How to Harden Your Data Infrastructure Against Ransomware Attacks

What is Ransomware?

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your files and requires payment of a ransom in return for restoring access to your data. As there’s no guarantee that a perpetrator will honor the terms of the ransom, preventing ransomware through cybersecurity best practices and routine snapshots is your best option.

How Ransomware Works

Like all malware, ransomware must be downloaded onto your machine or network for it to gain access to your data. The most common way to contract ransomware is through a downloadable attachment delivered via a phishing email, but thumb drives, compromised apps, and infected websites are also viable attack vectors.  

Once downloaded and executed, the ransomware encrypts the host system’s files, rendering it computationally inaccessible without the right decryption key. Typically, a ransom note is presented to the owners of the compromised system with details on how much and how to pay to have their files released. More sophisticated ransomware, such as NotPetya, can deliver its payload without relying on human error, and instead, by exploiting critical software vulnerabilities in your system.

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How to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

Common methods to prevent ransomware attacks include:

  • Keeping your operating system and technology stack up-to-date to stay ahead of known exploits and vulnerabilities
  • Investing in cybersecurity (e.g., InfoSec training, network security audits, and vulnerability testing)
  • Controlling access to secure files and data through admin rights and privilege management
  • Backing up your files through frequent snapshots and other data-protection methods

How Pure Storage Protects Your Data from Ransomware

Conventional data-protection measures were designed to safeguard your data from natural or human-made disasters, data corruption, or accidental deletions. However, ransomware attacks can stress existing data-protection infrastructure that may be built on legacy architectures, such as disk and tape, more than expected.

Pure Storage® FlashBlade® SafeMode snapshots provide built-in protection against ransomware attacks by frequently backing up your system to read-only snapshots from which you can recover your data. Because these snapshots can’t be modified, deleted, or encrypted, they’re protected from ransomware attacks. 

Additional benefits of storing your data on FlashBlade include:

  • Protection of both data and associated metadata catalogues
  • Speedy recovery in the wake of a ransomware attack with Rapid Restore

SafeMode snapshots come at no extra charge as part of your Pure subscription when you use FlashBlade.

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