Ransomware has arguably been the most commonly talked about topic in the security world regarding risks to organizations and their data. In the past few years, ransomware has made a name for itself with its destructive nature and high-profile headlines, with large numbers of organizations being affected in large scale ransomware infections, such as Petya and now Bad Rabbit and others.
There has been somewhat of a misnomer when it comes to thinking that you can “protect against Ransomware with public cloud storage.” Many organizations are under the misconception that simply storing data in the cloud makes one immune to the effects of ransomware. Backup solutions companies have contributed to this misconception by alluding to keeping your data safe by storing it in the cloud. However, while public cloud file storage with top cloud storage solutions offer tremendously powerful platforms to store data, they are in of themselves not a protection against ransomware corrupting your data. Let us take a look at top cloud storage solutions in themselves and the features they offer that may prove useful in fighting malware. And let us also take a look at how they are a powerful solution we can use on top of public cloud storage to fight dangerous ransomware attacks.
Top Cloud Security Concerns
Let’s explore the impact of cloud computing on cyber security. One of the major reasons we can say that cloud storage is at risk is because it is becoming a much larger target daily as more organizations are utilizing cloud storage. If organizations are not natively utilizing the cloud now, most are planning to begin moving that direction or deploying in a hybrid fashion where some resources are located on-premise and others are located in the public cloud. This has certainly not escaped the notice of attackers. The “bullseye” will certainly move more from on-premise targets out to public cloud resources, and the trend is already leaning that direction from an attack surface perspective.
Additionally, there are dangers in the misconceptions many organizations have that public cloud storage offers a magical defense against malware/ransomware attacks. When it comes down to it, storage in the public cloud is simply your files living in someone else’s datacenter, albeit much more robust and resilient datacenter. At the end of the day, your data living in the public cloud hosted by the major public cloud vendors is your responsibility. While public cloud vendors offer amazing resiliency in their datacenter infrastructure, most do not offer native backups.
In a hybrid cloud scenario where we may have data that lives on-premise and some type of synchronization happening between private and public clouds, there is certainly risk of an on-premise malware infection flowing to public cloud resources. Many cloud storage solutions offer certain sync utilities that simply synchronize local files that exist on your hard drive out to the public cloud. If a ransomware infection encrypts files at the local hard drive level, these encrypted files simply get synchronized out to the public cloud, so files are encrypted there as well.
Top Cloud Storage Solutions
While keeping the dangers and misconceptions listed above in mind, there are certainly advantages and tremendous strengths found inherently in certain aspects of cloud infrastructure that that can help to prevent malware infection and limit the scope of damage, or potentially recover corrupted data.
Many of the top storage solutions offered by the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, and Google among others offer functionality for versioning objects on file storage. Versioning allows keeping multiple variants of an object stored in cloud storage. The benefit of versioning, as it relates to recovering from data corruption introduced by ransomware as an example, is that we can simply roll files back to the previous version of the file, before the updated version (due to being encrypted) was introduced.
Versioning is not supported by all public cloud storage solutions or even turned on by default, so organizations can’t simply rely on this feature to recover data if a mass ransomware infection has encrypted business critical data. Additionally, not all public cloud vendors provide the tools needed to leverage this functionality on a mass scale.
The top public cloud storage solutions generally offer very good identity management mechanisms that allow for policy based and least privilege access. This concept is known as cloud Identity and Access Management , or IAM. Cloud IAM allows organizations to use or create roles and restrict access to resources to only those user identities who need access. Additionally, policy based access allows defining which users are assigned to which role and helps to limit the scope of a potential damage path if corruption due to ransomware is introduced by a particular user. Cloud IAM also helps to centralize control and access of public cloud resources so that system administrators have a better view of what is going on across the organization.
Even with the native mechanisms that are contained in public cloud storage systems to bolster security and remediation in the event of a ransomware attack, organizations need a more robust tool to feel safe with data living in public cloud storage. Let’s look at a better way to introduce cloud ransomware protection for top cloud storage solutions .
Ransomware Protection for Top Cloud Storage Solutions by Spinbackup
For organizations wanting the best protection for public cloud storage solutions, in steps Spinbackup. Spinbackup is a cloud to cloud backup and cyber security product aimed at revolutionizing the way businesses think about cloud security. It is a full-featured data loss protection, prevention, and public cloud data security solution for securing public cloud solutions, including storage data for both Google G Suite and Microsoft Office 365 environments. This is all accomplished in a single interface and “single pane of glass” dashboard. A few of the highlights of the Spinbackup solution when thinking about ransomware protection for public cloud include the following:
G Suite Security: Data Loss Prevention
- Automated daily scans of all third party apps integrated into public cloud environments , and reports on which data those apps have access to
- Daily backups of public cloud storage for disaster recovery
- Data is encrypted in flight and at rest
- Incremental backups, including metadata tagged versioning and snapshots of account data, which allows restoring data that has been deleted completely
- Restores can be completed with what is called the “Restore in Time Machine”
- Ability to revoke access to risky apps that have been installed and integrated with cloud environments. Information about the apps include information about the risk level, type, permissions granted to, employees accessing, and connected devices
- Proactive alerting about risky user or app behavior
- Blacklisting apps, IPs, users, etc.
Spinbackup easily integrates in Google G Suite and Office 365 environments, allowing quick deployment and intuitive control over public cloud resources with the ability to restore data that has been compromised, encrypted, or even deleted by malicious programs or users.
Additionally, Spinbackup is revolutionizing authentication and gaining access to public cloud resources with blockchain Single Sign On technology , which ensures that the users making connections and gaining access to public cloud resources are truly who they say they are. By validating credentials against blockchain validated checksums of certificates used to access the public cloud, Spinbackup eliminates the possibility of an attacker forging a certificate or compromising a certificate authority to impersonate valid users when accessing the public cloud. Since the blockchain is a decentralized architecture, it eliminates the potential of someone manipulating a centralized data store to tamper with and to gain unauthorized access.
Today, organizations who are looking to move to the cloud either with hybrid or full public cloud migrations are well served by forward thinking innovations, by companies like Spinbackup. The technology that Spinbackup provides to organizations is fully GDPR compliant and allows moving to the cloud with confidence, knowing data is secure, and authorized access has been validated.
Thoughts on Cloud Based Cyber Security
Cloud Security is on the minds of everyone today, from individuals to large scale corporations. With the ever-growing numbers of malware infections, and specifically ransomware, there is a tremendous need for giving serious thought to data security. There has been a misconception among many that simply storing data in the public cloud makes it secure. However, data in the public cloud, while more resilient in many ways than on-premise data, is still susceptible to ransomware infection. Public cloud storage offers a few inherent ways to protect against and recover from ransomware, including cloud IAM and version control , however, organizations are still at risk. Spinbackup provides a powerful solution to achieve data loss prevention, protection, as well as data security all within the same product, which makes data security much easier to achieve and manage. There are tremendous G Suite advantages to organizations looking at public cloud to become more agile, scalable, and flexible with their infrastructure. Large scale public cloud vendors such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google offer datacenter reliability, diversity, scalability, and uptime that organizations building private clouds are simply unable to achieve due to the enormous financial investment involved. By leveraging native public cloud technologies as well as ultra-powerful security and data protection solutions such as Spinbackup API CASB, organizations can have cloud ransomware protection for top cloud storage solutions while building powerful cloud driven infrastructure for their businesses.
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