Protecting Against Ransomware Using Backup & Recovery

In order to protect against ransomware using backup and recovery, you need to prepare for the worst case scenario and have a comprehensive strategy in place.

Ransomware is a form of malware which restricts access to the victim’s data until a ransom payment is made. This type of malware has become increasingly popular, to the point that preparing against it is an industry norm. Ransomware attacks are growing more sophisticated, too, making them one of the biggest cyber security threats at the moment.

Although there is no way to completely safeguard your network from ransomware, a backup and recovery plan can mitigate the impact of a ransomware attack.

How Ransomware Compromises Data

A ransomware attack typically begins with a phishing email that contains either a malicious attachment or a link to malware hosted on an exploit kit. If the files are opened, the ransomware is installed and begins encrypting files for later ransom demand. 

Ransomware attacks are still prevalent today because they are relatively straightforward to implement yet difficult to prevent. Once the files are encrypted, the only way to retrieve them is to pay a ransom or restore from backups.

As backups can be used to retrieve copies of files that have been encrypted by ransomware, it is important to employ an adequate backup and recovery strategy.

Failure to have an adequate backup solution in place places businesses at risk of ransomware attacks; this is especially true for small or home offices that do not invest in IT infrastructure or rely on friends and family members with basic IT knowledge.

What Is Backup and Recovery?

Backup is an IT process that saves copies of data in case they are later lost or damaged. If critical data on a computer is corrupted, stolen, or deleted by ransomware then backup will provide access to pre-infection files that can be restored.

A comprehensive backup and recovery plan should include data stored on all devices that are used within your business. It is common for people working in small businesses to use more than one device; this makes creating a comprehensive backup plan essential.

How Backup and Recovery Protects Against Ransomware

A backup and recovery strategy that frequently backs up important data is essential for protecting against ransomware infections. The more often you backup your data, the easier it will be for you to bounce back from a data-compromising attack. A recovery plan will focus on recovery of copied data rather than recovery of computer programs and applications.

Data recovery typically involves an IT professional creating a fresh installation of operating systems and reloading data that was backed up prior to the ransomware attack. It is possible to recover programs and applications during this process, but it isn’t guaranteed and restoring them may take longer than restoring backed up files.

If you aren’t sure where to start, consider these steps:

  • Review and update current backup practices. Verify the backup system is functioning as intended. Download and install anti-malware software on all devices, and store important data in a separate location from the computer where it is used, like in the cloud.
  • Install the latest security updates. When you stay on top of patches and updates, you close vulnerabilities in your network where malware could strike.
  • Test and plan. Before disaster strikes, test your plan to recover from ransomware. Test your backup and recovery software, and note any problems that may arise. Plan for the worst-case scenario, such as multiple machines being infected by ransomware or an entire facility going offline because of a ransomware attack.
  • Educate your team. Provide security awareness training to transform your employees into a security asset. Train them to identify malware and suspicious emails and rely on secure software practices.

By making sure your business has a comprehensive backup and recovery plan, you will be well positioned to respond to a ransomware attack without losing your valuable data. Learn more about how to protect against ransomware using backup and recovery! Get in touch with RedNight Consulting today. 

RedNight Consulting’s team of expert technicians will help your business develop a personalized plan to mitigate the risks of ransomware. We look forward to hearing from you.