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Top 10 ransomware and backup stories of 2021

Key articles from 2021 that highlight the link between ransomware and snapshots and backup and their role in repelling attacks, plus effects of the pandemic on backup and recovery

Here are Computer Weekly’s top 10 stories on ransomware and backup in 2021.

The reason to link the two subjects is that they are intimately connected. To be able to successfully repel a ransomware attack and its associated demands, organisations need to be able to roll systems and data back to a clean state before the attackers got behind their firewall.

Here, we have an example of an organisation, Exagrid, that was unable to withstand its attacker, and one that succeeded in doing so, Manutan, by being able to rebuild its data and systems using immutable backups.

We drill down into immutable snapshots and backups, but also look at the question of how organisations can roll back to a recovery point pre-ransomware without losing a lot of work.

We also have article on how the pandemic affected backup and data protection, in particular how the upsurge in remote working resulted in many more backup failures, but also what organisations can do to ensure recovery runs smoothly.

We also focus on a key emerging area in the datacentre and the cloud, namely containers, and look at how organisations can protect systems and data in this emerging, supremely portable method of deploying applications.

1. Exagrid pays $2.6m to Conti ransomware attackers

Backup appliance specialist hit by Conti ransomware in May with cyber criminals downloading employee and customer data, confidential contracts and source code.

2. Recovering from ransomware: One organisation’s inside story

In February 2021, French office equipment supplier Manutan fell victim to a DoppelPaymer ransomware hit. IT ops director Jérôme Marchandiau tells the inside story of the incident.

3. Immutable snapshots aim to neutralise ransomware

Snapshots – usually immutable anyway – get functionality to stop ransomware intruders moving or deleting snapshots, so customers know they have clean copies of data to restore from.

4. Addressing the backup dilemma to ransomware recovery (DR)

Everyone knows good backups are essential if one is to recover from a ransomware attack, but using them effectively poses challenges that IT teams need to know about.

5. Veeam survey: Big cloud impact on backup and disaster recovery

Backup specialist finds cloud eclipses on-site compute for all workloads while DR makes big strides in the cloud despite concerns about complexity and security.

6. How the pandemic changed backup

The Covid-19 pandemic forced big changes in how people work – we look at impacts on backup, including increased reliance on the cloud, plus security and compliance vulnerabilities and ransomware.

7. Survey: Backup failures hit a high as pandemic working hits home

Veeam survey finds distributed working plus operations that span on-prem and the cloud the background to high numbers of failures in backup and restore, with 40% of service-level agreements not met.

8. Backup failure: Four key areas where backups go wrong

We look at the key ways that backups can fail – via software issues, hardware problems, trouble in the infrastructure and good old human error – and suggest ways to mitigate them.

9. The 3-2-1 backup rule: Has cloud made it obsolete?

The 3-2-1 backup rule was made for small-scale use in the pre-cloud era when tape still ruled. Is it relevant in the 2020s, or can we repurpose its fundamental principles?

10. Five key questions about Kubernetes backup answered

We look at when to back up containers, what to protect, the main methods of backup for Kubernetes and the main Kubernetes backup products available in the market.

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