The VAR Guy Blog

Regular Backups Are the Best Defense Against Ransomware

If your clients don’t know about ransomware yet, make sure they find out from you--in the context of how to avoid it--instead of after they become victims.

By now all of your clients should understand the importance of backing up their business data and keeping backups at an off-site location. But the reality is as many as 36 percent of users--more than one-third--still “don’t think it’s necessary to back up their data,” according to a recent SC Magazine article.

That is a dangerous position to take, especially in light of the increasing ransomware threat. If your clients don’t know about ransomware yet, make sure they find out from you--in the context of how to avoid it--instead of after they become victims.

Ransomware started to rear its ugly ahead in early 2014, and it’s become a significant threat. The Los Angeles Times recently reported that “2016 is shaping up as the year of ransomware.” Recent victims include the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services and Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, which paid $17,000 to regain access to a communications system that attackers had shut down.

Ransomware is simple to execute, which is what makes it such an effective method for cybercriminals to monetize malware attacks. Using malware variants with names like “Locky” and “CryptoWall,” ransomware encrypts files in victims’ systems. To get their data back, victims have to pay ransom-usually a low enough number to make victims conclude paying up is the easiest way to solve the problem.

Even police departments have been attacked and, in some cases, agreed to pay ransom. “If the victim won’t pay, the hackers threaten to delete the files, which they did last year to [police] departments in Alabama and New Hampshire. That means evidence from open cases could be lost or altered, and violent criminals could go free,” NBC News has reported.

Educate Your Clients

To help your clients avoid a ransomware threat, you as a solution provider need to bone up on the threat, how it works, and how to protect clients. The main reason ransomware attacks succeed is because victims have been lax about backups.

So, if for no other reason than to avoid becoming another ransomware statistic, your clients need to get into the habit of backing up. And a cloud-based backup solution is the most effective and affordable route to take.

The cloud has made backing up simpler than ever through automation and scheduled backups. Cloud-based BDR (backup and disaster recovery) services let you schedule backup frequency and replicate data off-site to minimize the potential of losing valuable data as a result of a ransomware attack or some other reason.

If you don’t offer cloud-based backup yet, you should look into it. Every solution provider should be in a position to help clients protect their data. By leveraging a cloud-based backup solution, you address a very critical issue for clients and – if you haven’t yet – get an entry into cloud services.

 

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