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  • 21 November 2018 16:16

Could cloud be the answer to combating ransomware attacks?

How would your firm cope if tomorrow morning your business critical data was compromised as a result of a ransomware attack?

According to Cisco’s 2017 Annual Cybersecurity Report, ransomware is growing at a yearly rate of 350 per cent. Additionally, the latest Annual State of Ransomware Report states of all industries surveyed the financial services industry is most concerned about ransomware (54 per cent of firms being extremely concerned).

2017 saw a wave of ransomware threats, including WannaCry, dubbed ‘the biggest cyberattack the world has ever seen’, Petya and BadRabbit. These threats impacted businesses in a wide range of sectors, including financial services. One of the most well-known cases of a financial institution being impacted by ransomware is the Bank of Bangladesh which lost $81 million in 2016 to ransomware hackers.

Many businesses in the finance sector, particularly smaller firms, find it challenging to keep up with the latest virus and malware protection practices, both from a cost and application implementation perspective. This is because few owners and managers have the technical IT knowledge to be 100 per cent confident their business is fully protected. This is the reality when you are relying on an on-premise server IT environment.

The other factor is backups. While many businesses do backups, they haven’t done them as religiously as they should or tested their ability to respire. Also, the time it takes to restore takes a long time and then it’s not done perfectly.

One potential solution is having your IT environment 100 per cent in the cloud. This is because many cloud providers, particularly private cloud providers, offer the latest and most sophisticated protection as part of their offering. If by chance your system does become infected, they also provide regular backups, in some cases hourly snapshots, of your data so if any data is lost or compromised it can be quickly restored and back to ‘business as usual’. In fact, recovery time can be around 20 minutes at worst.

A cloud service provider can also be monitoring for suspicious activity with tools that are often out of the reach for smaller businesses. This can mitigate the risk of an attack so that damage to data is prevented. This can make a ransomware attack a non-event.

The best way to protect your business from ransomware attacks is to take measures up front. But if you do get attacked do not pay the ransom. If you pay the ransom chances are the hackers will keep demanding money and you’re unlikely to get back into the system whether you pay up or not. The only reason you end up paying is because you haven’t taken those initial steps to protect yourself.

About ITonCloud ITonCloud helps businesses simplify and automate their IT systems by leveraging the cloud. With ITonCloud businesses have their entire IT environment in the cloud, including email, files and business applications, making it easy for your workforce to access anywhere, anytime, on any device with comprehensive security. Using ITonCloud’s proven and state-of-the-art cloud desktop platform eliminates the need for businesses to invest in on-premise servers, expensive hardware and support. www.itoncloud.com

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