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Ransomware Hits, Business Continuity Solution Saves the Day

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Ransomware Hits, Business Continuity Solution Saves the Day

April 08, 2016
By Laura Stotler
TMCnet Contributing Editor

Ransomware is fast becoming a major security threat, forcing businesses of all sizes to fork over sizable amounts of money in exchange for return of their valuable data. A recent survey from cloud backup and restoration experts Intermedia (News - Alert) revealed that 72 percent of business users infected with ransomware lost access to their data for at least two days, with 32 percent losing access for five days or more.

That amounts to a worrying trend and one that isn’t easily combated. IT consultants Gigabit Geek discovered that firsthand earlier this year, when the company was hit with a ransomware attack via a Cryptowall breach. In this case, the ransomware encrypted files on various company computers and threatened to keep them locked until the company forked over a ransom.

“We had a user report that they were missing a file,” said Luke Skibba, IT administrator at Gigabit Geek. “We didn’t think much of it at the time, and simply restored it. But, over the next few hours, we received reports of missing files from other users across several offices. Ninety percent of our files were encrypted by the virus. It impacted every user in our whole company.”

And while Gigabit Geek has backup and recovery protection in place, the company didn’t immediately realize that the infected files were blocked from syncing to the cloud. Ultimately, the company was able to restore all the files without giving in to the ransom demands thanks to Intermedia’s SecuriSync solution. The offering provides real-time file backup and point-in-time restoration for PCs and Macs along with a host of other features. According to Skibba, the offering lessened downtime for the consulting company and made the recovery process relatively easy.

“This was one of the easiest restore experiences I’ve had,” said Skibba. “Intermedia’s support and SecuriSync transformed a nightmare data loss situation into a simple inconvenience.” All told, the company was able to wipe the infected device and restore access to the cloud in about a day thanks to SecuriSync, which preserved business continuity during the ordeal. Ultimately, Gigabit Geek was forced to recover the deleted files through a manual restoration process, taking two weeks to recover two to three TB of data.

SecuriSync works by enabling instant rollback to clean files in the event of a breach. It also gives users immediate access to those documents from alternate devices, saving companies from undergoing devastating downtime during an attack.

"You simply cannot take an ‘it will never happen to us’ attitude,” said Skibba of the ransomware attack. “There is no protection against this kind of ransomware other than effective backup. Once you get hit with the ransom pop-up, it’s usually already too late to contain the threat. The ability to determine when a virus hit and roll back impacted files to a desired moment in time is invaluable. SecuriSync has been my saving grace.”

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