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How to Choose the Right Ransomware Recovery Solutions

Ransomware is rampant. A recent survey of 5,600 IT professionals found that 66% of respondents said their organization had been hit by ransomware in 2021. That makes ransomware recovery a critical element of any disaster recovery (DR) plan. But disasters run the gamut from earthquakes and hurricanes to hardware failures and power outages. Most companies simply aren’t prepared for the wide range of ransomware and cyberattacks that cybercriminals employ in their hunt for victims.

But there is plenty you can and should do immediately and that starts with a plan. You’ll find the key questions you need to ask to build an effective DR plan in the recent post by Quest’s CEO. While your plan will need to cover every potential disaster, let’s focus on what you need to think about when it comes to ransomware recovery. By understanding the potential impacts of an attack, you can put the elements in place to get your organization back up and running as quickly as possible if you become a ransomware victim.

Setting Your Disaster Recovery RPOs and RTOs

Your Recovery Point Objectives (RPOs) and Recovery Time Objectives (RTOs) are critical drivers for many of your disaster and ransomware recovery decisions. For a detailed definition of RPOs and RTOs, check out another helpful blog on Backup and Recovery 101. Put simply, RPO determines the amount of data loss that is acceptable to your organization, while RTO establishes the length of downtime your organization can live with following a ransomware attack or other data disasters.

While your RPOs and RTOs are core to your recovery, building a comprehensive DR plan that factors them in can take a lot of time and effort. This is where disaster recovery planning and business continuity services can make a huge difference. Having a team of DR experts assess your current strategy and help you put together a comprehensive DR plan—including ransomware recovery testing—is a significant first step in ensuring a smooth recovery. Your plan should include every step that needs to be taken to meet your RPOs and RTOs. 

Risks vs. Costs: Choose the Right Ransomware Recovery Solution for You

According to the survey noted above, the average ransom paid by organizations that had their data encrypted increased 5x in 2021, reaching $812,360. These organizations likely paid the ransoms because the downtime cost was too high, and they had no alternative if they wanted their precious data back.

With those costs in mind, it’s worth considering outside resources for disaster recovery services. These services add DR experts to your team who can help develop and implement your DR plan and choose and customize the right solution for your specific requirements. These engagements typically start with a situation assessment to identify the most critical infrastructure elements—applications, networks, and sensitive data—and ensure they are prioritized for recovery.

It is also worth looking at a fully managed or cloud-based DR solution for secure off-site storage. Choose a solution that employs redundant, enterprise-class data centers for your workloads, infrastructure, and environment.

Cloud Backup and Disaster Recovery

Hackers understand that your backups may be the only way you can stop them from taking your ransom money by restoring your data. That’s also why backups are being targeted more frequently, with one ransomware strain now featuring expanded capabilities specifically for blowing up your backups.

This is where cloud backup and recovery come into play. Cloud backup and recovery services provides convenient off-site, secure storage for backups without the costs and complexities of building and maintaining an off-site infrastructure. With  backups off-site in a secure cloud, you can be sure your data can be recovered following a disaster.

In virtual environments, the solution should replicate each VM to the cloud. Cloud backup and DR services should also provide backup, failover, and failback options for any workload and:

  • Flexible repositories
  • End-to-end encryption
  • Wide-area network (WAN) acceleration
  • Configurable failover options
  • Recovery Assurance

The service should let you replicate to a multi-hypervisor that supports your virtual platform, whether Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere. It should deliver sub-15-minute RPOs and RTOs for all of your applications and data—including Microsoft 365.

Backup as a Service: Affordable Off-site Backups

Adding cloud Backup as a Service (BaaS) is another more affordable option for protecting your backups. Hosted backups connected to your network via an SSL connection offer the most efficient and secure method for getting backups off-site. Look for these features in a BaaS solution:

  • Complete visibility and control, with the ability to directly access and recover data from the cloud, and track storage consumption using a simple console.
  • Modern backup architecture that leverages today’s VM technologies with WAN acceleration, incremental backups, and compliant backup retention policies.
  • End-to-end encryption—in motion and at rest—while still delivering efficient data reduction ratios using built-in compression.

Plan Smartly, Invest Wisely

You have seen it written many times. It’s not a matter of if, but when you will be hit by a ransomware attack or other data disaster. The best way to ensure you’re ready is to have a sound, tested disaster recovery plan and the proper prevention and recovery technologies for your unique situation. These investments will more than pay for themselves—and you’ll thank yourself for making them—when disaster does strike.

Contact us any time—we’re always happy to help.

Mike

Meet the Author
Mike Dillon is Quest's Chief Technology Officer.
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