5 Steps to Building an Effective Ransomware-Free Data Protection Strategy

JULY 5TH, 2021

As much as we hate it, ransomware is here to stay. It is now permanently on the list of things to watch for when it comes to cybersecurity. There is no silver bullet against ransomware, so to mitigate the threat, you must protect your data from every possibility—and always consider the worst-case scenario.

According to Sophos Labs, the average ransom payout in the third quarter of 2020 was about US$233,000. The attacks are getting more and more sophisticated, and ransomware-as-a-service is now a reality.

You know that you should have a proper cybersecurity strategy for your production servers. And there are some excellent solutions available in the market. But when everything goes wrong, and a new threat manages to infiltrate your environment, your rescue will come from a service that you might have neglected too much in the past: your data protection.

With that in mind, let's look at five simple steps you can take to build a data protection strategy that you can effectively count on, even when everything else goes wrong.

1.   Protect Your Backup Data Using a Cybersecurity Solution

Given the current situation, protecting your backup server is now one of the most critical things you can do. So, you must use a good cybersecurity solution to protect your data. Arcserve offers Sophos Intercept X Advanced as part of its software and appliance licensing, so you can use predefined policies to keep your data safe. Sophos InterceptX blocks ransomware attacks, uses deep learning to provide signature detection, blocks exploits, and denies hacker attacks, among other features.

2.   Make Sure You Don't Have a Single Point of Failure

Having multiple copies of your data is like the saying, 'The more, the merrier.' Remember, you must always look at the worst-case scenario. Imagine a new type of ransomware that goes undetected by all of your cybersecurity systems and infects your backup data. That's not likely, but it's not impossible. Or imagine your backup hardware is faulty when you experience a cyberattack and cannot restore your production data. If you have been in the industry long enough, you probably know that experts recommend that you keep an offsite copy of your data in case of a natural disaster, for example. But backups also come in handy when you are managing cyberattacks. Like StorageCraft's take on the 3-2-1 backup rule, known strategies now include features like storage immutability and near-zero RPOs and RTOs. It would be best if you always looked for a balance between avoiding a single point of failure, speedy recovery, ease of management, and sound economics.

3.   Leverage the Cloud

When creating multiple copies of your data, the cloud is an interesting option for storing offsite copies. Using a cloud solution gives you the option of having a fully functional backup server for recoveries and immutable storage. The cloud can also be an essential ally when everything goes wrong, your entire on-premises environment goes down, and you need to retrieve your data.

4.   Create immutable copies

Immutability is not new. We have been hearing about WORM (write once, read many) devices for decades. As noted, cloud storage can let you keep immutable copies of your data based on a predefined policy using Object Lock. Nonetheless, technologies that can be used on-premises are also evolving. Today you can find exciting options for keeping copies of your backup data at a safe location that let you revert to your recovery points if your data gets encrypted by ransomware. StorageCraft OneXafe delivers object-store immutable storage by using blockchain-like technologies to store immutable recovery points in a scale-out cluster. OneXafe makes these recovery points available within your environment using something as simple as a network share. In a matter of seconds, your backup store is exactly as it was before the incident, and you can immediately start recovering your production data.

5.   Use Multi-factor authentication

One of our important allies in the battle against cyberattacks is multi-factor authentication. Multi-factor authentication tools help ensure that only authorized users can enter a system and examine, write, or encrypt data. It helps guard against credential theft, a growing source of attacks, preventing unauthorized access to critical systems, such as your data protection solution.


While there are many other best practices to explore to ensure your data protection solution keeps you safe from ransomware, if you follow these five steps, you will be adding multiple layers of protection, giving you a better chance of avoiding becoming a cyberattack victim.