The scope and scale of cybercrime has changed dramatically since the internet took over our lives. Once it was the domain of highly specialized hackers with unique skillsets targeting a small subset of businesses. Nowadays, software is everywhere, and so is cybercrime. The advent of ransomware-as-a-service has paralleled software-as-a-service. In other words, the criminals are as sophisticated as the security experts, and cybercrime is big business and growing.
For many enterprises, cybersecurity is the answer: just keep the bad guys out. But even the mightiest of castles in the Middle Ages always had a keep. These sturdier fortifications were an even more difficult area to invade, creating time and space for defenders to fall back and regroup within. Many organizations have embraced this idea by focusing on cyber resilience, integrating backups and data restoration methods into their business strategies.
Even these measures, however, fail to consider the full damage a successful ransomware attack can inflict. Just like in the Middle Ages, defenders who fall back to their keep, rally, and successfully push out too late may find their castle and lands looted and pillaged, and that surviving the siege might simply mean they starve to death instead. So, enterprises must consider not just how they secure their networks or how they ensure data resilience but also how effective their recovery methods are.
Many Secure Data Storage Methods Are Dangerously Slow
Many enterprises that have embraced the importance of securely storing immutable copies of their data have done so using backup-based methods. Essentially, this involves simply copying their data to secure backups, oftentimes using older technologies that are harder to hack or even completely un-hackable analog technologies, such as tape.
But there are serious drawbacks to these methods. First and foremost, speed. Backup files are usually stored in a different format, and doing that conversion plus the data transfer, especially for large volumes of data, is time-consuming. Moving 300 terabytes of data, not an enormous amount but as much as a mid-sized company might need to move, could take as long as 18 days.
Also, consider that if you need to use those backups in an emergency, it will take at least as long to transfer the data back, which will greatly slow your recovery time. This issue is compounded by the fact that if a ransomware attack happens you likely need to shut down your entire network to conduct a forensic audit to find out which systems have been affected. Only after that process is complete can you start your data restoration process.
Incomplete Transfers Save Time But Add Risk
Many enterprises try to work around this issue by being selective about which data they back up. Rather than transferring every bit of data generated in the course of doing business, they may simply back up essential software or essential operating data, accelerating their time to backup and, consequently, to restarting operations if the need arises.
However, this increases the risk of losing valuable data and potentially slowing actual recovery time. The purpose of data recovery is to facilitate business recovery. If your data recovery solution is effective in itself but doesn’t help your business get back on track because it doesn’t provide all the data you need to pick up where you left off, then it hasn’t actually helped your business.
Not backing up all data could also compromise operations of specific business units, at least for a time, while they rebuild. Depending on how many are compromised and for how long, the business may simply struggle for a time. In the worst case, the recovery delay could be sufficient to put some enterprises out of business.
Recovery-Point and Recovery-Time Objectives Are Crucial Considerations
How long it will take you to recover your data, and how much you can plan on getting back, are the two most important considerations of your cyber recovery strategy. Maximizing both is crucial to maximizing how effectively your business can resume operations after a ransomware attack. This is because the ramifications of a ransomware attack go far beyond the actual cost of an attack.
First and foremost, ransomware produces substantial downtime costs. These costs represent both the time the network is down, whether because it’s been compromised or a forensic audit is ongoing, and the time it takes for the business to resume normal operations.
Depending on the scope and scale of your slowdown and data loss, your enterprise can suffer a significant reputational hit as well. For example, losing the personal information of employees or clients can cause both groups to lose confidence in your business, and potentially open your enterprise up to liability claims. The loss of data can also disrupt your ability to perform normal business functions, such as paying suppliers and employees, which can compromise business relationships or lead to employees jumping ship.
Insufficient Recovery Plan Has Its Own Costs
Given the impact it can have on an operation, it’s crucial for all businesses to be prepared in advance for a ransomware attack. It’s part and parcel of doing business in the 21st century. So, businesses need to be ready not just to be attacked and have their network compromised, they also need to be ready to recover quicky and effectively.
Enterprises may be tempted in these situations to simply pay a ransom and resolve the issue quietly. But regulators are taking closer notice of cyber breaches and are increasingly requiring enterprises to disclose breaches. In some jurisdictions, legislators have made it illegal to pay ransoms, lest bad actors be rewarded for a successful cyberattack.
Finally, most cyber insurance coverage, which is another crucial element needed to ensure business continuity in the unfortunate instance of a network breach, requires enterprises to demonstrate a fulsome cybersecurity and recovery plan.
Zerto Cyber Resilience Vault Delivers Industry-Leading Recovery
The Zerto Cyber Resilience Vault brings industry-leading recovery times and recovery point objectives to enterprise cybersecurity strategies. It ensures your enterprise can recover quickly and maximizes the amount of data that is recovered to ensure a swift and fulsome return to normal operations. The fully turnkey solution is scalable as well, supporting small enterprises with as few as 50 virtual machines, all the way up to 1,000.
Zerto provides immutable file systems and protects them within an isolated recovery environment. This environment does more than merely store data for your technicians to recover once they’ve rebuilt your network. It is a fully self-contained base of operations from which you can spin up software from your servers, remediate malware, and quickly bring your environment back up to speed.
Most importantly, while many backup systems can only back up data once per day or even less, Zerto captures changes to data in near real-time, minimizing latency in the data storage process. Throughout the process, it uses an advanced algorithm to track data encryption rates, flagging large-scale changes as possible ransomware attacks. This ensures your organization can respond as quickly as possible if an attack happens.
Stoneworks Technologies Partners With Best-in-Breed Industry Leaders
At Stoneworks Technologies, we work with partners like Zerto to ensure your cyber recovery system is as comprehensive and effective as possible, minimizing your risk of suffering a serious impact to your business when a cyberattack happens.
Our team has decades of experience delivering advanced IT solutions that enable commercial enterprises and government organizations to optimize operations. And our IT experts have the certifications and security clearances required to work in sensitive classified environments.
Our deep experience over 20 years ensures your cyber recovery solution meets all your requirements and leverages the best cyber protection technologies. We operate as an extension of both your team and our partners to ensure your cybersecurity objectives are met.
Find out more about Zerto’s Cyber Resilience Vault here. And reach out to us today to talk to one of our team members and learn how we can help you set up an immutable, isolated, and intelligent cyber recovery solution.