Ransomware, a form of malware, continues to burden IT departments around the world and its frequency is steadily increasing. In just the first three months of 2016, 3,500 more domains were being used to distribute and control ransomware.
This form of malware will literally hold your hardware hostage, demanding money to return it to working order. Some ransomware locks the system in a way that a knowledgeable person can easily reverse, but others encrypt critical files, making it nearly impossible to access.
In a recent survey of financial services firms by SANS, 55 percent reported ransomware as the top security threat, followed by phishing, which once held the top spot last year. Due to ransomware attacks, more than 32 percent of financial firms have lost between $100,000 to a half-million dollars.
And even if a hijacked company were to give in to the demands of these cybercriminals, there is no way to guarantee systems will be restored and the locks will be removed.
Most of these attacks come from spear-phishing or whaling. Spear-phishing emails can target employees or customers of a specific company, while whaling emails target high-level executives.
Staff and executives are sent emails with malicious links pretending to be legitimate sites asking to download software or simply access personal information. Most companies have lines of defense put into place to stop such attacks as best they can. But protecting against ransomware is not enough. If the malware makes it past the company’s defenses, the data protection platform needs to go beyond simple file level recovery.
Quorum, a backup, data recovery, and Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) solutions company, has the solution to ransomware attacks with its onQ technology. Quorum’s next-generation backup disaster recovery (BDR) solution is based on three core principles: it’s fast, easy to use, and it’s complete.
Quorum’s exclusive onQ Hybrid Cloud Solution provides a unique way to recover the most critical applications and data in the cloud after any storage, systems or site failure. Critical applications are always ready-to-run (or test) in the Quorum cloud by working in conjunction with the on-premise onQ high-availability (HA) Appliance.
The onQ hybrid cloud synchronizes with the onQ high-availability (HA) appliance after each update, creating a virtual machine clone in the cloud. This clone can be run in the cloud (for testing or after a disaster) with or without the presence of the local onQ HA appliance or image.
If there is a breach in defense and ransomware infects a computer, IT admins can shut down the hardware, start a clone of their production server from before the infection, and continue working as if nothing happened.
They are now free to repair the infected machine and lose no data or time. The systems continue to be backed up even when the clone is running, so when the original hardware is restored, everything is up-to-date.
In this way, Quorum’s onQ technology makes the threat of ransomware a nonissue. The only time lost is the time it takes for the clone to boot up (within minutes). Minimal downtime is Quorum’s goal.
More information on onQ as well as how to purchase is located on Quorum’s website. Quorum is also having a webinar about protection against Ransomware on Friday, Oct. 28 at 9 a.m. This webinar will bring you up to date with the latest information about scale, frequency and sophistication of Ransomware attacks in businesses like yours. Topics to be covered include the history of Ransomware and how it has evolved, the sophistication of the newest versions, statistics on who is being attacked, what makes a company vulnerable and much more. Registration for this event can be found here.