Beware, ransomware is on the rise

Mar 03, 2017

“Almost weekly now, we hear from customers who have been hit by some sort of ransomware virus. It is a type of malware that locks data files, or an entire system, and if that happens it is likely that any data associated with Accredo will be affected because the virus encrypts an organisation’s most commonly used files.”

Carberry says an effective data protection strategy is essential to mitigate the loss of data that could occur following a ransomware attack. To help customers improve their protection, Accredo’s latest software build now co-operates with the snapshotting of server images.

The Accredo system can now plug into VSS – Microsoft’s Volume Snapshot Service (also known as Volume Shadow Copy Service), allowing snapshots of server files to be taken at any time, even when users are still in the Accredo system.

Carberry says viruses that infected two customers recently resulted in very different outcomes.

“One customer’s data protection protocols included using a snapshotting service and its technical team managed to get everything restored in a couple of hours without any great loss of data. It was a different story at the other site, where the backups failed and snapshotting wasn’t in place. Over two months’ worth of data was lost following the virus attack. Losing that amount of historical data is a big blow for any business.”

Running snapshots on a regular basis is advisable as it provides a server image that customers can reference in the unfortunate event of a ransomware infection encrypting vital files on a computer. It is important when doing data protection activity, such as snapshots or traditional backups, that the information is removed from the network and stored independently for total piece of mind.

“The advantage of snapshots is that they can be done quickly, automatically, and as often as needed. If a virus hits just before an organisation has done its daily backup, for example, it may lose a whole day’s processing. But if it also ran hourly snapshots it would significantly lessen the impact of the virus and the data loss.”

Carberry says customers who are interested in installing VSS should talk to their QSP or IT support provider about activating the service.

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