Ransomware: How to stay protected

Protect Yourself Against Encryption-Based Ransomware

The risk of Malware infection is constantly rising and new infections are spreading rapidly every hour. McAfee Labs have seen a 165% increase in Ransomware in 2015 alone, with newer versions of Ransomware constantly emerging. 

What is encryption based Ransomware?

Encryption based Ransomware, for example Cryptowall, CryptoLocker and TorrentLocker, encrypts all files stored not only on computers but also network drives. Once the infection hits, you are left with the option to either pay the ransom or give up all the precious data you have previously stored on the computer or other storage device.

Ransomware can covertly be installed on a computer without knowledge and it's attacks vary, locking the system and displaying messages intended to coax the user into paying or systematically encrypting your files requiring a decryption key. 

Typically Ransomware propagates as a Trojan, disguising itself as a seemingly legitimate file. For example, infection can enter a system through a download file or vulnerability in a network service.

What are businesses doing to prevent attacks?

We've all heard about updating your operating system, installing antivirus and a security suite, avoiding suspicious files and disabling remote access. These methods can help but do not guarantee safety and are not a contingency plan. The real question to ask yourself is "What would I do if I do get attacked?". None of the above methods will help you retrieve your data back. 

How do I get my data back if I do get attacked?

A contingency plan is a plan designed to take into account possible future events or circumstances. A contingency plan for Ransomware is to keep multiple copies of your data. Having a good method for data backup is crucial. An approach we suggest is utilising multi-version backup so in the event where one version gets locked, you can still retrieve an older version. 

What if my data gets infected?

If you get hit by an infection on a local PC, you can simply retrieve the data from a backed up location. If the data on your backup location also gets infected, you will need to look in to a more advanced backup method, such as multi-version backup. Therefore, in the event that your data gets held for ransom, you will have previous safe versions that are easily retrievable. 

Your answer to a multi-version backup solution

Our friends at Synology offer features that are specifically designed to help users protect their data and better plan for future disasters, such as the event of Ransomware. While we highly recommend Synology as a solution, it's important that we first assess your data environment as every site and situation is different. We have solutions up our sleeve for any situation, from small business two user sites, to larger multinational firms. 


Features of Synology as a data backup solution

  • Cloud Station Backup
    Having a backup version of your data prevents you from having to pay the extortion fee to get your data back. A feature of Synology; Cloud Station Backup gives you the ability to create multiple versions of your data for quick restoration and provides the perfect solution to back up your data stored on your computer to the Synology NAS Servers. Through Synology Cloud Station, you can retain 32 historical versions of a single file, allowing you to restore files to any previous state.

  • Snapshot Replication
    Snapshot Replication allows the user to replicate primary site data to an offsite location up to every 5 minutes. This ensures all your critical data will be recovered quickly in the case of infection. Snapshot Replication takes a 'Snapshot' of your files, allowing multiple versions giving you flexible point in time file recovery, which only uses a fraction of storage space.

  • Hyper Backup
    Hyper Backup is a unique feature that provides you with a full range of multi-version backup destinations from shared folders, expansion units and external hard drives, to network and shared folders, R-sync server, and public cloud services.
    This feature also offers secure backup protection for local backup, giving you the power to isolate data from internet threats by configuring your PC's access privileges to certain shared folders. Configuring access privileges to certain shared folders on Synology Nas helps to prevent outside forces such as Malware and Ransomware from accessing critical backup data. Hyper Backup supports cross version deduplication reducing the amount of storage needed for a given set of files, saving you precious data storage space.

    Remember that every site is different and we'll endeavour to provide you the best solution for your business and its requirements.