Why You Need A Ransomware Focused Backup Strategy for the Cloud

While vendors like AWS provide tools for increasing your security posture, protecting against ransomware requires more than standard native cloud snapshots.

Every day, IT leaders must prepare themselves for both new and existing threats that have the potential to severely disrupt mission-critical business operations. Ransomware is one of those threats, and it’s posing a serious risk to cloud-hosted data and applications too. Today, more than two thirds of malware downloads originate from cloud apps, and ransomware accounts for a sizable portion of that.

The limitations of native cloud protection against ransomware attacks

Security challenges in the cloud typically stem from complexity. Multi-cloud environments can be highly scalable, agile, and cost-effective, but they’re also inherently complex. The standard native cloud snapshots provided by leading vendors are simply not enough to prevent or recover from ransomware attacks by themselves. In a multi-cloud environment, costs can quickly increase too. While cloud storage itself might be cheap, data egress fees can rise steeply, which can make recovery costs high too. Furthermore, when recovering to separate clouds, the speed of network connections can also be an issue. 

 

Until recently, the cloud was a relatively safe haven from ransomware, at least compared to traditional environments. However, newer and more sophisticated ransomware strains have been specifically designed to exploit today’s cloud and multi-cloud infrastructures. Some new and emerging strains even use cloud storage services themselves for malware injection. One of the first of this kind was the Jigsaw ransomware, which took advantage of the way cloud storage works by synchronizing encrypted files across all nodes connected to the location – including backups.

Automating ransomware detection and inspection in the cloud

What makes modern ransomware so dangerous is its ability to spread indiscriminately across cloud environments. Thus, the number-one goal in protecting against ransomware should be to reduce its ability to spread by logically isolating cloud storage resources, such as EBS and EC2 instances in AWS. Cloud security teams must also implement automated inspection and protection across their environments, while also having a centralized management console where they can monitor their applications and data and apply one set of policies.

Inspecting your recovery points for ransomware

Ransomware extortionists know that most of their potential victims have backup and recovery systems in place that can largely counter the effects of a successful attack. Because of this, ransomware is often designed to target backups, such as native cloud snapshots, as well. To mitigate these risks, every recovery point should be scanned for ransomware and other forms of malware for the sake of proactive protection. Furthermore, recovery points must be secured in an immutable vault so they cannot be tampered with. 

Understanding your ransomware recovery posture

Your ransomware recovery posture refers to your ability to mitigate the effects of a successful ransomware attack. Given the extremely dynamic and unpredictable nature of cyberthreats, it is essential that you know your recovery posture at any given point or time. You need to have the right type of backup and be able to restore it to the required point in time before the attack, with minimal disruption and in accordance with your RPOs and RTOs. To do this, you need a ransomware backup solution that provides automatic asset detection, inspection and protection, rapid recovery of instances, and a centralized way to monitor and manage backup operations.


Elastio Software offers application and data resilience tools for multi-cloud environments that enhance your security posture in the face of today’s ransomware threats. Get started with a free trial today.

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