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Data Backups Are Your Business’s Last Line of Defence Against Ransomware

Posted by Neil L
Aug 10, 2017

Data backups areIn case cryptolocker ransomware strikes your business, it pays to have backups of your critical files tucked away for safekeeping.

The idea behind ransomware is to sneak malicious software onto your computer, encrypt all your important business files and then hold your data hostage. In return for the decryption key, the scammers demand payment via an untraceable currency like BitTorrent.

Even worse, ransomware tends to spread quickly throughout a business, passing from computer to computer while also looking for attached storage and network shares. Before you even know what hit you, your entire business can be locked down.

Forget about recovering your data by brute force attack, trying every combination to unlock your files. Even with a powerful supercomputer, you’d be lucky to crack 2048-bit encryption before the sun burns out five billion years from now – at which point your lost files become a moot point.

Rather than give into scammers’ demands – or wait until the sun falls from the sky – the easiest way to recover from a ransomware attack is to wipe all your infected computers, reload your operating system, reinstall your applications and finally recover your data backups.

Of course, for this to work you need to be prepared. It helps to keep a snapshot of Windows and all your applications, so you can easily restore your computer to working order – wiping any signs of infection – without the need to reinstall everything manually.

Next you can restore your data, rolling back in time to the last time you backed up your files. If you haven’t backed up for a month then you’ve just lost a month’s worth of work, which could hit hard in terms of lost productivity and maybe even lost customers.

That’s why it’s important to have an automated system that regularly backs up new and changed files to keep losses to a minimum when reverting to your backups. Some systems let you create multiple backup schedules to ensure some important files are backed up more often than others. This is particularly useful if you’re backing up to the cloud and your upload speeds are limited – you can set a maximum upload speed and realistic schedule to ensure your backups don’t choke your internet connection.

You’re in for a nasty surprise if you restore from your backups and discover you’ve backed up the encrypted versions of those files and overwritten the good copies. This is why it’s important to use a backup system that keeps multiple previous versions of your files, which allows you to go back in time to find the best restore point before disaster struck.

If you’re not backing up your business data then you’re sitting on a ticking time bomb, as ransomware isn’t the only threat to your data. If you can’t afford to lose your important files then you can afford to invest some time, money and effort into setting up a robust business backup system.

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