The threat of ransomware attacks to UK business is growing almost daily. While there may be some logic to the theory that the more cloud environments a firm is running, the safer an environment is from a ransomware attack, the statistical reality is different.
In fact, those firms that utilise multi-cloud environments may be even more at risk due to the complexity of protecting their environment and the increased vulnerabilities that this creates for hackers to exploit.
This article looks more closely at the facts and figures relating to the number of cloud environments and ransomware attacks before presenting some solutions to the problem.
Protecting data in hybrid multi-cloud environments
As threats become increasingly complex, the need to keep pace with the latest cyber security and backup technology intensifies. However the cost of doing so and the required resources for deployment and rollout can be considerable for businesses, and especially during the current climate when IT teams are under pressure to rollout remote working plans for homeworkers.
Those businesses with combinations of different cloud providers, public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud environments can face especially difficult challenges to protect their data. This is because the cost and complexity of backing up from and protecting data across multiple environments takes its toll.
For some firms, the end result of this complexity is that some or all data is left unprotected. If files cannot be restored from backups, this can mean the only course of action is to pay the requested ransom to the hackers in order to recover the data.
Looking at the numbers
There are more than enough statistics already about ransomware and their cost to UK firms and others around the world. But in the context of this article, it is useful to highlight some facts about the number of clouds utilised by a firm compared to the likelihood of their needing to pay a ransom.
Businesses with an average of just over seven cloud environments that were faced with an attack were much less likely to pay out than businesses running 14 or more cloud environments. This trend is more acutely visible with the fact that only 20% of firms with four cloud environments or less needed to pay out in full to recover data. In short, the more cloud environments your firm runs, the more statistically likely it is to have missed certain data in your security and backup arrangements.
The value of data
Without the right backup and data security strategy in place, the reality is that organisations need to be prepared to be unable to recover at least some of their data in the event of a ransomware attack.
The amount of data lost is also inextricably linked with the number of cloud environments running. For organisations with less than five hybrid cloud environments, almost half were able to recover 90%+ of their files. This recovery rate reduces to 40% for firms running 20 or more cloud environments.
It’s not just about recovering data
The undesirable effects of a ransomware attack are not limited to the loss of data and financial implications. Recoverability is also proven to be slow for many firms, especially those with more than five separate cloud environments.
For firms with over 20 cloud environments, under 20% were able to fully recover business operations within one business day. For firms running less than five clouds, this number doubles to over 40%.
The benefits – and risks – of hybrid cloud environments
Hybrid cloud environments create numerous benefits for businesses. From driving seamless customer experience, keeping prices competitive and carrying out digital transformation initiatives, the model is proven to be an effective growth enabler.
While firms are averaging around 12 cloud environments, the trends suggest that approaches to cyber security and data protection do not match the sophistication of cloud strategies. Many firms are aware of this deficit but have not yet adequately solved the challenge.
What’s the solution?
Getting back to the basics of good data protection and backup strategies is at the root of galvanising multi-cloud environments against the risk of ransomware attack. But even the task of assessing the variety of tools and services available to protect vital business data against such scenarios can be an onerous task for stretched IT teams.
ORIIUM’s SaaS solution offers simplified backup and recovery for virtual, physical, SaaS and multi-cloud environments. This means that businesses can continue to capitalise on the vast benefits of hybrid cloud environments, while knowing that their data is backed-up, protected and recoverable.
The platform enables IT teams to select their data sources across multiple cloud environments, and to protect, recover from and recover to the target of their choice. ORIIUM SaaS provides visibility of an entire hybrid cloud estate from a single pane of glass enabling the intelligent management and control of data.
Find out more about ORIIUM SaaS.