It’s been said that ransomware is only in its infancy. One might have hoped or at least speculated that ransomware would be just a flash in the pan and eventually tail off, even if long-tailed. But that’s not the case, with ransomware attacks doubling in 2020 over 2019.  It was disheartening to see the increased number of ransomware attacks in the healthcare market as the pandemic-related chaos prevailed and provided a smokescreen for hackers.

Cybercrime is fast becoming a significant threat to business operations. A prediction by Cybersecurity Ventures suggests a company will be hit by ransomware every 11 seconds in 2021. A July 2020 report from Gartner predicts, “Cybersecurity threats and ransomware attacks will impact 95% of infrastructure & operations leaders through 2024.” And, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the severity of ransomware attacks increased 47% in 2020, with a 100% spike in the number of attacks since 2019. 

Data security is a critical priority in an era of escalating cybercrime and swelling data repositories. And, businesses are increasingly relying heavily on data collection, usage and distribution for analytics purposes.

A recently published report by the Data Center Intelligence Group (DCIG), commissioned by the Active Archive Alliance, states that active archiving solutions offer permanent and long-term protection for archived data against malicious intrusion, as well as accidental data loss or corruption. The report highlights numerous ways that active archive solutions can provide ransomware mitigation, including:

  • Protecting archive data from modification. Write once, read many (WORM) and retention management features keep archived data safe from malicious encryption or overwrite.
  • Replicating archived data and securing offline storage. Active archive solutions may secure archived data through offline storage, providing an air gap defense that removes the data from the network where it cannot be attacked. Archived data may be replicated for additional protection.
  • Replicating data to a secure cloud. Data remains online in a secure cloud, protecting it with security features like secure socket layers (SSL) encryption and multi-factor user authentication.
  • Supporting 3-2-1 data archiving. The 3-2-1 model maintains three replicated copies stored on two different storage types, such as a disk-based backup system, a secure cloud platform and online or offline tape.
  • Enabling rapid recovery. The more data sets that reside in primary storage, the greater the opportunity for hackers. Active archiving minimizes attack opportunities in primary storage by identifying and moving inactive files to secure cloud and offline archives. This approach leaves fewer data sets to test and recover on primary storage and primary backup, speeding up recovery with minimal business impact.

By leveraging active archiving’s intelligent data management software, organizations may cost-effectively amp up cybersecurity with multiple geo-distinct copies, encryption and key management. Active archives protect against cyberattacks by automatically placing multiple copies of data in multiple geographies and on multiple mediums, including offsite and offline. 

Active archives will play an increasing role in cybercrime prevention with the ability to support the export of copies of data to a secure offline location. Once removed from the network, the data simply can’t be hacked.

While the IT profession faces multiple challenges as we slowly emerge from the pandemic, a strategic approach to intelligently managing data by implementing an active archive will pay dividends in reducing costs, providing competitive advantage and safeguarding the data that is becoming our most valuable asset.