Veeam has been a valued partner of ours and an industry leader for quite some time. Recently we met with a few of the local Veeam folks who spoke a little about security from a different angle. Data protection is something often undervalued. The number of Fortune 500 companies without a true disaster recovery plan or at the very least a validated and tested backup strategy is downright scary!

We’re going to look a little into how easy it is to get breached. How Ransomware has propagated to an actual industry, but most importantly you’ll see how Veeam helps protect your organizations data at its most critical points.

Full Disclosure

In my ten-year IT career, I’ve failed two security vulnerability email tests. It was that whole, “You have a rich uncle in Zambia who just needs your bank account number to transfer $100,000,000.” Gets me every time!

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By the way, just because I’m kidding does not mean spotting these online crooks and hackers is easy. They’re out there and they have built a serious industry around fraud.

How easy?

In a previous position one of our security engineers, in 45 minutes, could have gained access to a company server containing financial data for every employee in the organization. Although he did stop short of gaining full access he didn’t stop short of proving an important point which was, yes, it’s that easy.

Oh, one more thing… he did all of this as if he knew nothing about his organization.

10 Steps To A Hack:

  • Found company online
  • Found our partners and chose one
  • Called front desk and pretended he was a partner and needed to speak to our VP of Sales (found online)
  • Got VPs assistants email and corresponded with said assistant
  • From assistants email he got signature cadence
  • Built fake email coming from assistant’s VP and sent to assistant
  • Email asked her to test a link he was going to send to the sales force
  • Link was actually a malicious executable file
  • Assistant clicked on the link
  • And… he was in (or could have been)
Who Is The Easiest Target?

One word, users, and it’s not always the rich uncle in Zambia that get us in trouble. Many of these attacks, like the prior example, are REALLY hard to recognize. An email from your boss with his/her signature and their normal email cadence… 95% of everyone would fail to recognize the warning signs.

Are there counter measures you could put in place? Sure. A good whitelisting technology is certainly a great start. Employee training and awareness is another piece of the puzzle, but if someone with enough skill wants to get inside your network they probably will.  There has to be another way to protect your data.

Luckily for us there is…Veeam.

 Ransomware = Big Business

 Ransomware attacks have effectively doubled in the last two years, and it’s not just users that these networks go after anymore. Previously mentioned, servers are now targets of ransomware and within that context these criminals can do much more damage.

Why are these folks so aggressive? Ransomware has become a big business! The FBI estimates around $150 Million a year is being exploited from organizations who end up paying instead of coming up with an alternative solution. In fact, over fifty percent of ransomware victims end up paying to have their data unencrypted. If you were a ransomware purveyor would you stop?

Ransomware Embraces User Experience

This is actually funny, in a sad sort of way. Ransomware “guys” have become so competitive with one another some have actually offered up services to their victims as a kind of customer service outreach program.

Jigsaw Crypto-Ransomware now has an online chat service designed to make the process of purchasing bitcoins easier. It’s kind of brilliant, but twisted at the same time. They’re actually embracing their victims as customers. User experience baby!

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I Love The Smell Of Veeam In The Morning – It Smells Like, Victory!

@RickVanover talks about the 3…2…1 rule not being new, but also not being adopted as widely as it should be. Three copies of data on two different media types, with one of those copies being hosted offsite. The three, two, one rule can be accomplished using backup software (Veeam) storage snapshots and even offsite tape but the point is to put as many barriers between the hackers and your data as possible.

Maybe something that looks a little like the below diagram.

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What’s all this mean?

It means through testing, validation and a lighting quick recovery Veeam helps to ensure your data is safe and available.  How much data loss are you facing? A max loss of 15 minutes, and that’s only if the file happens to get encrypted at exactly fourteen minutes and fifty-nine seconds. Most likely you’re looking at less than a fifteen-minute data loss.

Veeam gives you a very real opportunity to not pay any fee associated with ransomware, so why wouldn’t you take a look at the industry leader in virtual backup (and now physical) as well as data recovery?

We’re not talking about the same old backup conversation. This is about the protection of your data which at the end of the day is the number one asset of any organization. In the meantime, though, give us or Veeam a shout with any questions. We’re glad to help… even though Ransomware’s customer service initiative has gotten pretty strong reviews on Yelp….