Available in early December 2021, the Recovery Vault aims at defending against ransomware through air-gapped backup storage. The new security-focused features signify a change for the server backup community.
Server backup: a practical solution to ransomware
Ransomware is a type of malware that blocks user access to data and demands a ransom payment to unlock it. According to a Mimecast Survey, 6 out of 10 respondents experienced ransomware attacks in 2020. Among the affected respondents, 52% paid the ransom. However, a third of those who paid still failed to get their data back. This risk is why companies are not only signing up for antivirus software for defense against ransomware, but also online backup software to safeguard their data. This has led backup software companies to offer a new type of backup plan that targets ransomware.
Server backup has become popular for the past two years. From G2 visitor traffic data below, the Server Backup category traffic has grown by 171% since the beginning of 2020. The visitor traffic also peaked in Summer 2021, likely due to the record ransom attacks around the world during that time. This includes the most visible case of a ransomware attack, the Colonial Pipeline attack and the subsequent temporary halt of major gas operations in the US.
Next-gen features for backup software against ransomware
From the product description, the new Veritas Recovery Vault tries to offer a more complete ransomware-safe backup solution. The new features include AI-based virus scanning, data transfer, and storage encryption, and cloud workload protection. Ransomware-safe backup requires additional features compared to traditional backup.
On G2, other top vendors in the Server Backup category also offer anti-ransomware backup. The most popular features in G2 reviews are encryption along with ransomware detection when the term “ransomware” is mentioned. Below are some of the reviews:
A technology lead reviewedAcronis Cyber Protect Cloud: “Solving customer's backup needs which in turn makes sure end-customer data is kept safe in their own or Acronis-owned storage with features like backup encryption.”
A business tech support analyst II reviewedCrashPlan: “Encryption options to best protect sensitive data when stored on the cloud while the backup clients can take pretty much take care of themselves in keeping backups as current as possible.”
Encryption technology renders any leaked sensitive data to be unusable to anyone without the decryption key. Using encryption is highly recommended and often mandated by regulation that companies encrypt certain sensitive data, such as customer financial information. In a recent case regarding Accenture, a ransomware group demanded $50 million in ransom or they threatened to leak 6 TB of Accenture’s data. If any threatened data is encrypted, it would be unusable to the hackers and this situation could have been potentially avoided.
Other top backup software vendors are already offering encryption features, at least on a partial basis while full end-to-end encryption is still being implemented.
Virus scanning is also often packaged with backup solutions from other vendors. However, the AI-based virus scanning software industry is still in the early stages. Legacy antivirus software can be easily exploited and most companies do not have the budget to hire a dedicated antivirus team. As a solution, many companies are adopting AI antivirus solutions.
Improving backup software for the future
The increasing trend of ransomware will allow more backup vendors to design new features to prevent data loss and data leakage. In the future, cloud-based server backup will become more important for companies as they migrate toward the cloud.
Tian is a research analyst at G2 for Cloud Infrastructure and IT Management software. He comes from a traditional market research background from other tech companies. Combining industry knowledge and G2 data, Tian guides customers through volatile technology markets based on their needs and goals.