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

November 4th, 2021
Today, a quick Google News search on the term “ransomware” brought up five pages with that word in the headline. One of those headlines said that the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) issued another alert this week, noting that ransomware gangs use significant financial events like mergers and acquisitions to target companies. But it doesn’t matter whether your company is large or small—or what industry it’s in. Even schools continue to be a prime target. There is no escaping ransomware, but you can protect against it.

Backups Are the New Target

In a recent Executive Brief, tech market analyst IDC identified the evolving threat to backup data. Hackers now often attack backup data first as they recognize that doing so disables your ability to restore your operations with uncompromised data. Once hackers breach your backups, they have free rein to broaden their attack across your systems. There are plenty of reasons some companies fail at protecting their backups. Lack of disaster recovery planning and preparation is most likely at the top of that list. But IDC goes on to describe today’s best practices approach to protecting your backups with its new take on the old 3-2-1 backup rule.

Complete Ransomware Protection Starts With 3-2-1-1

The 3-2-1 backup rule has long been the standard for data protection. It says to keep three copies of your data—one primary and two backups—with two copies stored locally on two formats (network-attached storage, tape, or local drive) and one copy stored offsite in the cloud or secure storage. That extra "1" in 3-2-1-1 stands for immutable storage. When data is converted to a write-once, read many times format, it can't be altered. Immutability is different from data encryption in that there is no key, so there should be no way to “read” or reverse the immutability. IDC now recommends that you store one copy of your data on immutable storage or in the cloud.

Immutability Adds a New Level of Data Protection

Suppose you have the right technology in place along with sound (and well-rehearsed) recovery practices. In that case, immutability means you can access and restore your data to its unaltered state and get back in operation within minutes of a breach. You can count on one thing: new threats to your data backups won’t stop. An appliance-based solution that leverages immutability—like the OneXafe 4400 series—helps you meet today’s evolving threats. And, by focusing on business continuity and following the 3-2-1-1 rule, you can be more confident that you can recover your data—even if an attack is successful. Check out our special Backup + Storage Bundle offer, or to learn more, watch this on-demand demo.

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