Ransomware is a risk for all businesses. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom payment to regain access. Many companies have paid the ransom, but unfortunately, even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that the hackers will provide the decryption key or that the data will successfully be unencrypted. One of the best ways to protect against ransomware is to have immutable backups in place.
Immutable backups are backup files that cannot be modified or deleted. In technical terms, a type of backup file configured in which the original data is protected by creating an unchangeable, or “immutable,” copy which cannot be overwritten because the file structure provides read only access. This immutable copy can still be used to restore the original data in the event of a data loss or corruption. This means that if a ransomware attack occurs and the hackers manage to encrypt a company’s data, the company will still have a copy of the backup in its original form and the business can restore their files from the immutable backups to avoid paying the ransom.
Immutable backup services are providing access to WORM (Write-Once-Read-Many) Storage. Backup files stored in WORM volumes are called immutable backups. This data security feature prevents editing, overwriting, and deletion while allowing read-only access. The main idea behind this mechanism is that data can be written to an immutable storage device only once, then only read access is provided, and so the files themselves cannot be overwritten or deleted for a specified period. This implies that as long as you have a recent backup copy, snapshot, or replica stored in an immutable volume, your immutable backup is a clean copy that allows you to recover data and restore operations seamlessly.
Advanticom recommends all clients consider adding immutable backups to protect against ransomware, but also to protect against human error. Because the data in immutable backups cannot be tampered with, they are a great line of defense against ransomware and prevent users from accidentally deleting or altering data. Immutable backups ensure that even if your primary backups are compromised, corrupted, or accidentally unavailable there is still a backup of the backups that can be restored.
Advanticom believes all organizations have a responsibility to regularly evaluate and update their backup configurations and their Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery (BCDR) plans. Adding immutable backups should be a part of your BCDR plan. Determining which immutable backup solution to implement is a larger discussion. Standard immutable backup solutions can be implemented and maintained easily and affordably. Many cloud-based providers offer extremely affordable immutable storage, but there are reasons to evaluate on-premises solutions too. Each organization must consider their specific circumstances, and the capabilities of the solutions they already have in place. If you do not have experts on staff Advanticom can help evaluate solutions for your organization.