Unlike almost any other type of security threat, ransomware captures the attention of IT professionals and business executives alike because in a matter of minutes the entire organization can become paralyzed. Once a cybercriminal encrypts an organization’s data using ransomware, the only two options are to cough up the money demanded to gain access to the keys needed to decrypt that data, or recover a pristine copy of the data that has been hopefully backed up somewhere.
The trouble is that data protection in general is often at best dicey. Organizations may have backed up data at some point, but their ability to actually recover that data is often limited for any number of reasons. The data itself may either be corrupted, or the last actual backup may not have taken place for a week or more.
Aiming to simplify the data protection process, Barracuda Networks this week unveiled a new version of an appliance that makes it simpler to back data up both locally and into the cloud. Rod Mathews, senior vice president and general manager for data protection at Barracuda Networks, says a faster Barracuda Backup 990 appliance provides access to both 48TB of usable storage on the device itself, as well as support for interfaces that make it possible to transfer data to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud.
Having a local copy of data speeds the recovery process. But no organization can really afford to back up all their data on local storage. Because of that, cloud services such as AWS have become a mainstay of any data protection strategy. The issue that most organizations face today is that they don’t have access to a dedicated storage professional to manage that process. Mathews says Barracuda Networks has crafted a common user interface that enables an IT generalist to manage both the backup appliance as well as the firewall appliances that Barracuda Networks provides.
While there have been many efforts in the past to couple IT security and data protection, ransomware is now making it a much more urgent topic.
“Ransomware is the poster child for finally bringing these things together,” says Mathews.
The problem is that, outside of larger enterprises, the same IT professionals that manage everything else are also tasked with data protection and IT security chores. The degree to which they can successfully complete those tasks depends heavily on how simple they are to accomplish.
Thanks to the rise of ransomware, every IT organization now needs to think of data protection as a continuous process versus an event that needs to occur in the rare circumstance of, for example, a fire that winds up consuming a data center. That in and of itself is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s just a shame that it took the rise of ransomware to provide the incentive for IT organizations to finally address a whole host of data protection issues once and for all.