Ransomware cyberattacks targeting critical infrastructure facilities, healthcare organizations and governmental agencies are on the rise. These types of cyberattacks take over an organization’s databases, making them inaccessible in a way that disrupts operations until a ransom is paid. In recent years, successful ransomware attacks have become commonplace, making headlines on a seemingly weekly basis.
But it’s not just the big players that are under attack. Official reports show that between 50 to 70 percent of ransomware attacks target small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs). These attacks are driven by the recent proliferation of Ransomware as a Service (RaaS) software and the increasing use of crypto currencies, trends which have commoditized cyberattacks. Now, even amateur coders can execute relatively sophisticated attacks and receive untraceable payment with little to no risk, significantly increasing the number of cybercriminals looking to execute ransomware attacks.
SMBs are Being Targeted
SMBs are seen as particularly attractive because of their limited resources and inherent vulnerability. They simply do not have the budget and know-how required to prevent and recover from a successful ransomware attack; specifically, many SMBs do not maintain in-house IT personnel tasked with ensuring that critical applications and data are constantly secured. However, SMBs are no less vulnerable than enterprises in the sense that they cannot tolerate downtime of critical applications.
Successful ransomware attacks on SMBs can have crippling effects on the company’s ability to conduct business as they often target the critical applications powering operations. For example, a successful attack on a small business's financial software can prevent them from handling basic activities such as issuing invoices and paying suppliers. Encrypting a customer database can keep them from fulfilling their orders. Attackers can also exfiltrate sensitive customer data and threaten to publish it in public forums, causing damage to the company’s brand and even exposure to legal action from customers and government regulators alike.
Minimizing Ransomware Risks
The latest data technologies empower organizations large and small to significantly reduce the risk of business cessation in the event of a successful ransomware attack. While these technologies do not prevent attackers from penetrating the system, they do minimize risks and reduce business impact in the event of a successful breach.
- Ensure business continuity by constantly backing up your systems and data. Disaster Recovery solutions copy a business’s critical applications and data to secure cloud-based environments. The more advanced solutions continuously refresh data on an ongoing basis so that absolutely no data is lost if operations are forced to switch over to the Disaster Recovery copy. With cloud-based Disaster Recovery even in the case of a successful ransomware penetration, business operations can simply resume by moving to backup copies.
- Minimize risks by anonymizing all data that leaves production. Companies that are leveraging their data to develop new applications and services, often must copy data to testing and development environments to support development and maintenance requirements. However, these lower environments are often less secure than production, making them vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Data Masking solutions modify any identifiable data that has to be copied outside of the more secure production environments so that it can’t be connected to an individual. Mandated by most government privacy regulations, Data Masking eliminates data exfiltration risks as any exposed data is completely devoid of identifiable characteristics.
By contracting local system integrators to install and deploy advanced Disaster Recovery and Data Masking solutions, SMBs can significantly minimize risks in a matter of a few days, and at a relatively low price point. These measures secure SMB business continuity even if their systems have been made inaccessible by malicious attackers and customer data has been stolen.
Accelario: Advanced Disaster Recovery and Data Masking
Accelario’s advanced Data Masking and Disaster Recovery solutions ensure business continuity and minimize ransomware business impact risks for SMBs.
Data is continuously synced to the cloud-based Disaster Recovery copy so that it always mimics the production environment. In the event of a successful breach, SMBs simply rollover to their cloud-based copy and continue operations with access to the exact same data and apps that were available in production. Advanced data masking capabilities anonymize production data while it’s being copied to lower environments so that any data that leaves production is already anonymized when it reaches its new environment.
To find out how Accelario can assist with Disaster Recovery and Data Masking for SMBs contact us at https://accelario.com/contact-us/