Computer security affects us all. I know, it happened to me.

By Phil Wandrei

A month ago, I received an email from my health care provider, saying, “We want to inform you of a security incident of which we have become aware.”

The email goes on to state it was a ransomware attack and “that prior to locking down [our] system, the cybercriminal removed a copy of a subset of the non-encrypted data.”

In other words, they stole data. Now, this is where I think it gets interesting.

“[We] did pay the cybercriminal’s demand with confirmation that the copy of the data that they removed had been destroyed.”

I thought to myself, you believe they will destroy the data they stole? My sarcastic thought was, did they seal it with a pinky-promise? 

Don’t put your organization or yourself in this situation. How embarrassing to write such a letter and state your organization’s data security is dependent on trusting cybercriminals. Here are three steps to protect your data, organization and ensure you are recovery ready:

  1. Know your data

Knowing your data is critical to protecting it. Can you answer:

  • Where is your critical data located?
  • Is Personal Identification Information (PII) secure?
  • Is any PII data stored where it is not secure?

How confident are you in your answers? 

Recommendation: Implement a single global search to define, find and manage your critical or sensitive data. It needs to span across your entire environment; on-premises, cloud, virtual, physical and endpoint data. Once you know what and where your data is, then you can protect it.

2. Encrypt your data

At some point, a malware attack, including ransomware, will be successful. Your valuable data, especially PII data, is a hot commodity on the dark web. The impact of leaked data damages your brand and reputation, results in lost revenue and costs tens of thousands to millions of dollars for customer remediation.

Recommendation: If the criminals do get your data, make sure it is useless. Think of it as turning the table on the bad actors. Ensure your data is encrypted in-flight and at rest. Even if your data is stolen and leaked, without the encryption keys, it is worthless.

3. Recover quickly

What if you had a secure, encrypted backup copy of your data? You could tell the cybercriminals that you are not paying the ransom and to keep the encrypted data. Then you proceed to implement your data recovery plan and return to normal business operations quickly. 

Recommendation: Ensure you have a data protection and management solution that allows for different service levels by data type, data value and application. Also, have a recovery plan to ensure you know what you will do when a disaster or a data outage occurs. With the proper planning and solution, you can avoid negotiating with cybercriminals and return to normal operations quickly. 

One solution for all of your data protection and management needs

One solution for all of your data protection and management needs

To protect against malware, including ransomware, you need robust data protection and intelligent data management. Commvault offers a single platform to protect and manage your entire environment. With Commvault Activate™ and Commvault Complete™ Data Protection, you have the tools and resources to know, manage and protect your data.

“Our vision is to protect the company from any unforeseen cyber attacks and ensure 100% uptime. Commvault enabled us to achieve this.”

–Deepak Batra, Country Head at Evalueserve India

And with Commvault Readiness Solutions, you can accelerate your recovery through the proper planning, implementation, administration, and support of your environment. With Commvault, you are recovery ready. 

Learn more about Commvault security and ransomware protection

Phil Wandrei is part of Commvault’s principal solutions marketing management.