Staying Ahead of Ransomware With the Cloud

According to a report from Check Point Software, there were 93% more ransomware attacks in the first half of 2021 than during the same period last year. Palo Alto Networks’ Unit 42 security group also found payments have risen more than 80% since 2020, reaching a record $570,000 average in the first half of 2021. Further, the report noted hackers now have four techniques to use for extorting victims, including file encryption, data theft, denial of service and harassment of partners, contacts and employees and more. 

If you thought we’d be getting a handle on ransomware by now, you’re likely alarmed. The pandemic and the rush to remote work created widespread security vulnerabilities, and ransomware has turned into an industry that shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, experts predict these threats will accelerate, marked by larger and more sophisticated attacks. Yet, the news is not all doom-and-gloom—there is a promising trend. 

DevOps Experience

Last year, more than 40% of companies had most or all of their environments in the cloud, a number expected to increase more than 60% within 18 months, according to analysts at IDG. And when used correctly, the cloud not only helps discourage ransomware attackers but should a company fall prey, the cloud dramatically improves their ability to recover, stop losses and get back to business quickly.

Setbacks With Backups

Before addressing how the cloud helps, it’s important to remember that most enterprises rely on backups to overcome ransomware. However, even the most advanced backup and disaster recovery (DR) technology can’t prevent the cost and disruption that comes with an attack. In a typical approach, days and even weeks can pass before data is fully restored, especially for enterprises with terabytes of backup to restore to a rebuilt server. 

And, as the saying goes, time is money.

A survey by Sophos of 5,400 IT decision-makers in mid-sized organizations indicates the cost of recovery from a ransomware attack has more than doubled in the past year. What’s more, the expense of remediation—including factors like downtime and sales losses—increased from $761,106 to $1.85 million. Not only does this make the expense of recovery…