Why backing up data is vital protection against Ransomware

Why is Ransomware so dangerous?

If you’ve caught up on tech news in the last couple of years, you’ll have heard of Ransomware. A dangerous kind of malware designed to bring in major profits for cybercriminals, Ransomware encrypts files on infected computers, demanding a large ransom in return for making files accessible again.

While Ransomware-like programs have been around for decades, they’ve really come back into the news over the last couple of years. This is mainly due to the rise of Bitcoin and various other cryptocurrencies which allow for completely anonymous electronic transactions - meaning that thieves can’t be tracked down.

Usually entering systems through falsely labelled files (.doc files with harmful macros, spoofed emails and far more), Ransomware encrypts the majority of files it can reach, making them completely unreadable. A huge problem for businesses, the inconvenience this encryption causes can be even more damaging than the ransom fee itself.

Ways to counter Ransomware

There’s a few different ways to protect your organisation against Ransomware. From the start, it’s important to realise that the weakest link in cybersecurity is almost always a person. Most Ransomware-spreading files are disguised as useful files, leading to people inadvertently contracting the malware. It’s important to make sure that those in your organisation have the cybersecurity training they need to recognise false files - it may even be worth running a fake phishing operation to make sure that training has sunk in.

Content filtering systems can also help, blocking downloads of certain file types and cutting off access to notably dangerous pages. If you’re using an Exa Internet connection, you’ll get a free license for our SurfProtect content filtering system - there’s also a wide range of other filtering options to prevent certain downloads.

If you end up being affected by Ransomware, however, you’ll need to have previously set up a backup - there’s not always a way to get rid of the malware there and then, so restoring from an external backup is usually the most effective option.

High speed uploads and symmetrical Internet

However, some organisations find it unfeasible to create regular external backups, yet alone store the multiple days worth of backup necessary to cut out time-delayed ransomware. There’s two main reasons this occurs:

  • 1: The cost of external storage.

  • 2: The slow speeds involved in uploading data.

While we can’t really help on the first point, it’s important to put it into perspective - external cloud storage is getting cheaper all the time, and the cost of paying a ransom can hugely outstrip the amount that secure backups cost, even before you consider the risk that paying the ransom may not even work.

The second reason requires a bit more thought. For years, most organisations and individual have needed fast downloads, and haven’t hugely prioritised uploads - across the UK, downloads are around 8 times faster than uploads. With cloud backups and software having emerged, slow uploads have become something of a major problem - no one wants to sit around waiting hours for a backup to complete.

We definitely think that improving upload speeds is going to be a fairly major focus for Internet providers moving forward - so we’ve put together a wide range of symmetrical connections. That means you get uploads as fast as your downloads, making it easier than ever before to keep secure Cloud backups that cut out the problem of Ransomware.

If you’re interested in finding out more about our symmetrical connections, just get in touch with us today at 0345 145 1234. We’ll be happy to explain just how our connections work, and help you figure out what the best choice for your organisation is. You can also check out our DarkLight website for some more info about our futureproofed and symmetrical connection choice.