How to Ensure Your Backup and Recovery Strategy Protects Your Telecom Company From Ransomware

JANUARY 10TH, 2023

By Nikhil Korgaonkar, Regional Director, Arcserve India

In September, Australian telecoms giant Optus issued a press release announcing that hackers accessed current and former customer data following a cyberattack on its systems. The release says that an unspecified number of customer names, dates of birth, phone numbers, email addresses, home addresses, and identity information, including driver’s license and passport numbers, were taken in the breach.

Optus isn’t the only telecom victim making headlines. In the U.S., T-Mobile disclosed its seventh network breach earlier this year after hackers with the Lapsus$ cybercrime group stole the telco’s source code. Last year, the second largest cell carrier in the U.S. said at least 47 million customers had personal information stolen by hackers.

More Sophisticated Threats Demand a Different Approach

The threat of ransomware keeps many telecom company execs up at night. In our digital world, cyberattacks are the weapon of choice for bringing down companies. And cybercriminals are becoming increasingly sophisticated. One example is Noberus ransomware, where hackers have added weapons to their malware to steal data and credentials from compromised networks.

Telecom security officers have historically focused on building a moat around the proverbial castle through firewalls, antivirus solutions, multifactor authentication, intrusion detection and prevention systems (IDS/IPS), and more. But these barriers aren’t good enough anymore because most organizational data now resides outside the castle. Even after deploying layers and layers of defenses, organizations are still finding that they are vulnerable to cyberattacks and that their data can still be compromised.

A comprehensive view of IT security is required for telecoms to protect their data effectively. That means expanding the focus to include data backup and recovery solutions—and immutable storage. Telecom companies can’t afford to treat these solutions as an afterthought. Instead, they must be a critical component of every cybersecurity strategy.

Effective backup and recovery, together with immutable storage, give these companies an essential last line of defense. And a solid data protection plan can safeguard their mission-critical data and help secure it against disruptions and cyberattacks, minimizing operational damage.

What’s needed is a new approach to data security that better manages risk while optimizing your ability to recover your data in the event of a disaster. Here are the top three steps to integrate data protection into your cybersecurity plans.

1. Update Your Recovery Plan

The first step in any cybersecurity strategy is the ability to back up critical data. But data backup alone isn’t enough. You also need a robust recovery plan that ensures you can get your data back quickly and cost-effectively after a cyberattack. Without a well-thought-out plan, you may be unable to properly restore the exact version of a file or folder following a data loss.

Here’s one way to think about data backup and recovery. Restoring your data without a solid recovery plan is like putting a jigsaw puzzle together with half the pieces missing. And it’s a recipe for disaster, especially during a crisis when every second your data is unavailable can be very costly. A good recovery plan helps you locate all the puzzle pieces and quickly put them together when needed.

2. Choose An Immutable Storage Solution

A robust and reliable backup and recovery plan safeguards your data even if you get hit by a cyberattack. A vital component of any such strategy is a storage solution that continually protects your data by taking snapshots every 90 seconds. These snapshots let you go back to specific points in time before an attack and recover entire file systems in minutes. So even if a cyberattack is successful, recent data is quickly and easily recoverable.  

Because your data is stored in an immutable format, it can’t be altered or deleted by ransomware—or even your administrators. That means your data is protected no matter what. Immutability can also bridge the gap between security and operational infrastructure teams, which have traditionally been siloed. With an immutable solution, both groups can speak the same language and collaborate to deter cyber threats.

3. Get One-Click Recovery

You need to do everything you can to minimize downtime after an attack. Choosing a data protection solution that is easy to deploy, manage, and effective even under the most harrowing circumstances is imperative. Your data protection solution must also deliver orchestrated recovery with a single click.

In a cyberattack, you should be able to recover confidently by safely spinning up copies of your physical and virtual systems onsite and offsite in minutes—not hours or days. An ideal data protection system also uses analytics to identify frequently used data that your business should always back up and less vital data that doesn’t require the same treatment. The result is an intelligent, tiered data architecture that gives you fast access to mission-critical information. And it saves you money on data storage while keeping essential data safe from catastrophe.

Step Up Your Data Protection Efforts

With cyberattacks continuing to increase and evolve, a robust cybersecurity plan is a must for every telecom company. Backup and recovery are critical parts of that plan and the only reliable way to reverse or mitigate damages caused by a cyberattack.

Your data is your most important asset. If it’s compromised by ransomware, you’re dead in the water. That’s why you need to make data protection a core component of your telecom cybersecurity strategy. With the right approach, your data can be recovered quickly and easily, and you can survive anything the bad guys throw your way.

For expert help in putting an effective backup and recovery solution in place, talk to an Arcserve technology partner.

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