What would you do in case of a ransomware attack? This is a question I have heard a lot lately and I wish there was a simpler answer for it. Ransomware attacks have increased in numbers and complexity and spread to organizations of any industry across the globe. As a matter of fact, we need to accept that cyberattacks are more present than ever, and they can affect both our professional and personal lives, unless we prepare — this is the key for staying out of trouble!

One example comes from the education sector: Will Montgomery, director of teaching and learning at Bedford School, was a victim of a virus that encrypted innumerable files from years of teaching experience. In fact, the education sector is one of the favorite victims of ransomware attacks. These institutions are attractive to cybercriminals due to the valuable research data they contain and the vulnerabilities that come from undergoing a digital transformation through their infrastructure, staff and students. With employee records and research data at stake, higher education organizations must take proactive measures to avoid the loss of highly sensitive data, damaged reputation and low productivity.

Ransomware doesn’t discriminate, and education institutions aren’t the only ones affected by cyberterrorism. According to a recent report, 15% of the total global ransomware attacks hit health care institutions in 2016. Health care is well known for the magnitude of these attacks and for the high ransoms demanded, which in many cases were paid! Hospitals and other health care services are very sensitive to losing access to data — patient's history or treatment tracking are essential for patient care, and their loss could put lives in danger.

Likewise, financial institutions are on the ransomware attackers’ radar and, unfortunately, on their pay slip. Some 55% of financial services firms recently surveyed by SANS report ransomware as the top attack threat, followed by phishing (50%), which previously held the top spot. Banks or insurance companies can be seriously impacted after a ransomware attack and thus lose customer confidence and encounter increased downtime and the excessive cost of ransom.

Protecting their data against ransomware attacks isn’t the only concern of organizations these days. They must also comply with an increasing number of regulations for sensitive data protection and Availability. For example, health care institutions are required to implement security measures to prevent cyberattacks, as well as having a clear set of procedures in place for recovery after similar attacks.

Here at Veeam, we understand how far the ransomware threats can go and how they can affect organizations by taking their data hostage. To support your efforts of preparing against these attacks, we are releasing a FREE set of solution briefs: 7 proven resilience best practices against ransomware for education, financial services and health care.

In these guides, you will find handy and straightforward best practices that will enable you to prepare and recover after a ransomware attack. For example, the golden 3-2-1 Rule is a timeless principle no backup strategy should ever lack: three copies of your data, two of them on different storage types and one backup off site. Another important aspect that is often neglected in an organization’s life is educating the employees on threats they face while being online. Remember that not only the IT staff is browsing the internet!

Read these industry briefs to learn how the Veeam 7 resilience practices will ensure you are prepared and can recover after a ransomware attack, while also maintaining the integrity of your brand and consumer confidence.

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