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What is Ransomware and How to Detect It [Ransomware Infographic]

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Every business needs a robust business continuity plan—one that’s actually practical and cost-effective to use. Fortunately, Qumulo Recover Q data protection features can safeguard your data from dangerous ransomware threats. We explain what ransomware is and how it works, and provide 5 best practices for threat detection and data recovery in our ransomware infographic.

In a report by EMSISOFT Malware Lab, global revenue generated by ransomware attacks in 2020 was estimated at between $6.25B and $25B with each attack resulting in an average of 16 days downtime. A 2021 IDC survey found the average ransom payment was almost a quarter million dollars; and, perhaps most concerning, research by the PCI Council showed that 1 in 5 small businesses hit by ransomware are forced to shut down.

For these reasons, it’s essential to create a business continuity plan to protect your data before a crisis strikes. Taking a proactive, holistic approach to ransomware prevention, detection, and recovery is one of the absolute best things all enterprises can do to prevent ransomware data loss and ensure cyber threats can’t get near your file data storage.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware falls under the umbrella of malware in which a malicious attacker gains access to sensitive data, and then encrypts or hijacks the data files and demands a payment in order for you to regain access to those files. Ransomware can be installed by Trojan horse software or downloaded when visiting a malicious website.

How does ransomware work?

Ransomware works by encrypting and exfiltrating its target’s data. The extortionists behind the ransomware will then offer its victim a passcode—or a “key”—to decrypt files encrypted by ransomware, unlocking the data, in return for cryptocurrency payments that can run from tens of thousands to even millions of dollars.

What determines the effectiveness of a ransomware attack on enterprise data storage is the level of permissions that IT administrators have granted to the individual or employee who inadvertently enabled the attack. This inadvertently granted access generally occurs by way of social engineering, or social hacking, in which a user is tricked into providing a malicious attacker with login credentials that enables them to access the storage system.

Why cyber-criminals target enterprise data

Data is among one of the most valuable assets to any organization, and the more of it, the greater the incentives are for cyber-criminals to hack it. With more data workflows occurring remotely on computers, over networks, and in the cloud, businesses these days simply cannot ignore ransomware threats. If your enterprise works with massive amounts of data and billions of files, your odds are much greater of becoming a target for malicious attackers.

In disaster recovery planning, there is a prevention phase in which your ultimate goal is to simply make your data a bigger hassle to get at than the average company. Think of this strategy as the analogy of not having to outrun a bear to avoid getting eaten; you don’t have to be the fastest, you just have to run faster than the slowest person. Don’t be the easiest target, and you’ve already made great strides to prevent ransomware.

A network firewall is an example of a preventative component of a disaster recovery plan. Yet should a ransomware threat sneak past your first line of defense, having a data backup and cloud disaster recovery plan are critical parts of every business continuity strategy.

Ransomware Infographic

Leveraging cloud based disaster recovery for business continuity can give enterprises a complete, cost-effective solution to safeguard storage data from ransomware attacks. In our ransomware infographic below, we provide some best practices to help you put your business continuity plan into action and protect your mission-critical data from ransomware.


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Join us on October 13, 2021, and learn how business continuity in the cloud is your best path to an effective way to mitigate data loss in the event of natural disasters, ransomware, and routine failures.

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