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Ransomware Backup Strategy: 4 Tips to Prevent Ransomware

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Backups Don’t Ensure Safety

In years past, a solid backup process offered a reliable sense of security, but today, they are as much a target as anything else. As our visual guide explains, ransomware not only attacks the target system, but its backups as well, ensuring you can’t escape the demands that follow. An encrypted backup can’t save anyone.

The 3-2-1 Rule

It’s easy to take backup procedures for granted, but the truth is backups can fail. Today’s enterprise environments require broad backup processes that account for many interconnected and integrated systems, each complex in their own right. This means multiple points of failure. Worse yet, anytime a system connects to a backup process, a potential door is open to attack it. If a ransomware attack reaches those backups, any hope of a timely recovery is lost.

The “3-2-1” rule, as outlined in our visual guide, accounts for this reality. The methodology is simple: 3 copies, 2 media types, 1 offsite copy.

Redundancy and variety are key to tripping up attackers gunning for your backups. Three copies reduces the probability of failure; if one or even two fail, another will likely carry the day. Two types of media increase the versatility of your backups, increasing the challenge for ransomware, which has to reach multiple platforms at once. Ensuring one copy remains offsite adds a final defense, cutting off an attacker’s reach and and ensuring a pristine copy remains.

Types of Backups

When choosing types of backups, there are a plethora of options to choose from. Old school tape backups are still great for offsite storage. You can likewise rotate NAS devices offsite.

“Offline” does not necessitate “disconnected;” in this context, backups to external cloud services count, given they are outside your network and therefore offsite. An isolated VLAN can be dedicated solely to backups as well, serving as a walled-off disaster recovery network.

Check out our infographic for some more detailed examples of these backup options, including an example of a backup network diagram.

Test Your Backups Often

Multiple points of failure mean thorough testing is critical, so don’t cut any corners. Periodically test the process of restoring from each of your backups and from each type of backup, including your offsite copy. You can refer to our visual guide for some tips as you go! The tests themselves should involve a full restore – not just restoration of a single system, but the entire enterprise environment.

Click here to download our free Ransomware Backup Strategy PDF for more tips and examples!

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