Data is arguably the most important business asset today, and it is also the chief target of ransomware, which, along with other cybercrime activities, is trending upward at an alarming rate. Faced with significant emerging challenges and increasingly advanced threat vectors, data protection has never been more important, but by the same token, digital transformation must be prioritised, and business agility needs to be preserved at all costs. Being proactive is essential, and organisations today not only need robust data management and protection tools, but also modern ransomware detection solutions that neutralise attacks before they can cause harm.

Significant challenges

Businesses today are focused on protecting their data, but this is challenging in the current environment. Cloud adoption is accelerating, but this comes with additional risk. Since the pandemic, there has been a massive spike in successful ransomware breaches as well as growing sophistication in the nature of attacks. The fact that it is no longer ‘if’ a business will be attacked, but ‘when’, is cause for significant concern at a board level.

However, these issues are compounded by constrained resources and a growing skills gap within digital transformation as a whole, and particularly in the cybersecurity space. Data is increasingly spread across every application and device, both on premise and in the cloud, and this multigenerational data sprawl is challenging to manage and safeguard, especially with a hybrid cloud strategy. 

Data Management as a service

The ‘as a Service’ model offers a number of benefits when it comes to improving ransomware protection, utilising resources efficiently and embracing hybrid cloud transformation. A comprehensive Data Management as a Service (DMaaS) can provide enterprise capabilities, deep breadth of coverage across databases, applications and devices, air-gapped security and agile deployments with unlimited scale, along with simplified management and a reduced infrastructure footprint.

These core pillars reduce both cost and complexity for businesses, and backups with immutability and fast recovery play a critical part in safeguarding against ransomware attacks.  Often, however, by the time a ransomware attack is discovered, it is already too late – it has infiltrated an organisation’s network, possibly weeks or even months ago, and the damage has already been done. It has therefore become essential to adopt a more proactive approach to threat detection to enable early warning ransomware detection.

Deception is the key

It has become increasingly essential to include cyber deception technology as part of a modern ransomware strategy, integrated into a DMaaS solution, to detect and contain ransomware attacks before data leakage, encryption, or exfiltration can occur. Intelligent cyber deception can help businesses  detect and divert attacks early, engage and surface advanced, zero-day and unknown threats and respond faster to threats to safeguard data faster and more effectively. 

This can be achieved through the use of ‘indistinguishable decoys’ – threat sensors that mimic real assets and bait bad actors, alerting to their presence and to attacks that are in progress. This in turn enables accurate alerting, which delivers immediate, precise and early visibility into malicious activity, before threats reach important data. These sensors are invisible to legitimate users and systems, eliminating false positives and alert fatigue and providing instant insight into both active and latent threats.

Recovery is no longer enough

Given the business value of data today, the growing body of legislation around data protection and compliance, and the increasing sophistication of cyberthreats, the ability to recover data after a successful breach is no longer enough. This should be a last line of defence sitting behind a proactive data protection strategy. The key to mitigating risk is preventing attacks from happening in the first place, and to do that, businesses need advanced tools that enable them to detect threats before they can cause harm. Intelligent cyber deception technology integrated into a comprehensive DMaaS solution is the best way for businesses to stay one step ahead of both ransomware and bad actors.

Kate Mollett, Regional Director at Commvault Africa

By Admin