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Ransomware attacks are on the increase. Protect your data and business operations with backup, recovery, and policy enforcement technology designed to mitigate the impact of a ransomware attack.

The concern about Ransomware

Ransomware is a top security concern of enterprises around the globe. Advances in security technology, operations, and antifraud protection on credit cards mean that cyber criminals have migrated from payment card information theft to ransomware in order to steal money. These criminals have even learned to game insurance markets, targeting ransom amounts to be just under insurance limits, in order to leverage urgency and a basic financial understanding to elicit payment.

Unfortunately, not all ransom payments result in the release of the hostage data. Not only is it significantly disruptive to business operations, but in many cases constitutes a personal data breach. This is because, despite the fact that there is no unified global privacy or data security law, the legal definition of a data breach can be broadly summarized as any incident in which data is disclosed, lost, altered, or accessed without authorization. In the case of privacy laws, such as the GDPR, ransomware could result in a personal data breach if the data impacted includes personal data.

The cost of Ransomware

Ransomware attacks cost far more than the ransom price put on encrypted data. In addition to the ransom price—which continues to increase even while these attacks become more common—there is also the cost of recovery, lost revenue, operational disruption, and even loss of brand value. In an increasingly digital world, the loss of data can mean that the entire business is shut down. A lack of data availability can mean that perishable goods cannot be unloaded at port, or healthcare is unavailable to those who need it, or that critical infrastructure shuts down when most needed. These interruptions and their related costs are often further reflected in reduced shareholder value and overall trust in a company.

Legal implications of Ransomware

The business costs of ransomware mitigation can be further exacerbated by legal implications. In addition to potential legal claims associated with business interruption, ransomware that impacts personal information may be considered a personal data breach under a variety of different laws. For example, the European Data Protection Board has issued guidelines on personal data breach notification stating that ransomware resulting in the encryption of personal information, with no backups available, and an inability to restore the data, would be considered a breach of confidentiality, integrity, and availability of the impacted personal data. This would require notification of both the European Data Protection Supervisor and any affected data subject. In the United States, multiple laws state that ransomware response is a key aspect of legal compliance, including the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) Cybersecurity Regulation (23 NYCRR 500), the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Responding to Ransomware

Ransomware response strategies, processes, and policies are vital to continuing business operations. Criminals seeking to infect systems with ransomware rely on what is now the weakest link in information systems—the human element. With the entire internet designed to be clicked on and clicked through, and expanding risks in business email compromise, even the most diligent employee can be a risk.

NetApp provides an eBook, Ransomware in the Cloud, filled with resources and information to help customers develop a comprehensive ransomware response practice. These practices range from implementing NetApp FPolicy to help prevent ransomware from executing in storage environments, to recovering from ransomware infiltration through NetApp SnapCenter technology backup and recovery solutions.

Disaster recovery plans that include data backup and recovery are instrumental in reducing the impact of ransomware on business operations. Viable backups, isolated from a ransomware attack loop, are a key component of a system capable of both avoiding ransom payments and continuing operations. Streamlining recovery point objectives to uninfected data points helps to protect against reinfecting systems with stored but dormant ransomware. As a global leader in data storage, NetApp is committed to providing the necessary backup and recovery solutions to empower our customers to remain resilient against ransomware threats.

Can NetApp help me mitigate against Ransomware?

In theory, no one should pay ransom to recover from a cyberattack because backup and recovery options are available. NetApp offers a number of tools designed to empower our customers to prepare for and implement disaster recovery and business continuity and to restore data from backups.

Whatever your storage needs and recovery strategies are, NetApp has solutions to help develop a robust ransomware protection and mitigation strategy.

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