The police arrest a man for robbing a bank. When they ask the robber why he did it, he answers, “Because that is where the money is.”
There is a tremendous amount of risk for financial services companies. Not only do these organizations have to worry about data loss and downtime, and regulatory and compliance risk, but financial services companies have become a favorite target of criminals using ransomware. The transition to an anywhere, anytime, any device mindset has increased opportunities for security breaches and attacks such as ransomware. Cybercriminals are exploiting the critical nature of financial services organizations and are putting these companies’ confidentiality, integrity, and data at risk.
Between September 2014 and August, a single ransomware group showed just how real a threat ransomware is to financial organizations. The group, called DD4BC, launched 141 attacks against financial services firms, stealing about $3.4 million all together. This amount may not sound like a whole lot to larger enterprises, but the real cost of ransomware occurs while the company is offline, as the Ponemon Institute reports that the average cost of IT downtime is $7900 per minute! The need for IT infrastructure solutions that can recover quickly from attacks without losing a large amount of critical data is imperative in today’s world.
In January of 2016, India’s Economic Times newspaper reported that three banks in India had been hacked with a strain of ransomware known as LeChiffre. Hackers demanded a ransom of one bitcoin per computer at the banks, for a total reported to be millions of dollars. The banks agreed to pay to unlock some of the systems of the top executives so they could access sensitive information. Additionally, the Economic Times newspaper reported that two Indian conglomerates paid about $5 million dollars to hackers after they accessed sensitive information in May 2015.
A mid-sized credit union based in New England also found out the dangers of ransomware after being hit with an attack last year. Central One Federal Credit Union first noticed a problem when an employee couldn’t process a large file needed for batch processing. After hours of troubleshooting, the team finally identified Cryptolocker, a dangerous variant of ransomware, as the source of their data center troubles. Once the Cryptolocker was found inside the infected folder, the machine was quickly removed from the network.
All in all, the organization was never offline, even though it took about five hours to identify the ransomware. Once the problem was discovered, however, the team was able to quickly restore from a previous backup and normalize all operations with no data lost and no ransom paid. Central One Federal Credit Union was able to accomplish all this and restore from the most recent backup within fifteen minutes because the credit union uses SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure.
SimpliVity hyperconverged infrastructure protects companies against data loss and downtime due to ransomware and can limit the cost of ransomware by enabling customers to recover in mere minutes as opposed to hours. In addition, SimpliVity’s built-in data protection can meet even the most stringent recovery point objectives so data loss can be kept to a bare minimum.