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Innovating to protect your data from ransomware attacks

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Dnyaneshwar Pawar
Dnyaneshwar Pawar

There’s a good reason why data security and protection are top priorities for businesses today: the ongoing threat of ransomware. By the numbers:

Enterprise data is often the main target of ransomware attacks. These attacks typically hijack data by encrypting it, followed by a ransom demand to release it. NetApp provides ransomware protection exactly where attacks take place—the data storage system itself. The storage system is the best place to proactively detect ransomware attacks and protect enterprise data. Therefore NetApp® ONTAP® data management software has added ransomware protection, starting with the ONTAP 9.10.1 release.

ONTAP ransomware protection has two key capabilities: proactive detection of ransomware attacks; and the ability to recover data by using protected NetApp Snapshot™ copies.

Proactive detection of ransomware attacks

ONTAP systems monitor I/Os and updates to the data to detect unusual patterns that indicate a possible ransomware attack. This proactive detection allows ONTAP systems to respond quickly and alert customers to take corrective action. The first response of ONTAP systems is to create Snapshot copies, read-only, immutable, point-in-time copies of data that are locked so that they can’t be deleted and can be used for data recovery.

Data recovery from ransomware attack

The data recovery mechanism relies on NetApp Snapshot copies for data recovery. The proactive detection mechanism enables rapid creation of data copies on suspicion of attack. The affected data can be recovered from these copies at a granularity determined by the customer. The whole dataset can be recovered instantly, or individual files can be recovered as required.

The key to protection from ransomware attacks is fast, proactive detection of attacks and the ability to recover data for business continuity—the very capabilities that ONTAP systems offer. NetApp continues to innovate to enhance ransomware protection through improved analytics for attack detection and recovery.  

Dnyaneshwar Pawar

Dnyaneshwar Pawar is a technical director in the File System Group at NetApp. He oversees the NetApp Storage Efficiency portfolio, ransomware protection, and other aspects of WAFL® file systems.

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