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Combating ransomware attacks with disaster recovery plans

November 16, 2022

Combating ransomware attacks with disaster recovery plans
powered by Sounder

Ransomware is the most prolific disaster recovery (DR) event in technology today. It takes more than backups and cloud storage to protect company data from these vicious attacks—proper disaster recovery helps companies plan for the “when” of ransomware threats.   
Shelby Skrhak speaks with Annette Miller, multi-cloud partner development manager, and Paul Irwin, staff partner solution architect - Strategic Solutions, both of VMware, about:
  • The definition of disaster recovery
  • Examples of disaster recovery plans
  • VMware cloud disaster recovery

The definition of disaster recovery

 A simplified definition of disaster recovery is the ability to rapidly recover from catastrophic events in the least disruptive way possible.
“Having backups of your data is not disaster recovery,” Paul points out. “DR is the ability to automate the recovery of those applications and workloads in a prescriptive manner that minimizes the introduction of errors or oversight in that recovery process.”
The days of limiting DR practices to larger companies are over—nowadays, any size business can benefit from disaster recovery plans.

Examples of disaster recovery plans

Traditional recovery tools and methodologies do not work with ransomware. “The challenge with ransomware is generally by the time you realize that you're infected, it's too late,” Paul explains.
Ransomware usually infects systems for several weeks—potentially even months—before it's activated, making it difficult to discern how far back is safe to reload. Any data in the backup has the potential to harbor further infection.
There are three notable defenses for ransomware:
  • A hot site — a mirror site replicating a company’s production environment
  • A warm site — a light environment running only the essentials
  • A cold site — an on-demand consumption approach based within the cloud

VMware cloud disaster recovery

 VMware cloud disaster recovery takes what the literature says are immutable VM snapshots stored in secure air-gapped scale-out file systems.
“When we look at a trend, we want some of these systems, where they're stored, to be air-gapped. And that means this is separate from the production network—another level of protection. We're also maintaining virtual machines in their native file format and virtual machine format,” Annette explains.
A differentiator between VMware cloud disaster recovery and other solutions is the ability to inject machine learning into technology to help customers identify potential timeframes of ransomware infiltration and avoid reloading infected data.
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