Acronis Employs Heuristics and Blockchain Technologies to Combat Ransomware

Mike Vizard

Thanks to the rise of ransomware, data protection is now an issue that end users are actively thinking about. For many, either they or someone they know has become a victim. Today, Acronis made it simpler to defeat these attacks by detecting ransomware attacks in real time to enable end users to recover data being affected from an image backup.

At the same time, Acronis announced that it is implementing blockchain technology in Acronis True Image 2017 New Generation to be able to prove an image has not been tampered with, alongside a function that automatically backs up any document bearing an electronic signature.

Gaidar Magdanurov, general manager for the consumer business at Acronis, says Acronis is implementing these technologies first in its consumer offerings because cybercriminals are now specifically targeting end users, primarily using phishing attacks. But in time, the tools Acronis used to detect ransomware using heuristics technologies, along with support for blockchain technology based on an Ethereum implementation, will be included in the business versions of its data protection software. Blockchain technology essentially provides each image backup with a digital fingerprint using an immutable database that makes it possible to ensure that an image that has been backed up has not been tampered with.

Magdanurov notes that, in general, ransomware is driving end users to improve their data protection hygiene.

“Cybercriminals have found a way to stick their hands directly into the pockets of the end user,” says Magdanurov.

Acronis

Those ransomware attacks, adds Magdanurov, are only going to get more sophisticated as self-perpetuating worms and attacks that also seek to encrypt backup files become more pervasive, thanks to ransomware toolkits that can be easily downloaded or the simple hiring of a ransomware cloud service to launch the attack.

Because of those issues, Magdanurov says, Acronis makes sure that only tools that support Acronis images can be used to access backup files.

It’ll be interesting to see how, in time, ransomware winds up altering end-user behavior. While many IT professionals may not approve of the means used to bring about that change in behavior, many of them would also secretly concede that the time for making those changes is long past due.


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