup easier.

Reliant Technology: Your Trusted Support Experts for Malware and Viruses

At Reliant Technology, we are experts in maintaining and supporting air gap to tape backup systems. As a third-party maintenance provider, we support a wide variety of critical data center infrastructures.With over 15 years of experience, we can provide support and maintenance for at least 50% less than the fees charged by OEMs. We provide support for many of the systems used to mitigate malware and virus attacks 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with our 4-hour SLA.

Contact Reliant Technology today for all your ransomware mitigation and recovery needs and sign up for our newsletter to learn EOL/EOSL dates.

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Reid Smith-Vaniz

by Reid Smith-Vaniz

Reid is the founder and CEO of Reliant Technology and for 14 years has pursued his mission to remove the pain associated with maintaining IT infrastructure. Reid writes on common challenges related to maintaining, servicing, tracking, budgeting, and upgrading technology.

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About Reliant Technology


As Data Center and storage experts, Reliant Technology is available to provide consultations and solutions to your server backup needs. Our experienced engineers and IT specialists are ready to help you determine the best option for your Data Center. If you have a topic you would like to see discussed, or if you would like to submit an article for possible publication, please, get in touch with us.

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