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Thwarting Ransomware Attacks | @CloudExpo #BigData #ML #Cybersecurity
As technology gets increasingly complex, it’s a foregone conclusion that we will be coming face to face with security threats
By: Nitin Donde
Aug. 4, 2017 12:00 PM
Having an Actionable Disaster Recovery Plan Is Crucial in Thwarting Ransomware Attacks
As we have seen over and over again, a new wave of ransomware attacks has been plaguing large parts of Europe over the last couple of weeks. While the affected individuals and organizations are struggling with the very tangible business impact of the loss of revenue and operations, it's critical to step back and review what else one could do to mitigate and minimize the damage from such attacks in the future.
Not everyone seems to be agreeing on the exact name of the attack - however this particular strain is apparently from a family of attacks that uses EternalBlue, an exploit developed by NSA, along with an MS Office / WordPad vulnerability discovered earlier this year. While the previous ransomware attack was known as WannaCry, this latest attack goes by several names - Petya, Petrwrap or GoldenEye, and is reportedly more malicious than WannaCry. WannaCry would simply encrypt some of the files on a filesystem and demand ransom in exchange for a decryption key; yet this latest attack goes ‘all out' and encrypts the entire filesystem. Specifically, it encrypts the filesystem's MBR (Master Boot Record) in addition to encrypting the user's files and directories.
Consequently, victims could not restart their infected computers, much less find ways to recover their ransomed data. The targets seemed to be computers running Windows, and Microsoft has released a fix for the issue as part of its monthly patch for June.
As technology and the world at large gets increasingly complex, it's a foregone conclusion that we will be coming face-to-face more with security threats and other malicious behavior of this nature. However, having an actionable disaster recovery plan in place can make it easy to rebound after an attack with just a minimal impact on business operations.
The most important measure one could take in this regard is to have rigid security hygiene. At an individual level, this means exercising judgement and prudence while dealing with unknown data (emails, attachments, PDFs and JPEGs). At an organization level, this means ensuring that everyone's running the most up-to-date OS versions on their computers and that incoming and outgoing data are properly vetted using state-of-the-art security procedures.
The second line of defense should be a rock solid backup architecture. Historically, OS vendors have been slow to catch up to new and evolving security threats. Consequently, there's always a short window of opportunity for attackers, where they can hack into systems and take control of critical data and applications before the OS vendors have had the opportunity to release a security patch. Having a backup architecture that involves making multiple point-in-time copies of data across geographies provides protection against such eventualities.
Moreover, the backup architecture must be smart enough to make copies of not just the data but the metadata as well. For instance, an organization that was backing up data and metadata in this manner would have been impervious to all of the recent ransomware attacks.
The future, however, truly belongs to intelligent threat sensing backup architectures that can look for patterns of data movement and churn, and build custom predictive models to immediately flag an event as a possible threat or intrusion. While providing intelligent ongoing predictive inputs, such systems can also help an organization recover their data to a previous pristine point in time so that business operations may resume anew.
If organizations are not thinking through the implications of data loss, they leave themselves exposed to not only a lengthy data restoration process, but the possibility of not being able to recover their data at all. Making sure to have a solid backup and recovery process in place helps keep companies fully covered and ready to restore should the need arise.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend 21st Cloud Expo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
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All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades.
With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing Cloud strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-4, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is on the right path to Digital Transformation.
Delegates to Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo will be able to attend 8 simultaneous, information-packed education tracks.
There are over 120 breakout sessions in all, with Keynotes, General Sessions, and Power Panels adding to three days of incredibly rich presentations and content.
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Financial Technology - or FinTech - Is Now Part of the @CloudExpo Program!
Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 21st Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, will find fresh new content in a new track called FinTech, which will incorporate machine learning, artificial intelligence, deep learning, and blockchain into one track.
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More than US$20 billion in venture capital is being invested in FinTech this year. @CloudExpo is pleased to bring you the latest FinTech developments as an integral part of our program, starting at the 21st International Cloud Expo October 31 - November 2, 2017 in Silicon Valley, and June 12-14, 2018, in New York City.
The upcoming 21st International @CloudExpo | @ThingsExpo, October 31 - November 2, 2017, Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, and June 12-14, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY announces that its Call For Papers for speaking opportunities is open.
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