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Reasons why your ransomware defense needs to include WORM Technology

Hardly a week goes by without a cyber-attack hitting the headlines.  In the last couple of weeks, MTU (Ireland) and Royal Mail

Hardly a week goes by without a cyber-attack hitting the headlines.  In the last couple of weeks, MTU (Ireland) and Royal Mail (UK) were both attacked. These attacks create an ever-present threat to organizations. WORM technology helps organisations with their ransomware defense strategy.

What is WORM Technology?

W – Write

O – Once

R – Read

M – Many

WORM is a data storage technology that allows data to be written to a storage medium once, preventing the data from being erased or modified. Data stored on a WORM compliant device is considered immutable. Only authorized users can read the data. The data can be read as often as needed, but it cannot be changed. Immutable storage is an important factor in meeting data security, ransomware defense, and other threats.  It also helps to ensure organizations meet regulatory compliance requirements

According to IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022 Reaching an all-time high, the cost of a data breach averaged USD 4.35 million in 2022. This figure represents a 2.6% increase on2021, when the average cost of a breach was USD 4.24 million. The average cost has climbed 12.7% from USD 3.86 million in their 2020 report.

The report states that:

83% of organizations studied have experienced more than one data breach

Just 17% said this was their first data breach

60% of organizations studied stated that they increased the price of their services or products because of the data breach

IBM Cost of a Data Breach Report 2022

Is a daily data back-up sufficient for ransomware defense?

Because traditional data protection strategies including backups and snapshots are typically stored on file systems, even data held for recovery is not immune to ransomware attacks.  WORM technology is an immutable file storage system meaning the data cannot be changed or deleted in a data storage context.

Typical cybersecurity challenges related to ransomware defense

In addition to ransomware attacks getting more sophisticated other issues that are contributing to organizations increasing vulnerability include;

Digital services  

Organizations are increasingly reliant on technology, providing more digital services than ever to clients. This creates an even bigger target for exploitation.

Budget restrictions

Due to budget constraints, organizations may have outdated software that can’t protect against threats. Also, the high demand for cybersecurity staff, attracting and retaining staff may be too costly.

Human error

Initiative-taking cybersecurity methods tend to focus on employee education and awareness.  Relying on the elimination of human error as a defensive measure isn’t practical.

Common ransomware prevention strategies  

Traditional ransomware defense paths  

Proactively trying to prevent attacks, employee training, and awareness. Entirely stopping human error is impractical. Weaker controls on home IT networks and remote working have significantly increased the risk of successful ransomware. Hackers are also adapting their methods to be more successful.

Encrypting data 

Encryption is only useful when cybercriminals want to access and share data. If their goal is to elicit a ransom, they encrypt the already encrypted data to prevent access. As a result, data encryption alone does not protect against ransomware. 

Data back-up 

A robust data backup strategy can certainly help. Organizations can use data backups to keep a data copy separate from the live data. Unfortunately, savvy cybercriminals often know to specifically target backup data in attacks. The tape-based backup model can be extremely labour-intensive. Organizations need an alternative way to strengthen their ransomware defense.  

How can I improve my organization’s ransomware prevention strategy?  

The strategies outlined above are proving to be either ineffective or unreliable. WORM file archiving is an essential tool in protecting your organization’s valued data assets. Immutable file storage allows administrators to create immutable data copies to provide complete ransomware protection.

WORM archiving 

By preventing the alteration of the data, malware is unable to encrypt the data and lock the victim out. The data can be restored by a simple recovery process. WORM archiving could mean not having to decide between paying a ransom or losing access to your data. 

WORM software creates immutable copies of data that go beyond sophisticated backup. Even if cybercriminals penetrate a vulnerability in your system.  These data copies can be read but cannot be altered for a predetermined length of time (aligned with your data retention policy).  

Meeting regulatory requirements – an additional benefit of a ransomware defense with WORM

By design, immutable file storage and WORM technology meet key regulatory requirements. Digital data with an immutability stamp can be used in legal situations as “tamper-proof evidence”, it meets the compliance requirements for regulations including HIPAA, GDPR, and PCI DSS. 

SISCIN TripleLock ransomeware defense

How does Waterford Technologies software help with ransomware defense?

SISCIN TripleLock Archives add immutable file storage for ransomware protection. Unlike backup and legacy WORM archives, we offer an affordable file archiving solution that includes WORM technology at no additional cost.  Our solution has built-in content indexing and discovery search. 

SISCIN file archiving offers immutable write once read many compliance storages that are both secure and easy to use at no additional cost. The SISCIN Triple locks are:

  • Protected by your Credentials 
  • Protected by SISCIN AES Encryption 
  • Protected by Write Once Read Many (WORM) Technology  

SISCIN TripleLock archives allow administrators to implement WORM technology that makes immutable “locked” copies of their data within the cloud, thereby providing comprehensive ransomware protection. When you create a Triple Lock archive (or convert an existing archive to TripleLock (LLL)) you are:

Making the objects within that archive read-only for a defined period (from 24 hours to many years) assuring your data is safe.

Each object within a TripleLock archive has its own timer. For example, if you create a 1-year TripleLock archive any file added to that archive is secure for 1 year from the time it was archived. 

It’s never been more important to ensure the right security is in place. Making your archive data immutable with WORM technology is the best line of defense. It delivers effective protection where data resides.

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