Even with its extensive use of best-in-class technology, the cloud isn’t immune to ransomware attacks. In fact, given its popularity, the cloud is a top target.
It can be easy to take data protection for granted in the cloud. After all, vendors like Microsoft, Amazon, and Google have the financial resources to give their clients access to best-in-class technology.
However, none of this means the cloud is impervious to ransomware attacks. In fact, attacks against cloud storage are becoming increasingly common, sophisticated, and destructive. The omnipresence and accessibility of the cloud makes it the number-one target for attackers.
Cyber resilience requires a multilayered strategy that proactively protects against threats while also preparing for the worst. This makes secure backup and cyber recovery a fundamental part of any cyber resilience strategy. Native snapshots are simply not enough.
Here’s what you need to do to take your ransomware defense to the next level:
#1. Ensure your protection policy covers all cloud assets
The highly scalable nature of cloud computing is one of its greatest advantages. However, it also means that the cloud footprint has become ungovernable in many organizations, at least if they’re relying largely on manual oversight. To ensure comprehensive protection, you need a way to automatically discover, monitor, and back up all of your cloud assets under the same unified protection policy. This should also encompass ephemeral workloads associated with specific compute instances.
#2. Scan all backups continuously for threats
Before your backups are transferred to a secure and immutable vault, they must be thoroughly scanned for all known threats, including undetonated ransomware, trojans, cryptojackers, and other types of malware. By identifying these threats early on, you can significantly reduce the chances of your backups being compromised, while collecting the threat information you need to prevent future attacks and enhance your cyber resilience posture.
#3. Leverage machine learning to detect unusual behaviors
The most dangerous threats are those which are unknown to any existing malware databases. These threats can’t be detected by conventional antimalware measures. However, solutions that use machine learning have advanced to the point where they can detect otherwise unknown threats based on their behavior rather than by known malicious lines of code. This is known as heuristic scanning, and it should also be applied to your backup processes.
#4. Prevent tampering by ensuring your backups are immutable
Once your cloud backups have been created, scanned, and verified to ensure their integrity, the next step is to move them to an immutable vault. This ensures they can’t be tampered with by malware. Furthermore, your cloud backups should be stored on a different infrastructure to that used by your production systems. Immutable backups can also be deployed to production servers immediately following a ransomware attack or any other incident involving data loss.
#5. Test your backup and recovery processes frequently
A backup and disaster recovery plan that isn’t regularly tested is next to worthless. That’s why every backup should be thoroughly tested in a simulated recovery environment to determine whether the recovery process meets your recovery point objective (RPO) and recovery time objective (RTO). Ideally, testing should be automated to minimize the risk of human error and save time.
Elastio auto-detects new workloads in your AWS environment, scans them for ransomware, and creates highly recoverable, immutable backups that are compressed and deduplicated for cost efficiency. Download our guide to defending your cloud backups from ransomware to learn more.