John Zanni is the president of software company Acronis. Here he shares his thoughts on a subject that strikes fear into the hearts of traders worldwide - ransomware. He argues that intelligent data backup for traders is key to tackling the financial sector's newest enemy...
As we know, data is one of the most important things to protect in the financial sector, and it is becoming increasingly difficult to do so with the number of cyber attacks being unleashed, not least wide-scale and quickly spreading ransomware.
Whether to mitigate device loss or theft or a cyber threat, data backup and security vendors need to offer companies full data protection for their main apps and folders stored on their devices and in the cloud, using a single easily manageable solution.
And real-time protection against the widening threat of ransomware must also be included in the technology offered. Without the right data backup and security technology, organisations remain vulnerable to damaging cyber attacks, data tampering and irreparable data loss.
Does your data backup solution use artificial intelligence to detect, stop and reverse the effects of ransomware? Does it let you monitor what is going on with your computer in real-time via an easy-to-use dashboard, and let you track the status and speed of backups?
An inevitable breach
It has now got to the stage where traders have to come to terms with the fact that it is inevitable that at some time their network security perimeters will be breached – basic anti-virus software and firewalls cannot stop everything. The most important thing now is how traders are going to cope with a breach by reducing any damage caused - by restoring any compromised data as quickly as possible.
As ransomware - like that seen in this year's global WannaCry and NotPetya attacks - quickly spreads from one computer to another and locks up machines until users pay a ransom, the potential financial damage to traders is almost limitless.
Sniffing it out
Therefore, trading institutions and their work-at-home and mobile workers must make sure they have top-of-the-range data backup systems in place that can both sniff out attacks before they are spread, and quickly backup multiple copies of data in a number of locations, including the cloud.
Solutions must also enable quick data restores after an attack has happened. This is the only way to avoid becoming the chump organisation which sees its trading systems collapse and be out of action for days.
A cloud-based data backup system will be able to identify emerging threats before an attack, offer quick network detection, and deliver a swift response to an attack all the way through to the backup and recovery process. As cybercriminals recognise that backup is a threat to their plans, they are increasingly using ransomware to target the backup files that provide users “safe harbor”.
The need to actively defend backup files is why Acronis developed Acronis Active Protection, its artificial intelligence-based anti-ransomware technology. The solution is incorporated into the Acronis True Image 2018 data protection package.
Acronis Active Protection tirelessly searches for the latest threats and can make sure that traders thoroughly prepare their last line of defence. By generating and securing reliable backups, traders will not lose data or be locked out of their system – regardless of how creative the cybercriminals become!