How to Protect Against Ransomware With a 3-2-1-1 Strategy


Statista says that, as of 2023, 72 percent of businesses worldwide have been affected by ransomware attacks. Ransomware protection is vital for every organization today. That’s especially true when considering that the mean recovery cost—exclusion ransom payment—was $1.82 million, according to Sophos The State of Ransomware 2023 report. 

The same report found that company size didn’t matter. Ransomware attack percentages were pretty evenly spread, ranging from 58 percent for companies with under $10 million in revenues to 72 percent for companies with more than $5 billion in revenues.

With rampant ransomware resulting in potentially devastating financial impacts, you must do everything possible to prevent attacks. However, the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report found that 74 percent of all breaches include the human element—errors, privilege misuse, stolen credentials, and social engineering, such as phishing and business email compromise. These types of vulnerabilities are challenging—if not impossible—to overcome.

Unfortunately, many organizations still adhere to the outdated 3-2-1 backup rule, initially coined by photographer Peter Krogh in his book about digital asset management. That rule was a great start, but it’s no longer enough because hackers now target your backups. After all, they recognize that doing so makes it challenging, if not impossible, for you to recover. Once hackers breach your primary data or backups, they could have free rein to spread their attack across your systems. 

Protect Against Ransomware With the 3-2-1-1 Backup Rule

Today, ransomware and data loss prevention demands a 3-2-1-1 backup strategy, an update to the 3-2-1 backup:

3: Keep three copies of your data

One original and at least two copies 

2: Store your backups on two different types of media

Network-attached storage, tape, or a local drive, for example

1: Keep one copy offsite 

In the cloud or secure storage

1: Ensure one copy of your data is immutable

Why Immutability Matters

While the meaning behind the three digits of the 3-2-1 rule hasn’t changed, the added one makes all the difference in the world because it stands for immutability. Immutable backups are saved in a write-once-read-many-times format that can’t be altered or deleted—even by hackers and admins

A good example is Arcserve OneXafe network-attached storage, which employs a file system based on an immutable object store, with every object written only once. Any modifications you make to your file system create new immutable objects. There isn’t any way to reverse this immutability.

Even if hackers get their hands on compromised admin credentials and gain full access to your network, immutability makes it harder for them to delete your copies or alter the data’s state. The bottom line is that you won’t have to pay a ransom to recover your data if attacked.

Immutability in the Cloud

Arcserve also ensures immutability for cloud backup storage solutions with Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) software’s Amazon S3 Object Lock support. With Object Lock, S3 Versioning is automatically enabled, and these features work together to prevent locked object versions from being permanently deleted (accidentally or intentionally) or overwritten.

Data Recovery Equals Business Continuity

Implementing the 3-2-1-1 backup strategy ensures your data is safeguarded and can always be recovered. Arcserve offers the broadest set of best-in-class solutions to manage, protect, and recover all data workloads, from SMB to enterprise, regardless of location or complexity. 

Arcserve solutions are cost-effective and agile, delivering massively scalable data protection and certainty across all data environments. This includes on-premises, off-premises (disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), backup as a service (BaaS), and Cloud-to-Cloud), hyper-converged, and edge infrastructures. With Arcserve solutions, you can count on business continuity, avoiding the high cost of ransomware and downtime.

Talk to an Arcserve Partner

Arcserve technology partners are here to help you deploy the optimal data protection strategies and solutions for your requirements. 

Find an Arcserve technology partner.

To learn more about Arcserve UDP and Arcserve OneXafe, request a demo.

You May Also Like