Everyone who uses computers for work or entertainment has most likely come across the word ‘Ransomware’ more than once. Some of you might have even been victimized by ransomware. Did you know that within the first half of 2022, there were 236.1 million ransomware attacks globally? It goes to show that ransomware has become a big part of our lives now and that one needs to be prepared to fight against it.
Modern-day ransomware has come a long way from its simplistic forms. The earlier AIDS Trojan used symmetric encryption, whereas the newer Conti uses RSA-4096 and AES-256-CBC encryption. Recovering files was easy with AIDS Trojan as the key to get the files was present within the code itself, but with Conti, the encryption used is too formidable to be broken.
How harmful is ransomware exactly?
Some of the encryption algorithms used by the notorious ransomware are RSA, RC4, AES, ECHD, et cetera. Ransomware usually leverages these encryption methods on multiple levels to put the victim’s data at the mercy of cybercriminals. To make things worse, ransomware has evolved to a stage where they can incapacitate the victim’s computer, as observed in Petya. In the case of Petya, the entire hard drive can be locked up making it impossible to boot up the computer.
It does not matter where you store your data, on-premises or in the cloud. Ransomware can wreak havoc anywhere, anytime. Businesses can no longer afford to stay oblivious of ransomware and need to take concrete steps to protect themselves against the blight of ransomware.
What about ransomware protection?
Fortunately, ransomware protection has also evolved to an impressive extent, just like the ransomware itself. Ransomware protection solutions are understandably highly sought after in the market. One of the new-age weapons against ransomware is the Object lock feature. This feature locks up data stored on the cloud such that no one can modify it for a specific period of time. It banks on the Write Once Read Many model (WORM).
Zmanda has been helping businesses fight against data loss threats due to various causes for a while now. We have been introducing new features and improving existing ones to make your backup and recovery more airtight than ever. In line with these efforts, we are happy to introduce a new feature that lets you combat ransomware threats with more confidence.
Introducing Immutable Backup for Your Ransomware Protection
So, what is immutable backup? Just like the name suggests, immutable backup is a feature that makes your cloud backup immutable to ransomware attacks, i.e., uneditable for a certain period of time. So your valuable data stays on the cloud untouched no matter what.
We are leveraging the object lock feature (immutable backup solution) in AWS S3 and Wasabi cloud storage to accomplish immutable backup feature in Zmanda. To make object lock management seamless, configuring immutable backups can be done from ZMC itself.
Let us now see how you can configure and manage immutable backup via ZMC.
You can enable or disable the immutable backup feature on the storage level and backupset levels. The immutable backup toggle is available in the Add cloud storage form under advanced options.
Once you enable the Immutable Backup feature, you can specify the mode and the retention period in days. Immutable backup are available in two different modes. They are:
Compliance mode: In compliance mode, users cannot edit or delete the backed-up data. Even the retention period remains fixed until it elapses.
Governance mode: In governance mode, users cannot edit or delete the backed-up data. However, certain users with special privileges (like the root user, for example) can reduce the retention period. You can grant special privileges to certain users if you wish.
Additionally, the immutable backup toggle is also available on the Backup Where page of the backupset configuration, as shown below.
Once you enable the toggle, you get the same options as you get on the Add cloud storage form, i.e., choice of compliance or governance modes and retention period in days.
Remember, you can only enable the immutable backup feature for new buckets created on the cloud storage and not the existing ones. Also, the immutable backup mode cannot be changed once it is set. Therefore, we recommend you analyze your needs before setting it.
In case the governance mode is selected, and you wish to alter the retention period, you need to log in to the AWS/Wasabi console as applicable and alter it accordingly.
Advantages of the Immutable Backup feature
- Assured protection from modifications, be it intentional or accidental. No one will be able to change the backed-up data, be it your own employees or cybercriminals.
- It helps you meet compliance requirements of government and industry regulations like FINRA, HIPAA, and CJIS for data protection.
To Sum It All Up
With the immutable backup feature, Zmanda has made your backed-up data on AWS and Wasabi incredibly secure against ransomware. We will continue to strive to bring more customer-driven features to you in the coming releases. If you are in the market for an enterprise backup and recovery product, then do not forget to request a free demo or trial of Zmanda. Our trained support team is always ready to help you resolve any challenges you might face in adopting Zmanda as your disaster recovery partner.