Are Data Backups Important in Ransomware Defense?

Right off the bat, the answer is yes.

Ransomware is crippling organizations around the world. These organizations aren’t tied to a specific industry, and they vary greatly in size. Each and every organization must have a robust security strategy in place to mitigate the risk of infections occurring.

And, of course, data backup is a key component of the defense against ransomware. Here’s how it all fits together in the grander scheme.

Back it up: What’s ransomware?

The FBI Cyber Division defines ransomware as  “a form of malware that targets both human and technical weaknesses in organizations and individual networks in an effort to deny the availability of critical data and systems.”

In other words, it’s a malware program that holds your data hostage until you pay the ransom.

The danger from ransomware is that it can come from many different sources. Many instances of ransomware start from an infected email delivered to an unwitting staff member. Once they download the infected attachment, the ransomware virus spreads throughout the network and locks up everyone’s files.

Related: Lurking Cyberthreats (And How to Defend Against Them)

Where data backups come in

Data backups are a critical piece of defense because they allow businesses to skip the ransom demands and go straight to getting their data back. When implemented properly, an organization can restore their data from a backup and essentially turn back time to before the infection.

While data backups can be a business saver, keep the following in mind:

Modern businesses are more at risk today than they’ve ever been before. That’s especially true with increased hacker activity targeting smaller (and usually less protected) businesses. The security discussion has changed – it’s not about whether you have data backups and security measures anymore.

It’s about cybersecurity resilience. You need to ensure that your tools and safeguards adequately match the levels of threats that you’re going to face. That means having anti-malware and anti-virus solutions that work together to further protect your data backup lifeline.

Data backup security concerns

Like we said earlier, data backups can be a business saver against ransomware. Keep the following 3 things in mind to ensure that your backups are as effective as possible against ransomware.

  1. Data backup protection ‒ Ransomware can spread from computer to computer. It can spread to your servers and even your cloud files. Of course, that means that it can spread to your data backups, too. Ensure that your backups are encrypted and password-protected to add another barrier to security. It could make all the difference between having ransomware-proof backups … or a whole lot of redundantly infected files.
  2. Active backup management ‒ Let’s say your organization gets hit with ransomware, but your backups are untouched. That’s great ‒ but you still need to ensure that your data backups don’t contain any infected files. Make sure that you don’t accidentally continue to back up ransomware-infected files that spread the virus even further.
  3. Have multiple backup sources ‒ If things take a turn for the worse amid your ransomware infection, make sure you’re not relying on a single backup source. Most organizations have multiple different (and independent) sources of data backups. That way, you can rest easy knowing you’ve got multiple lines of defense against ransomware.

Related: The 3-2-1 Backup Rule (And Other Backup Best Practices)

Data Backup as Ransomware Defense

Data backups are a DEFINITE must-have for ransomware defense. However, you’ll need to be proactive and strategic with their implementation, security, and overall management.

While important, these things can put an unnecessary strain on time and resources for your organization. That’s why we’re here ‒ Visual Edge IT can help you implement and secure your backups to be a functional and efficient way to defend your data.

Interested in learning more? Reach out to us today.