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Protection against ransomware in 2023

In recent years, the spread of ransomware has increased exponentially and it is now considered one of the biggest cyber threats to businesses and institutions worldwide. Ransomware is a type of malware that aims to block access to computers or data and then extort a ransom payment from victims. The damage caused by ransomware attacks can be devastating, as it not only means financial losses for affected companies and organizations, but also the loss of data and information, as well as reputational damage.

The increasing prevalence of ransomware has led governments and international organizations to advocate for a comprehensive coordinated government and industry response. NATO, the U.S. government and military, and the G7 have all acknowledged the severity of the ransomware threat and taken action to mitigate the damage. These measures include promoting cybersecurity awareness, government and corporate cooperation, and strengthening law enforcement against criminals behind ransomware attacks. Hopefully, these efforts will help reduce the ransomware threat and create a more secure digital future.

Companies can never guarantee 100% security from cyberattacks. That said, there are many steps organizations can take to minimize the risk of cyberattacks and protect their data in the event of an attack. These include:

  1. Regular employee training: Companies should provide regular training to educate their employees about the risks of cyberattacks and teach them how to safely handle sensitive information.

  2. Use of antivirus and antimalware software: companies should ensure that their systems are equipped with updated antivirus and antimalware software to prevent or minimize attacks.

  3. Installing firewalls: Firewalls can help monitor traffic and block unauthorized access to networks or systems.

  4. Performing regular backups: organizations should perform regular backups of their data and ensure that these backups are stored in a secure location so that they can be quickly restored in the event of an attack.

  5. Implement access control: Enterprises should limit access rights to their data and systems and ensure that only authorized employees can access sensitive information.

  6. Conduct penetration tests: Companies should conduct regular penetration tests to identify and fix vulnerabilities in their systems before they can be exploited by attackers.

  7. Indem Unternehmen diese und weitere Maßnahmen ergreifen, können sie ihr Risiko eines Cyberangriffs verringern und sicherstellen, dass sie im Falle eines Angriffs über angemessene Sicherheitsvorkehrungen verfügen, um ihre Daten effektiv zu schützen.

Backups as a lifeline

Modern enterprise IT infrastructures often consist of a mix of on-premises and cloud-based workloads supported by different applications and platforms. It is important that enterprises protect their critical data across these different storage locations and ensure that it can be recovered quickly in the event of data loss or corruption. To achieve this, enterprises need to deploy scalable and flexible defense platforms and backup solutions.

A defense platform should be able to ensure protection of workloads regardless of their location, whether on-premises or in the cloud. The platform should have scalability to accommodate the growing number of workloads and the increasing amount of data. It is also important that the defense platform meets the requirements of the specific workloads and has the necessary features and protections to protect them effectively.

A backup solution should also be able to back up and restore data regardless of location. It is important that the backup solution supports various methods to ensure comprehensive data protection, such as backup, replication, continuous data protection (CDP) and storage array integrations. The backup solution should also be able to restore data quickly and efficiently to ensure that business processes can resume quickly.

By using scalable defense platforms and backup solutions, organizations can effectively protect their data across multiple storage locations and ensure that it can be quickly recovered in the event of data loss.

Flexible infrastructure allows organizations to run their backup solution on their preferred hardware or cloud without being locked into a proprietary infrastructure. This offers the advantage that companies can customize their backup solution to their individual requirements and use their preferred hardware or cloud platform.

By protecting their backups, organizations can ensure that their important data can be quickly restored in the event of a ransomware attack. When a ransomware infection occurs, businesses can fall back on their backup data to recover their mission-critical data. Thus, a backup solution on a flexible infrastructure can be an important component in defending against ransomware attacks.

However, it is important to note that the backup solution itself must also be protected to ensure successful recovery of data. It is therefore advisable to implement a multi-layered security strategy that protects not only the backup solution itself, but also all other components of the IT infrastructure.

Resilient recovery

To develop an effective security program, organizations must understand exactly what resources need to be protected and how valuable they are to the organization. This can be achieved through a comprehensive risk analysis that identifies and evaluates potential threats.

Based on this, companies can then decide what security measures need to be implemented to protect their resources. Such a strategy should aim to protect the company's most important resources, as it is usually not possible or effective to protect everything at once.

In addition, it is important that the security framework defines measurable outcomes so that IT teams are able to defend against attacks and recover data quickly if an attack is successful. This also includes regularly reviewing and updating the security plan to ensure it meets current threats and requirements.

Reliable immutability

Resilient backups are critical to an organization's resilience to ransomware attacks. It is important that backups are configured to protect against potential attacks and remain available even if other systems are compromised.

To achieve resilient backups, the following actions should be taken:

  1. Separation of backups: Backups should be stored on a separate network segment or in the cloud, isolated from other systems. This prevents an attacker from accessing the backups, even if they have obtained administrative credentials.

  2. Encryption of backups: backups should be encrypted to ensure that they cannot be decrypted by an attacker in the event of an attack. A backup with good encryption provides additional protection against ransomware attacks.

  3. Verify backup integrity: Backups should be checked regularly to ensure they are intact and accessible. If a backup is corrupt or inaccessible, data can be lost.

  4. Use of offsite backups: backups should be stored in an offsite location to ensure they remain available in the event of a disaster or physical attack. An offsite backup is one that is stored in a different location than the original data source.

  5. Update backups regularly: Backups should be updated regularly to ensure they contain the latest data. Updating backups regularly minimizes data loss in the event of an attack.

  6. Zusammenfassend sollten resiliente Backups als Teil einer umfassenden Ransomware-Abwehrstrategie betrachtet werden. Durch die Umsetzung dieser Maßnahmen können Organisationen sicherstellen, dass sie im Falle eines Ransomware-Angriffs in der Lage sind, schnell wiederherzustellen und den Schaden zu minimieren.

A resilient backup store should keep at least one copy of the backup data on any combination of the following media:

  1. External hard drives: External hard drives are a common method of storing backup data. They are affordable, easy to use, and offer high capacity.

  2. Tape drives: Tape drives are a cost-effective method of storing large amounts of data. They are durable and can store data for long periods of time.

  3. Cloud storage: cloud storage provides a scalable and secure method of storing backup data. It also allows easy access to data from anywhere in the world.

  4. Network storage: network storage is another method of storing backup data. It allows centralized management of data and provides high availability.

By keeping at least one copy of your backup data on any combination of these media, you increase the likelihood that your data can be recovered in the event of an attack. It's also important to ensure that your backup data is updated regularly and that you keep backups in a secure location that's protected from physical threats such as fire, flood, or theft.

Test and verify backups

A robust and comprehensive cybersecurity strategy is essential to ensure data integrity, confidentiality and availability. One of the most important components of such a strategy is the regular protection of data through backups.

Reliable backups should be taken regularly to ensure that in the event of a system failure, attack or other incident, data can be restored quickly and reliably. It is also important to ensure that backup data is reviewed and tested to ensure that it is complete and accurate, and that it can be restored in the event of an incident.

An important aspect of creating backups is verifying data integrity. IT teams must ensure that backup data is complete and accurate and that it can be restored in the event of an incident. To ensure data integrity, backups should automatically check for data errors and inconsistencies.

Another important consideration when creating backups is the availability of data. IT teams should ensure that backups are available at all times and can be restored quickly if an incident occurs. To ensure backups are available, they should be tested regularly for availability.

Overall, creating reliable and trusted backups is an important first step in ensuring data integrity, confidentiality and availability. IT teams should ensure that their backup strategy is robust and that backups are regularly created, reviewed and tested to ensure they can be quickly restored in the event of an incident.

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