Ransomware Makes Half of Attacked Data Unrecoverable

Ransomware Makes Half of Attacked Data Unrecoverable

By Greg Tavarez

Today's ransomware attacks systematically dismantle an organization's digital core. They are surgical strikes crippling a company's nervous system, in a sense.

The sophistication of these attacks is undeniable. According to the Veeam 2024 Ransomware Trends Report, 75% of organizations face cyberattacks, often experiencing multiple breaches. Alarmingly, attackers are no longer content with just holding data hostage. They understand that backups are the escape hatch, and they're targeting them with laser focus.

Veeam's report reveals a chilling truth: 96% of attacks target backup repositories, with a success rate of 76%. This leaves organizations in a chokehold. Pay the ransom and hope for the best, or face a potentially crippling rebuild from ground zero.

While recovering data, rebuilding systems and enduring business disruptions are concerning, they merely scratch the surface. Brand reputation takes a beating, with Veeam's report showing how most organizations may be experiencing a decline in customer trust. Productivity plummets as employees grapple with uncertainty and stress. The erosion of trust and morale can take years to mend.

The financial blow can be just as devastating. Lost sales and damaged relationships with partners are a direct consequence of a tarnished reputation. Rebuilding trust requires significant resources and time, with no guaranteed success.

But perhaps the most unsettling statistics lie elsewhere. Veeam's report found 43% of data remains unrecovered after a ransomware attack. The myth of cloud security is also shattered, with on-premise servers, branch offices and even cloud data suffering similar infection rates. Once attackers gain a foothold, the "secure" cloud becomes just another playground.

This is a warning for businesses embracing the cloud. Convenience shouldn't come at the expense of security. Data protection needs to be platform-agnostic. Sure, organizations can implement security measures and technologies that offer clean, secure, and recoverable backups. But there are measures organizations can take to be better prepared to bounce forward from a ransomware attack,

One of the most concerning trends highlighted in the report is the fragmented approach to data security. Organizations often operate in silos, with executive leadership, security teams focused on prevention and detection, and backup teams responsible for recovery all working with distinct strategies, tools and even organizational philosophies. This lack of alignment creates a critical vulnerability.

A cross-functional committee overseeing backup and disaster recovery planning is crucial. These committees create a comprehensive data security strategy. This means everyone understands their role and how it contributes to the overall defense.

Organizations need a proactive cyber preparedness plan that addresses key vulnerabilities.

Consider leveraging immutable repositories and focus on isolating and authenticating backup systems. Keep them separate from the primary network and implement strong access controls to prevent attackers from infiltrating and encrypting backups.

Also, don't let backups become a false sense of security. Just like a fire drill, data backups need regular testing to ensure they function flawlessly when disaster strikes. A simple daily backup routine isn't enough. Organizations need to test not just the recoverability of your data, but its cleanliness too.

Regular testing verifies organizations can restore their data quickly, but what if that data harbors the very ransomware that crippled your systems?

This is where immutable repositories come into play. These digital vaults act as a quarantined zone for the backups. Testing backups within these immutable repositories provides a critical layer of assurance.

By incorporating recoverability and data cleanliness testing into their cyber preparedness plan, organizations are building a safety net that catches them not only during a fall, but also protects the organization from the very threat that caused it.

“Our report delivers a clear message: ransomware attacks will continue, be more severe than predicted, and the overall impact will cost organizations more than they expect,” said Dave Russell, Senior Vice President, Head of Strategy at Veeam. “Organizations must take action to ensure cyber resiliency and acknowledge that rapid, clean recovery matters most. By aligning teams and bolstering cybersecurity with immutable backups, they can protect their valuable business data while Veeam keeps their business running and secure.”

The full Veeam 2024 Ransomware Trends Report is available now for download at https://vee.am/RW24.




Edited by Alex Passett
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MSPToday Editor

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