Ransomware and IT data breaches – how can companies fight back?

The threat of companies being hacked or impacted by cybercrime continues to rapidly grow.

Regardless of what industry you operate, or the size of your company, hackers are making deliberate and targeted attacks.

The scenario usually unfolds when a compromised email, hyperlink, or attachment breaches an IT system and will encrypt all corporate data from businesses.

Often the only way of regaining access is by paying large and hefty ransom fees to an anonymous offshore bank account.

More technically this is known as a ‘ransomware attack’, and occurrences like this are becoming more and more common in business.

And in Australia, the numbers of companies suffering such an attack are increasing. A recent study released this year, ‘State of Ransomware 2022i’, undertaken by British based security software and hardware company Sophos Group, found the number of ransomware attacks in Australia has increased by 45 per cent in 2021 from the year before.

According to the survey, 43 per cent of organisations that had encrypted data paid between US$100,000 and US$500,000 to get their data back. Sophisticated hackers often delete backups meaning organisations don’t have the ability to recover their data.

The report summarises the impact of ransomware on 5,600 mid-sized organisations in 31 countries across Europe, the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Central Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, with 965 sharing details of ransomware payments. This included 250 in Australia, of whom 65 shared details of ransomware payments.

So how can companies fight back and enhance their established IT platforms?

The good news is that there are new protection measures hitting the market.

One of the most effective is an IBM backed disaster recovery product from CMTG called ‘immutable copy’.

The technology allows your entire IT environment to be rapidly backed up and importantly enables very fast restoration of data.

It is impossible to delete, modify or otherwise compromise these backups.

CMTG managing director Carl Filpo says the speed of the restoration is one of the most compelling benefits.

“This technology is cutting edge, offering rapid speeds that backs up and restores data very quickly and at a fraction of the time of any other systems,” said Mr Filpo.

“It offers a higher level of protection that even stops us as the administrator from gaining access or making changes to a clients’ data – it’s very extensive and requires significantly less investment than a traditional recovery system.

“In particular we’re seeing more and more insurance companies ask for it because of how quickly it can bring back data and for a fraction of the cost.”

Global pump manufacturer and engineering firm Dynapumps with its headquarters based in Perth has proactively sought out the new technology. The company’s chief operating officer Iain Torrance says that cyber threats are increasing exponentially. “We have a responsibility to proactively manage and mitigate against cyber threats,” said Mr Torrance. “When CMTG presented the option to bolster our IT infrastructure with the immutable copy technology, hosted on its private cloud, it was a no brainer for us. “The solution gives us peace of mind that in the event of a ransomware attack, we will be back up and running within the hour, resulting in minimised losses.”

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