Ransomware Backup Strategy & Protection

Cybersecurity is more critical than ever as everything becomes more digitally connected. While traditional viruses that used to be quite prevalent 10 or 15 years ago have died down thanks to significant upgrades to antivirus solutions, ransomware issues have skyrocketed.

These days cybercriminals aren’t as interested in shutting down your computer just for fun. Instead, they have spent a lot of time building ransomware that hacks computers and locks personal and valuable data. If hackers aren’t afraid of launching ransomware attacks against the government, including police departments, they surely aren’t afraid of going after businesses with valuable data.

Unfortunately, some sophisticated ransomware attacks can also break into backup systems, leaving you without any options to get that data back without paying them for it.

Ransomware Backup Strategy

The best way to protect yourself against a ransomware attack is to take advantage of the 3-2-1 Backup Strategy. The 3-2-1 backup strategy provides you with a much more significant level of protection than traditional backup solutions.

The 3-2-1 backup system implements multiple ways to secure your data and information. Essentially how it works is that you make three individual copies of the data spread across two different forms of media, with at least one of those copies located off-site or connected to a separate network.

Besides the primary data, you have two individual copies that act as backups with one of those copies stored on a different form of media than the other and located off the network as the primary data files and the original backup.

You might decide to move one of your backups to the cloud and another to a physical SSD. You might also choose to keep one set of backup data on a USB stick and another on a network-attached storage solution.

You could always decide to expand even further on the 3-2-1 method and have four or five individual backups across three or four different forms of media. All of them spread across other platforms, but the 3-2-1 method will work for almost everyone without adding a lot of expense or a lot of extra steps to the security process.

How To Protect Your Backup From Ransomware

While there is no such thing as a 100% foolproof or secure network, that doesn’t mean that you need to leave yourself vulnerable. Some ransomware attacks use a “brute force” approach to break down your defenses with a specific aim to infect the data backups as well.

Here are some quick suggestions to protect against these attacks:

  • Leverage spam filtering systems.
  • Establish multiple layers of content filtering.
  • Use reputable and reliable antivirus and anti-malware protection on all of your endpoint pieces of hardware.
  • Use active and passive antivirus and anti-malware protection 24/7.

Teach network users cybersecurity practices

It’s also never a bad idea to regularly train individual users on security practices to follow when connected to your network, especially government employees. You want to be as proactive as possible about securing and locking down your systems. Often the weakest link in your security chain is the lack of awareness that end-users have regarding overall security threats.

Release Patches & Update Frequently 

You should frequently patch your system and take advantage of new updates, which often secure your system and network further. Cybercriminals that perform ransomware attacks always look to find vulnerabilities in systems that have been overlooked. Tech teams are usually pretty good about rolling out new patches as soon as vulnerabilities get discovered. 

The IT team you work with should reduce the number of dependencies in your technology infrastructure to provide a bit of a buffer between systems. This allows one system to go down during the patching process without hindering the entire infrastructure’s workflow.

Use The Latest Tools & Technology To Combat Ransomware 

We are still in the relative infancy of ransomware, a threat that continues to grow and change almost every single day. The tools and technologies that work to secure and protect your data today may not work tomorrow or years from now. 

It may not be possible to air gap your entire network and all of the devices that use the internet. Regardless it’s not a bad idea to use multiple security tools to actively scan solutions combined with passive protection.

Fighting ransomware is a never-ending problem. While you will want to use automated systems to help you, it’s also crucial to take ownership and responsibility for protecting backup data.