Ransomware attacks have devastating consequences for many businesses. Those go beyond the monetary loss tied to ransom-encrypted data, and include disrupted operations, unhappy customers, regulatory fines, and—worst of all—reputational damage that can be hard to overcome.
It is important to understand that ransomware events cannot be completely avoided. Humans will continue to open emails and click on links that launch malware. Ransomware attacks have become pervasive and require a strong and comprehensive level of preparedness and ongoing protection.
Both security and disaster recovery are essential, and complete solutions require technology, processes, and highly skilled experienced technical specialists. Businesses can piece together complete solutions but generally do not have the experienced technical specialists to pull them off, as they are in very short supply and very expensive to hire.
Ransomware Protection as a Service (RPaaS) has emerged to provide full coverage both before and after a ransomware event. Here, the preventative and restorative sides of the equation are paired under a single service, along with detection solutions to bridge the two areas.
Previously, some argued that having a DR plan automatically means that data is protected from a cyber-attack, and other that a business needs a separated cyber-attack recovery plan. Neither of these views are right – a modern resiliency strategy must account for all the threats, including ransomware.
The problem is that a ransomware attack throws traditional approaches to security, disaster recovery, and regular recovery time objective (RTO) times out the window. And what if the location for your failover has become a crime scene? Where will you recover?
RPaaS asks both camps (those with DR expertise and those with cybersecurity expertise) to collaborate with a singular goal, to offer improvements to one plan from their respective areas of expertise, encouraging a business to adopt the best options available rather than keeping disparate plans for scattershot scenarios.
Businesses familiar with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will know of their five functions of a strong security posture:
Many may view NIST as a staid, overly bureaucratic approach, but the five functions are absolutely essential.
Ransomware is a unique type of cyber-attack, and no protective strategy is 100% effective all the time (because of the aforementioned human factor), so the DR elements of “respond” and “recover” are essential.
To achieve full coverage and to avoid parties in each of the five functions from stepping on each other’s feet, RPaaS is segmented into three subcategories to address prevention, detection, and recovery for a business:
In this first portion of RPaaS, a security operations center (SOC) team monitors and warns of threat activity to stop attacks before they happen. This team of trained and available experts focus on rapid identification and containment of malicious activity by leveraging firewalls, zero tolerance security, endpoint, EDR, MDR, SIEM, and other detection and prevention tools.
These restorative measures include failover, forensics, data clean-up, immutable backups, and other necessities. With a process focused on testing and documentation, all equipped with technologies for replication, backup, cloud recovery and data encryption, Ransomware Response as a Service (RRaaS) folds Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) and Backup as a Service (BaaS) together to establish a reliable strategy specifically around when a ransomware event occurs.
This expands the standard approach of air gapping, multi-factor authentication (MFA) and immutable backups for a managed replication and recovery model for rapid uptime and an alternative target for failover should the primary datacenter become infected and unusable.
For security posture and advice, a vCISO is dedicated to an organization in RPaaS, on hand at any moment to help strategize and orchestrate the recovery execution, quality assurance aspects, and forensics investigation. This ongoing advisory assistance supports the maturation of a security process and business risk mitigation. The vCISO will help an IT team analyze, advise, and develop important governance policies and processes for business. During a ransomware event declaration, this same person will help with your response strategy execution.
Ransomware attacks won’t be going away anytime soon. RPaaS provides a complete solution so that businesses can go about their business.
RPaaS ensures that organizations both stay ahead of threats and are prepared for when their plans fall short. With the three key areas of SOCaaS, Ransomware Recovery as a Service (RRaaS), and a dedicated vCISO on hand rolled into a single managed service, organizations can finally harness a holistic and comprehensive approach to the full mitigation efforts needed for this fast-evolving threat type.