Immutable backups and Cloud: how to protect data from ransomware

Ransomware is one of the biggest cybersecurity threats a company can face. Its operation is as simple as it is deadly: through encryption it makes it impossible for users to access stored files and content. In order to gain access again, the company is asked to pay a ransom, and throughout the downtime, the organization suffers damage in terms of turnover, operations, and image. This is why it is critical for any organization to equip itself with an effective backup system for corporate data with which to ensure real-time restoration of functionality in the event of a ransomware attack, thus avoiding having to give in to blackmail and losing valuable time on the business front. But there is an additional problem: hacking is constantly evolving, and today cybercriminals are able to encrypt even backups. To try to counter this critical issue and provide better protection from ransomware, a special category of backups has been developed, in which information referred to as "immutable data" is stored.

What is immutable data?

As the name suggests, immutable data is information that cannot be deleted or changed. This type of data cannot be stored in traditional databases: it must be entered into special databases that do not overwrite the new information on the old but maintain a history of all data, creating a new dedicated folder each time it is entered.

Cloud backup: the most secure immutable backup

It is good to remember that data stored in immutable backups, even if they are better guarded, are still not invulnerable to ransomware, which is why it is certainly useful to set and keep several restore points (annual, monthly, weekly, daily) and a physical and geographical separation between backups. This practice is also known as the “3-2-1 rule,” or “rule “.

It should be considered that a backup copy is better protected if it is disconnected from the network, which, however, makes it dormant and isolated. Recovering it and bringing it back online sometimes takes a lot of time, and in disaster recovery, time is precisely the most valuable element.

So how to protect the data while keeping its eventual recovery as performant as possible? The best expedient is to turn to cloud enterprise backup, a type of online backup that offers important advantages, such as:

  • lower cost than local
  • Near-instantaneous access to data
  • higher level of protection

Combining a cloud storage service with an immutable backup is therefore the most effective solution for one’s disaster recovery plan to date. In order to do so, there are several tools on the market among which tools such as Wasabi and Veeam Backup & Replication stand out for efficiency.

In addition to providing a cloud backup extension, these software enable continuous security monitoring and avoidance of encryption by cryptographic ransomware, increasing security exponentially.

Finally, since Microsoft guarantees data access but is not responsible for the data, it is important to engage a provider who can back up data stored through Microsoft 365, eliminating the risk of data loss.

Paola Ghezzi

Paola Ghezzi

Marketing Manager

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