Bedford School

School Outsmarts Ransomware with Veeam; Recovers Encrypted Files with No Data Loss and No Ransom Paid

We chose Veeam in 2009 for ease of use and reliable recovery. In 2014, the CryptoLocker virus hit, and Veeam couldn’t have been easier to use or more reliable…Veeam assures us our data will be available when we need it.

Company:

Bedford School has been educating boys since 1552 when King Edward VI established the school under Royal Charter. Today Bedford School, located in Bedford, England, serves as an independent boarding and day school for 1,100 boys ages 7-18 and employs 300 staff. Famous alumni include Novelist John Fowles, Parliamentarian Thomas Erskine-May, Politician Paddy Ashdown, English cricket captain Alastair Cook and Nobel Prize-winning chemist Archer Martin.

Industry:

Education

Challenge:

The dreaded CryptoLocker virus infected a faculty member’s personal computer and encrypted his files, including many files developed over years of teaching experience. Paying a fee to unlock his work was reprehensible, but losing his work would be agonizing, both personally and professionally.

results:

  • Recovery proves 100% reliable
  • RTO shrinks by roughly 98%, from several hours to a few minutes
  • Backup management is significantly faster

The Business Challenge

Bedford School has a long and impressive history of teaching boys to think intelligently, act wisely and engage fully in a challenging and changing world. School faculty members nurture a passion for education and exploration through an integrated curriculum that stretches across disciplines. Several of Bedford School’s educators are leaders in their academic fields and contribute valuable research and teaching experience. One of them is Will Montgomery, Director of Teaching and Learning at Bedford School.

Montgomery spent years studying individual differences amongst learners and how to create learning environments in which they will excel. Over a period of eight years he developed specialised teaching materials to support his role as Director of Teaching and Learning and created customised materials for geography, his area of expertise. Much of his work is documented in files on his school computer, which he connected to Google Drive for cloud backup and synchronisation with his home computer.

“In theory, he had three copies of his work, which is very smart,” said Bob Eadie, IT System Manager at Bedford School. “In reality, malware encrypted all three copies, beginning with his school computer, which was the source of the CryptoLocker virus. We immediately closed down his school computer to isolate it from our network. The virus didn’t spread to school servers, but it did encrypt hundreds of files to which he had write access on our file share server.”

Eadie couldn’t imagine having to tell Montgomery his files were unrecoverable.

“Unlike a research project spanning one or two years, his material spans a large portion of his career,” Eadie said. “To lose that wealth of information would have been personally and professionally disastrous.”

Losing Montgomery’s work would have impacted Bedford School as well.

“Losing his research might have postponed some of the courses he was planning to run for students,” Eadie said. “In addition, losing his work would have made it more challenging for him to lead the staff in developing their own teaching styles and materials.”

Fortunately, Bedford School didn’t have to worry about any of that. Bedford School has Veeam® Backup & Replication™.

The Veeam Solution

Veeam helped Bedford School restore every encrypted file quickly. No data was lost; no ransom was paid.

“Veeam proved without a doubt that recovery is 100% reliable, very easy and very fast,” Eadie said. “We saved time by using Instant File-Level Recovery to restore only the encrypted files from the backup, rather than restoring the whole file server. Veeam is well-known for being easy to use and saving time.”

Veeam saves time for Bedford School during day-to-day use as well. In general, restore is so fast with Veeam that (RTO) decreased by 98%, from hours to minutes. Moreover, Veeam’s Unlimited Scale-out Backup Repository™ relieved the IT team from spending several hours every few weeks managing backup storage. To simplify backup storage management, Veeam creates a single, scalable backup repository from heterogeneous storage devices.

“We spend 95% less time managing recovery and backup storage with Veeam,” Eadie said. “Veeam is the one of the most valued solutions I’ve come across in 45 years of working with computers. The user interface, in particular, is designed well and is remarkably intuitive.”

Eadie also described Veeam as an insurance policy.

“Just as you have fire insurance for your home, you should have data insurance at work,” he explained. “Veeam assures us our data will be available when we need it, whether we experience malware again or a different catastrophe in our data centre. Because of Veeam I reassessed my backup strategy at home.”

Eadie installed Veeam Endpoint Backup™ FREE on his Windows-based home computer. Veeam can back up data to an external hard drive, network-attached storage (NAS) or a Veeam backup repository. If a system crashes, hard drive fails or a file gets corrupted or accidently deleted, Veeam recovery takes minutes. Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE also provides CryptoLocker protection for USB storage by automatically ejecting the USB target drive after a backup completes. That way, the CryptoLocker virus isn’t able to connect to the drive where good backups are stored.

The Results

  • Recovery proves 100% reliable
    “We chose Veeam in 2009 for ease of use and reliable recovery,” Eadie said. “In 2014, the CryptoLocker virus hit, and Veeam couldn’t have been easier to use or more reliable. Veeam recovered every single encrypted file.”
  • RTO shrinks by roughly 98%, from several hours to a few minutes
    One of Bedford School’s favorite restore features has been Veeam Explorer for Microsoft Exchange. Veeam Explorer provides instant visibility into Exchange backups and granular recovery of individual items. Veeam Explorers are available for Active Directory, Oracle, SQL Server, SharePoint and Storage Snapshots.
  • Backup management is significantly faster
    “Before Veeam was deployed, we spent too much time deciphering backup reporting errors, rerunning backups, restoring from tape and juggling backup storage,” Eadie said. “With Veeam, day-to-day backup management takes only a few minutes each week; we mainly check that everything is progressing without problems.”
Rating: 4 / 5 ( 10 votes cast)

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