DATA PROTECTION

Ransomware in 2023: Diving into the Challenges and Solutions

September 26, 2023By Drew Schlussel

In today's digital world, cybersecurity threats loom larger than ever, casting shadows over organizations of all sizes and sectors. Veeam’s recent Ransomware Trends Report reveals alarming trends and challenges that organizations must contend with at this time. The report paints a detailed and, at times, startling picture of the mounting threats and the responses they necessitate. From the surge in cyber-attacks to the intricacies of data recovery and insurance challenges, businesses find themselves in a complex web of vulnerabilities. Here are some of the key takeaways from Veeam’s report that organizations should be paying attention to: 

The Crucial Role of Backups

If there's one thing that Veeam’s report emphasizes vehemently, it is the indispensability of backups. However, merely having a backup strategy is not the cure-all; the intricacies lie in ensuring these backups are foolproof. The cunning and capability of cyber attackers are evident in the fact that they targeted backup repositories in at least 93% of the attacks. Such stats emphasize that traditional backup methods are now outdated. Businesses need to think ahead, adopting forward-thinking solutions. The emphasis should be on ensuring that even if cyber attackers breach primary defenses, they are met with an impenetrable wall, safeguarding the organization's invaluable data.  

Surge in Cyber Attacks

Indeed, the numbers are alarming. From an already worrying 76% in the previous year, there's been a jump to 85% of organizations experiencing attacks. This is not merely a statistical increment but a sign of the evolving sophistication of cybercriminals. For businesses, especially those that considered themselves small and thus safe, these numbers serve as a wake-up call. No longer can they afford to be complacent, believing they’re not lucrative or significant enough to be targeted. This worrying statistic shows just how imperative it is to take action. 

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Insurance Challenges

The rise of ransomware attacks has seen many organizations turning to their insurance providers, seeking solace and financial protection. In many instances, insurance has indeed footed the hefty ransoms demanded by attackers. However, as the threat landscape continues to evolve, so too does the insurance industry’s response. Organizations now face a new adversary: escalating insurance costs. Insurance premiums are skyrocketing and deductibles are increasing, making financial recovery from an attack even more challenging. Most unsettling, however, is the revelation that some policies now explicitly exclude ransomware-specific events, leaving businesses exposed and vulnerable. In fact, in the report, 21% of organizations reported that ransomware was excluded from their policies. 

The Alignment Challenge

While technology undeniably plays a pivotal role, one can’t discount the significance of human collaboration. It is not just about having the best tools but ensuring seamless synchronization among teams that manage and operate these tools. The report’s revelation that 70% of backup administrators feel that there needs to be “significant improvement” or a “complete overhaul” of their teams’ alignment needs is alarming. The ripple effects of such misalignment can be catastrophic, leading to overlooked vulnerabilities and delayed responses. Organizations must be proactive and come together as one to better fend off attacks. 

Data Recovery Challenges

In the treacherous game of ransomware, paying the demanded fee often seems the most direct route to retrieving hijacked data. Yet, the report highlights a disturbing reality: payment does not guarantee data recovery. Despite a significant 80% of victims complying with ransom demands, an astonishing 25% were left empty-handed, unable to recover their precious data. These statistics serve as a stark reminder of the ruthlessness of cybercriminals. On a broader scale, attacks, on average, compromised 45% of an organization’s production data. The recovery rate stands at a mere 66%, leaving a vast amount of data permanently lost. 

Duration of Recovery

Beyond the immediate turmoil of a ransomware attack lies the prolonged challenge of recovery. The process is neither swift nor straightforward. On average, the duration from the onset of an earnest recovery effort to its completion stretches to a grueling 3.3 weeks. This timeline, however, does not encompass the initial, crucial stages of identifying infected servers and ascertaining the integrity of backups. The prolonged recovery process not only disrupts business operations but also escalates operational costs, putting a further strain on victimized organizations. 

Emergence of Hybrid Recovery Strategies

In response to the evolving threat of ransomware, organizations are pioneering innovative recovery strategies. No longer reliant on a singular recovery method, there is a palpable shift towards hybrid recovery solutions. The cloud has emerged as a champion in this arena, with cloud-based infrastructure becoming an increasingly popular choice. Additionally, the report indicates the rise of Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) platforms. According to the report, 52% of organizations are now gearing up with recovery plans with both cloud and on-premises options. 

 In Conclusion…

Ultimately, the findings from Veeam’s report provide invaluable insights for organizations navigating the tumultuous waters of cyber threats. As ransomware continues to rear its menacing head, the challenges it presents, from insurance woes to recovery durations, are multifaceted. By acknowledging these challenges and proactively adapting, organizations can fortify their defenses and remain resilient in the face of adversity.

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