News Updates and WannaCry

It’s been a while since this section was updated, but as always, it’s because we’ve been busy! However, we now aim to start providing more regular updates again.

One issue that was consuming our time a little while back was helping customers who had been affected by the WannaCry ransomware attack. Although it’s easy to criticise those who were hit for not having applied the relevant patch prior to the outbreak, we recognise that in some circumstances it is not always easy to apply patches immediately.

If you are unlucky enough to be infected by encrypting ransomware, there are only two courses of action open to you; either pay the ransom (not advisable) or restore systems and data from a time point prior to infection and accept loss of data that was created/changed after that time point. This is where a backup strategy that allows for frequent backups is invaluable. An example is NetApp snapshots; many of our customers create snapshot copies of their user data on an hourly basis or more frequently with no impact on performance. These snapshots can be used for data restore, and would allow for fast recovery of encrypted data from a very recent point in time.

Fortunately, most of our customers took sensible precautions as the attack unfolded and we helped many of them take steps to avoid infection. In the few cases where we did see infections occur (in customers where we had not provided infrastructure services), illumit was on hand to help remediate and/or work around the issues. This included assistance in rebuilding affected systems and restoring data (including sizeable databases) using older, tape-based backup solutions. This really did reinforce the value of a modern snapshot-based approach to data protection; systems could have been back online much faster than was possible with tape restores!