Risks to information security are headline news, and sophisticated safeguards are in higher demand from business customers. Experts say that in 2014, data encryption at every level will become a must-have technology for more businesses, as it’s one of the best ways to guard data from the wrong hands.
Rajiv Gupta, Founder and CEO of cloud security software provider Skyhigh Networks, predicted that unencrypted data will begin to disappear in 2014. Gupta said that regardless of where it’s located, companies will want all data to be encrypted. Encryption will become increasingly critical in the cloud, he adds, because fewer users will want to store data on endpoint devices.
A recent survey from Unisys Security reiterated this point, yet added that much of the movement to greater encryption will be spurred by disclosures from the NSA that it accessed internal networks of many internet service providers.
"Regardless of what you might think of Edward Snowden, the government contractor who leaked secrets about U.S. government surveillance, there is no denying that his disclosures have heightened awareness of cybersecurity all over the world," said Dave Frymier, Unisys chief information security officer, in a statement. "Before that, many enterprises were running unencrypted data on their internal networks, which they believed were secure. Now they are beginning to use encryption internally as well, so we expect 2014 to be the year of encryption."
Hurry before it's too late
A rash of new data security threats is making it imperative for clients to adopt encrypted data backup. Cryptolocker is one of the risks demanding more attention from IT managed services providers and their clients.
Belonging to the ransomware malware family, Cryptolocker follows the usual storyline, wherein it takes control of a victim's computer and demands a ransom before returning it to normal. Often, victims could use security software to outsmart the threat. Cryptolocker, however, encrypts a victim's files and holds them hostage, making it impossible to restore data access without the private key and leaving victims little choice to pay the ransom.
It has been so successful that a recent report from Dell Secureworks Counter Threat Unit revealed that the ransomware virus may have collected hundreds of thousands of dollars in ransoms in only 100 days. But this may only be a conservative estimate, the research reported, as Cryptolocker is still relatively new, appearing first in early September.
In regard to this particularly virulent strain of malware, MSPs will want to communicate the necessity of having encrypted data backup. As PCWorld explained, "If CryptoLocker infects your computer, and you don't have a recent and reliable backup, your choices are between paying the $300 ransom and kissing your documents, spreadsheets, and photographs goodbye."
Can encrypted data backups fight ransomware that encrypts your local data? The benefit of backing up to the Intronis cloud is that, because we encrypt data in-transit and at our storage facility, malware such as cryptolocker is unable to locate the file extensions it needs to hold data at our facilities ransom. That means partners have a better chance to restore clean backups from our data center.
Backups to our local vault are also encrypted without file extensions, meaning the current version of cryptolocker is also unable to affect this data.