Ransomware is a term that should concern organizations, especially when a reported 28% of UK firms have suffered from this type of attack in 2019. But surprisingly many do not have a data recovery strategy in place if this were to happen, leaving many businesses vulnerable to either paying a ransom or lose valuable data. 47% of surveyed global organisations either have no emergency plan in place or are not aware if one exists, according to research from Ontrack. The research also highlighted that 39% of those experiencing ransomware couldn’t then access a working backup of their data.
With no data recovery strategy in place, dealing with the consequences of ransomware or any malware attack can leave sensitive data exposed and a costly, lengthy recovery. In Florida last year, two city councils suffered the consequences of a ransomware attack of its municipal computer systems, leading to them paying hackers $460,000 to regain control of its email and other servers. Being prepared with the right data recovery strategy in place is extremely important as well as preventative measures to stop this happening to your organization.
Having a data recovery strategy in place needs careful planning because in the instance you need to rely on it, it needs to work. In October 2019, a telemarketing firm in the US found that after a ransomware attack, the data recovery strategy in place did not go to plan. What was originally thought to take a week took months, affecting revenue and leading to job losses. This is just one example of when careful planning and preparation is essential to recover quickly in a worst-case scenario. A high profile example happened to Travelex in January, as a ransomware attack demanded $6 million after sensitive customer data was breached, leading to the company to take down their global websites.
An effective data recovery strategy needs to consider the highest levels of encryption. At RealTyme, we use AES-256 military-grade end-to-end (E2E) encryption, at rest and in transit, to ensure that only those authorized can access data, meaning companies using our products are sufficiently protected. The way in which most ransomware works is once the malware has been integrated, it will slowly encrypt files without detection, meaning that cybercriminals will eventually have most of a company’s files and be the only ones with the encryption key, thus then being able to hold the company to ransom to unlock the files.
Implementing a program to whitelist applications is one effective way to combat this as part of a data recovery strategy. This way if any new software is added to a company’s networked devices, it will require permissions from the network administrator to run. A whitelist will have all prior approved trusted software so that anything not on this list can be flagged before it can harm. A company-wide solution that can be rolled out to back up all company data that includes all devices and systems connected should be an integral part. The advancements in cloud data privacy ensure all data is kept secure and separated from these devices, providing added protection if they become targeted. This way a critical backup can be accessed from the cloud server if needed from anywhere and stays isolated from any malicious code if spreading through your network.
At RealTyme, we have many years of expertise ensuring that companies data is kept away from unauthorized users and encrypted to best-in-class levels. We keep ahead of the latest developments in cyber-security and ensure that our products and solutions for workforce collaboration and communication remain invulnerable to would-be attackers. The threat of ransomware is very real to organizations who fail to take the necessary steps to protect themselves. By using trusted cloud service providers and a secure workplace platform that ensures files and communications via voice and video calls and messaging are kept private, both business and customer data protection and privacy is secure.