If you’re responsible for making sure your company’s data is secure, you’ve probably got plenty on your mind. And it doesn’t matter whether your company is big or small. Losing access to your data—whether due to a ransomware attack, hardware failure, or simple human error—is painful. The numbers speak volumes. According to SonicWall’s 2021 Cyber Threat Report, the number of ransomware attacks reached a staggering 304.6 million in 2020. And, while every business is different, the cost of downtime can run into millions of dollars per hour for enterprises. To help you wrap your head around how high a price you might pay for downtime, check out this post as a starting point.
With the odds grimly indicating that you will likely face an attack in the future, what matters is preparation. With that in mind, here are five ways you can ensure that your data is always secure, even if your systems get locked up by ransomware.
1. Keep Software Up to Date
It can be challenging for IT teams to keep all the software and hardware in use patched and updated. But failing to do so opens the door to ransomware. Microsoft made it clear in a recent announcement that small and medium businesses (SMBs) needed to apply the latest Microsoft Exchange patches to combat a new family of ransomware called “DearCry.” The announcement puts it in plain language: Until a patch is installed, hackers can continue exploiting software weaknesses that increase their odds of a successful attack.
2. Invest In Cybersecurity Technologies
Because attacks can come in forms that get by even the most sophisticated prevention systems, it’s well worth the investment to put technology in place that keeps your data as secure as possible. Determine whether your perimeter defenses currently in place, like firewalls, virus and malware detection software and email filtering solutions are up to the task of protecting your data. If they aren’t, it’s time for an update or an upgrade.
3. Create a Disaster Recovery Plan
If you only think about what you’re going to do to respond to a successful attack after it happens, you’ll be way too late. By then, the money you might have spent planning and preparing could be bitcoin in a hacker’s virtual wallet. We’ve put together a brief IT disaster recovery planning checklist to help you kickstart the process. You’ll want to think about your recovery objectives, then establish a step-by-step plan that lays out your path to getting back online after a disaster. You’ll also want to test your plan so you can be confident it will meet your requirements when you need it most.
4. Back Up Your Data (Often)
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But there’s more to backups than replicating your data to a second hard drive. Please take a look at our take on the traditional 3-2-1 backup rule that suggests, in brief, that you keep at least three copies of your data, in two locations, with one more copy stored safely offsite, usually in the cloud where it is encrypted and highly secure. Investing in a sound backup solution will likely pay for itself immediately if you can’t access your data for any reason.
5. Consider Disaster Recovery as a Service
A well-thought-out and tested backup and disaster recovery plan combined with a considered investment in cybersecurity and data loss prevention can give you a solid foundation for protecting and recovering your data. Even then, it’s still worth looking at disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS). When you choose DRaaS, your physical and virtual servers are backed up to a third party to provide failover in the event of a disaster. While DRaaS has benefits for companies of every size, it’s especially valuable for companies that lack the in-house IT expertise required to provision, configure, and test an effective disaster recovery plan. With DRaaS from StorageCraft, an Arcserve company, your data is always safe and always available inside a distributed, scalable, fault-tolerant cloud built specifically for disaster recovery. You can even start a test or site-wide failover process with a single button.
While there are plenty of things you can do today to protect your data, waiting isn’t an option. Attacks are coming at you faster and more furiously. Your risks continue to grow. An excellent place to start is by talking to a StorageCraft engineer. They can help you find the best backup and disaster recovery solution for your business.