How MSPs Protect Data From Ransomware And Cyber Attacks

Published September 26, 2022
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Evan Pappas

As the sophistication of cyber attacks increases, businesses are working to find the best ways to protect their data. While backups are an incredibly important way to protect data, they are not immune from cyber attacks and malware. Now more than ever, MSPs need to know that their backups are running properly.

Ransomware, malware that encrypts data and holds a decryption key for ransom, is a major security threat for modern businesses. Not only does this type of attack threaten to disrupt operations, but any theft of data, potential exposure of sensitive information, or cost of the ransom can do serious damage to an MSP’s reputation and relationships with clients. MSPs mishandeling security have been subject to litigation, lost clients, and lost revenue.

Often your last line of defense, backups and backup monitoring will help you retain access to data, allowing your team to recover quickly from an attack without that disruption to the clients’ business. 

Even the backups themselves can be potential targets for attack, as they can be encrypted alongside the current “production environment” that the business is working in. To prevent backup infections, MSPs are using alternative security methods and automated backup monitoring with Backup Radar to keep their clients safe and secure. 

Issues with standard backups

By following the commonly used “3-2-1” best practice of having three copies of your data (local backup on two different types of storage and remote backup) businesses think they are safe, but this method is becoming more vulnerable as cyber attacks and threats evolve. 

Malware can gain access into a piece of hardware or network and begin to compromise your clients workflow and sensitive information, causing interruptions in their business and damage to their files and reputation. While backups are often seen as a fall back solution to restore from, they are not entirely safe by default.

Malicious software can often infect backups by having compromised data backed up either to local servers or cloud services. When a business finds their backups have been infected the disruption to operations can be huge. With recent backups compromised, they are forced to restore to an older backup that may result in huge amounts of lost work. 

This is one major scenario that shows why monitoring backups are so important. MSPs need to be aware of how often, how many, and when backups are being recorded. Backup Radar makes sure you know how often the state of the client’s data is being recorded and if the process was successful or not. The best solution is prevention. 

Secure backup strategies

With the sophistication of attacks increasing, businesses have been incorporating alternate security strategies built to prevent attacks from causing any lasting harm.

One of the most common solutions to prevent malware from getting into backups are Write-Once, Read-Many (WORM) services that prevent data from being modified in any way. 

Another popular solution is a method called “air gapping,” where a backup of the client’s data is stored on hardware taken offline. With a backup disconnected from any network, the only danger it faces is physical damage. While air gapping is not a new strategy, it is still a powerful security method and modern technologies like cloud-based solutions recreate a very similar “air gapped” effect.

A growing method of cloud-based data protection is virtualization, a method that creates restore points as virtual machines. Virtualization allows businesses a temporary method to rapidly access files in the event of data loss. 

Virtualization allows businesses to keep operations running smoothly, while a full restore is ongoing. A complete data recovery process from a backup usually takes time to complete, so access to a virtual machine restore point for files can be a way to prevent any downtime.

Much like traditional hardware based backups, methods like Air Gapping, Virtualization, and cloud-based services are only as good as the frequency and reliability of the backup process. 

Backup Radar makes it easy for MSPs to track clients’ security

MSPs need to know if these backups are even working in the first place, which is where Backup Radar works to bring all of the security measures together. Backup Radar can shine for an organization that needs intelligent backup automation, records of update times, if any backups failed or faced errors, and produce reports.

The automated monitoring system Backup Radar offers saves MSPs from having to track backups through email alerts. By reducing the barriers to tracking all of the backups for a client, MSPs can focus on using that information to work with the client to make more informed security decisions and prevent cyber attacks from damaging their clients.  

With the threat of ransomware ever-present for modern businesses, MSPs need the best tools to stay on top of security for their clients. Backup Radar can be an important tool in BCDR/BDR protool and disaster recovery plans. Request a personalized demo of Backup Radar and learn how it can take your MSP’s security services to the next level.