Ransomware and Your Big Data Backup Strategy


The latest security threat making news almost every day is ransomware, a virus that prevents users from accessing computers and information systems till money is paid. That virus has been impacting organizations of all stripes: healthcare companies, financial services companies, and even school districts.


Certainly, much has been opined on the need for better security software and processes to mitigate the risk of an attack in the first place. But with the ransomware epidemic, the need for a relevant backup strategy becomes critical for data protection. Some organizations infected with the virus had a backup strategy that just didn’t work. For companies with terabytes or petabytes of Big Data that may be at risk, the concern isn’t only about having a backup plan, it’s also about the effectiveness of the plan itself.


Your effective backup plan will have multiple components:


  • The first relates to the frequency of your backups. If your data protection policies call for a weekly backup on Sunday at 10 a.m. and the cyberattack occurs on Saturday night, then you potentially have a week’s worth of new data at risk. More frequent backups, sometimes called continuous backups, can alleviate some of this risk.


  • Another relevant consideration is where you store your backups. Many companies take backup snapshots that reside on the production system itself. Once their production system is compromised by ransomware, their backups are, of course, compromised as well. So it is crucial for you to store your backups off-cluster. That way, you don’t afford a single point of failure should a cyberattack occur.


  • Finally, it’s important that you understand how to recover data at a granular level and to a system other than your production cluster. After all, the latter has been compromised. Your backup software or scripts you use must enable you to quickly and efficiently recover data to an alternative system so that your company can continue serving customers despite the attack.


As Big Data turns into a $90 billion industry over the next 10 years, businesses must focus on protecting their valuable data assets and on ensuring always-on availability no matter what or when the virus-of-the-day threatens. We encourage you to learn more about how Imanis Data protects data platforms like Hadoop and Cassandra and Vertica.

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