When most of us think of ransoms, we think of police dramas about frantic parents and furtive money drops, but in the computer world, ransoms operate quite differently. There isn’t any less panic, mind you, and the havoc digital ransoms cause is very real, but it’s also very defensible.
Aaron Smith, Elder Technology Group’s Systems Administrator, gives a very succinct and understandable explanation of how digital ransomware works. “Ransomware is an application that runs on your computer that encrypts your files. Encryption removes your ability to use those files. Ransomware tends to use a two key system to encrypt your files (think physical keys). There’s a private key that only the person who made the ransomware application owns and uses to lock the door (prevent you from using the file). Then there’s a public key. The public key is given to you after all of your files have been encrypted. This public key is used to prove that it was that ransomer’s private key that locked the door. Without both keys the door can never be reopened (and your files can never be used again).”
That’s where the ransom part comes in. On the surface, ransomers will tell you that by paying the ransom, you’ll get your files back, but of course anyone carrying out a scheme like this is by nature untrustworthy, so there’s no guarantee that they will actually release your files. But other things can go wrong, too.
The very real threat of ransomware is one of the reasons ETG recommends a vigorous backup security system. Potential thieves, while they are exploring your data, can tell whether you have a security system in place and, just like in private homes, they would rather spend their time on easier targets. ETG protects their own information systems with Veeam, a disaster recovery and modern data protection software for virtual, physical and multi-cloud infrastructures that safeguards both physical and virtual systems. Employing Veeam not only means that ETG’s internal data is safe, it also means that their client data is safe, too.
Because they have witnessed Veeam’s effectiveness, ETG is now also offering it to outside clients by becoming a licensed service provider. That means that if a client has a question about protection or recovery (should something happen), they don’t call Veeam, they call ETG, and they get a real person who knows them, and knows how to solve their problem.
Of all the threats to our digital systems, ransomware is one of the most important to consider and address. It, like its real-world counterpart, is intentionally malevolent, and leaves us most helpless when inflicted. Let the maskless robbers lurk in their dark lairs - ETG and Veeam have you covered.
Besides being a systems administrator, Aaron Smith is also a 2022 Veeam certified architect and Veeam certified engineer. He would be happy to answer any of your backup related concerns.
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