When it comes to data protection, local backup is a good start, but there are a number of risks to relying solely on physical backup drives to archive data. The cybersecurity threat known as cryptolocker is unveiling one big weakness of local backup - its vulnerability to malware and viruses, as PCWorld reported recently.
Experts told the news source that cryptolocker is proof positive of malware's ability to infiltrate backup devices that are connected to targeted computers.
"A lot of people got burned by cryptolocker because their attached backup drives were also encrypted by the Trojan," Dwayne Melancon, CTO of an enterprise security company, told PCWorld. "Cryptolocker encrypts local data files, but it also looks for attached storage devices, network shares and other storage locations connected to your computer."
Intronis partners have also noticed this behavior in cryptolocker attacks. In a recent blog, Damian Barry of Global Business Technologies told us that he dealt with a cryptolocker infection in which a customer's network share was infected.
As you probably remember, cryptolocker attempts to extort its victims by encrypting critical files and then demanding payment in exchange for decrypting the affected files.
Into the cloud
So where does cloud backup fit in?
As we discussed in our recent webinar, “Cryptolocker: Should you pay the ransom,” cloud solutions are not as susceptible to cryptolocker and other similar cyberattacks for a number of reasons. For one, with a cloud backup solution, MSPs have multiple restore points to choose from, increasing the likelihood of a clean backup. Additionally, the right cloud backup solution offers the benefit of proprietary data formats that can help avoid cryptolocker's search for files to encrypt.
It's also important to note that cloud-based backup solutions can better protect data in the event of different types of local disasters. These incidents, including fires, floods and theft, can easily destroy all of the electronic equipment in a given location - including physical backup devices.
To ensure data remains safe, physical backup devices need to be sent to an offsite location at regular intervals, and it's easy to fall behind on this manual work. With the cloud, though, data can be backed up to an offsite cloud server instantly and automatically, keeping the information safe no matter what.