Cloud Backup Is Your Best Protection from Ransomware

Ransomware has become the biggest malware threat on the Internet. It gives you a choice between losing critical files and paying the crook who wrecked them. Victims have handed over as much as $17,000 to get their files back, and there’s no guarantee you’ll get them restored even if you pay. The surest defense is an up-to-date cloud backup with a safe copy of all your files.

What is ransomware?

 

Ransomware usually starts with a phishing email message. If you open the attachment, it runs a script that downloads and launches the actual ransomware. It runs quietly in the background, replacing files with encrypted versions. When it’s done, it puts up a message on your screen telling you what’s happened. The files are now all in a form which is useless to you, because you don’t have the key and the crook does. If you want to see your files again, you have to send a payment, usually an anonymous Bitcoin transfer. After that, you might get the information that will decrypt your files.

To force you into a hasty decision, the message may threaten to encrypt more files if you don’t send a prompt payment. That’s not an empty threat.

Your situation as a ransomware victim isn’t as hopeless as the extortionist would like you to think. There are ways to recover files from many kinds of ransomware. But you’re best off if you have a safe copy of all your files. Then you just have to remove the malicious code and restore the files.

Unfortunately, a local backup drive doesn’t help much. The malware will look for any attached drives and corrupt the files on them as well. You need a backup which isn’t part of the computer’s file system and is safe from unauthorized access. Cloud backup is an easy way to accomplish that.

How cloud backup protects you

 

Only the backup software can reach files copied to a cloud service. Malware on your computer can’t touch them. MaxQ backup software encrypts files in transit, so no one can intercept or alter them. It encrypts them on its servers, so they’re always safe.

The more frequent your backups are, the safer your files are. If they’re updated every hour, then you stand to lose only an hour’s work. That’s a lot better than losing everything.

Versioning increases your safety. If your backup keeps running after ransomware has damaged files, it will back up the damaged versions. A versioned backup system keeps older editions of the files as well, so you can restore the last good version.

 

Cloud backup is different from a cloud drive. If your files on a cloud service are mapped to your computer as a virtual disk drive, they’re subject to attacks. (Any good cloud service will back up its own files, though.) Files in a cloud backup system aren’t vulnerable that way.

 

If you’re hit by ransomware

When you get a ransomware notice, the first thing to do is shut down the computer. That will keep it safe from further damage. Have an expert in malware removal work on it to make sure there won’t be a recurrence. Upgrade the security software so that the computer won’t be re-infected.

After you’ve done that, it’s safe to restore your files. Be careful not to restore any infected system software. The process will take a while if a lot of files were damaged.

The encrypted files are harmless in themselves, so it isn’t necessary to aggressively remove all of them. You don’t want to accidentally delete good files created since the last backup. Erring toward leaving some encrypted files around is safer.

Having your files regularly backed up provides double satisfaction. You know that they’re safe from ransomware, accidental corruption or deletion, and physical failure. You also know that crooks aren’t going to collect your money as a reward for wrecking your data.

MaxQ Cloud Backup is just one of the ways we help keep your data safe and manageable. Contact us to learn more.

 


Backup Button In Blue For Archiving And Storage

Why Companies Are Shifting to Cloud Backup

Cloud Computing

As the need for data storage and backup increases exponentially from year to year it creates a significant challenge for businesses. Since data is the most valuable asset for most organizations, it’s not only important to have adequate backup for digital information, but it’s also important that data be accessible whenever needed and it must be kept secure from threats. Also, because company budgets are tight, organizations are seeking to consolidate technology rather than expand it. Given these facts, the strategy of continually buying more storage devices is not feasible.

For most businesses, especially smaller ones with less than 500 employees, the preferred solution is to move data backup to the cloud. By adopting this strategy, companies eliminate the hassles of data backup without relinquishing control, and usually with reduced costs. Read on to learn about the primary reasons that most companies are switching to cloud backup.

Reduced IT expenditures

According to Gartner, a leading research organization in IT research, the number one reason cited by CIOs for shifting to cloud backup was cost. By moving the backup to a cloud vendor, a company saves on a variety of costs, including space, energy, computer hardware, software, and maintenance. Plus, backup operations are automated and streamlined, which provides additional savings on personnel costs.

Enhanced Security

According to research by the Ponemon Institute, the average cost for a data breach is $3.79 million. Many small and medium-sized businesses do not adequately invest in protecting data. Cloud backup vendors offer a variety of security features to protect data such as encryption, password management, digital signatures, adaptive protection and agentless backup technology. A good cloud backup service provides proactive and adaptive protection against security and privacy breaches on a continuous basis.

Ease of Scalability

As data storage needs continue to grow rapidly, scalability has become crucial for many businesses. By using a cloud backup service, companies need not worry about hardware upgrades, increased maintenance costs, or additional space requirements. There are also no concerns about server sprawl, data sprawl, or business interruptions that result from adding new hardware, network infrastructure or software upgrades. Most cloud vendors are willing to scale with a company’s data growth while ensuring that data remains readily accessible.

Data Recovery

 

It is essential to have access to backed up data whenever needed. Cloud backup vendors provide a variety of options for data recovery and have a state-of-the-art infrastructure that ensures backups and restorations are done quickly and efficiently. These procedures can be done through an intuitive, one-step, point-and-click interface. Some vendors also offer bare-metal recovery, which restores drives that have been destroyed by natural disasters or corrupted software.

Regulation Compliance

One of the major concerns companies have about their data relates to regulatory compliance issues. In the event that a company must provide documents or records to demonstrate compliance, data often needs to be accessed quickly. Some on-site solutions like tape backup can delay data access for days, which could be potentially disastrous in a critical situation. Cloud backup services prevent these disasters by providing fast access to data whenever it’s needed and by providing templates that suggest the recommended backup plans for each industry recommended backup type and frequency such as HIPPA, PCI, etc.

Manage Duplication of Files

A major reason for inefficiency in many organizations is overly-duplicated data. For example, a video or PowerPoint presentation, when worked on by over a dozen employees, could end up being backed up many times, which unnecessarily burdens your company’s system. A cloud backup service can offer solutions that compress and eliminate unneeded duplicates, only backing up changed or new data, thereby resulting in greater efficiency and organization.

Given all the advantages listed here, it is apparent why the majority of organizations are making the switch from traditional on-premises technology to cloud backup services.

To learn more about cloud backup technology, or to find out how to leverage a variety of other IT solutions for your business, contact us today.