5 tips for better backups with Azure Backup Agent

Both on-premises and cloud networks need backup solutions that allow you to recover from ransomware attacks quickly. One option is to use the Azure Backup Agent.

You’ve seen the headlines of how businesses were harmed by ransomware. Ransomware depends on encryption; there is a public key and a private key. Unless you have the private key, you can’t readily get your data back. Any time you hear someone say that they went to a site such as nomoreransom.org and got their data back, it was because some organization was able to obtain the private key and post it there. You can’t always depend on that situation.

You can take steps to avoid ransomware, including ensuring that you look carefully at emails that include links, educating your users to recognize questionable email messages, staying current on software updates, and not exposing port 3389 (remote desktop) directly on the web.

If all that fails and you fall victim to ransomware, there is a guaranteed way to recover from it: having a good backup. It is the best way to recover from a ransomware attack. Recently, the Maersk company recovered from a devastating ransomware attack, but not with a backup. They had none. Amazingly, they were able to recover their domain using a single domain controller that was not connected to the internet at the time of the ransomware infection. Maersk got lucky.

Maersk’s backup strategy was trust in synchronization. Enterprises often don’t back up domain controllers, but merely put another online and synchronize it in the network. The “backup” in their eyes is another copy of Active Directory in another location. They never anticipate that their entire domain would be infected to the extent that they needed a backup.

As we move from traditional domain controllers and on-premises computers to cloud services and situations where data is synchronized across systems, take the time to review how you do backups and change your solutions accordingly.

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