Ransomware’s prevalence is rising. Cybercriminals can quickly and easily profit from it and they crave the control ransomware gives them. Using ransomware, cybercriminals can force any agency to do their bidding. And cybercriminals often target state and local agencies because of their smaller budgets and workforces.
Despite this, David Siles, Global Field Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at Rubrik, and David Huskisson, Director of Rapid Restore Solutions at Pure Storage, say state and local governments can survive these cyberattacks if they have a good data backup and recovery strategy in place.
Huskisson and Siles shared three ways agencies can leverage Rubrik, a cloud data management provider, and Pure Storage, a data storage hardware and software provider, to back up their data and recover from ransomware attacks.
1. Make data snapshots immutable
Data backups are agencies’ first line of defense against ransomware. After attacks, they can recuperate by restoring their data with backups untouched by ransomware.
Unfortunately, cybercriminals are now attacking backup data to prevent this. Immutable data snapshots can solve this dilemma by frequently copying agencies’ data in real-time. By repeatedly cloning their data, agencies create too many clean versions for ransomware to infect. Immutability, meanwhile, ensures no one can alter any data after it is snapshotted. “It’s written once, and it can only be appended to,” Siles said of each snapshot. “It can’t be modified. It should never be changed once it’s taken.”
Although nothing is invincible from ransomware, immutable data snapshots can help fortify agencies against it.
2. Recover rapidly
Ransomware’s power comes from its impact on citizens and governments. For agencies, ransomware can prevent them from completing their missions. For citizens, ransomware can disrupt crucial public services for unpredictable amounts of time. “Agencies aren’t able to deliver critical services if their IT infrastructure isn’t up and running,” Huskisson said. “Every second you’re down, it might cost you money.”
Rapid data recovery, however, removes some of ransomware’s sting by recovering any lost data nearly instantly. Rapid recovery tools can boost agencies’ agility while strengthening their business continuity; meaning agencies can resume normal operations in hours rather than days or weeks.
3. Simplify data management
Although immutable snapshots and rapid recovery are helpful, they aren’t the only chapters in the government data story. With modern tools needing increasingly large amounts of data to operate, agencies need a platform capable of managing big data stockpiles. “It’s the classic more with less approach,” Huskisson said of solutions such as the ones Rubrik and Pure Storage provide. “Our tools allow administrators to manage more data per administrator.”
No cure exists for ransomware, but simple data platforms are the first step for overcoming it. Agencies that add immutable snapshots and rapid recovery to their data capabilities are well shielded for whenever ransomware strikes.
This article is an excerpt from GovLoop’s recent report, “From Ransomware Vulnerability to Resilience.” Download the full report here.
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