IT Infrastructure Insights

Ransomware Can Be Devastating: Protect Your Business with Smarter Infrastructure Monitoring

Aug 18, 2021

Share this:

Storage managers can be the unexpected heroes who detect ransomware before it strikes.

Ransomware cyberattacks are on the rise, with thousands of companies being targeted each year. According to reporting from the FBI, ransomware attacks rose by 62 percent between 2019 and 2020 – making them the fastest-growing cybercrime threat for businesses. No company, big or small, is safe from being a target of one of these attacks. 

Ransomware attacks have made headlines by impacting supply chains, crippling critical infrastructure, and creating financial losses for the affected companies. Be proactive. Avoid leaving your business vulnerable to cybercrime. IT leaders need access to efficient and reliable tools that enable awareness and data confidence, and Visual One is helping IT leaders by identifying potential signs of ransomware.

Ransomware is a Growing Threat to Businesses

Ransomware isn’t new, but both the growth of ransomware and the increasingly high payout demands are alarming for businesses. Closely related to these concerns is the adoption of cryptocurrency. Considered a potential reason for the rise in attacks, cryptocurrencies are driving an increase in ransom demands because the transactions are anonymous, making them ideal for cybercriminals. 

Like other kinds of malware, ransomware must be covertly downloaded and executed. Sometimes, this happens long in advance of the attack itself, buying the attacker time to move section-by-section while avoiding detection. From there, the ransomware can encrypt files on an organization’s systems at any moment, rendering them inaccessible. The attacker will usually export sensitive data from the systems to hold as leverage in exchange for a ransom, sometimes requested in the form of cryptocurrency. If the ransom is paid, the attackers provide a decryption key to access the information. If not, they may threaten to release or sell the data on the dark web. 

Even astronomical ransom demands can be less expensive than the cost of restoring or replacing all that lost data. Whether the ransom is paid or not, an attack can permanently scar or even ruin an organization.

A Proactive Approach to Ransomware

Nevertheless, IT leaders are not defenseless. Ransomware has a specific profile, and it’s one that can be monitored by using tools that visually report key elements of your storage capacity. 

You can take proactive steps to guard against ransomware. Use storage monitoring or capacity planning tools to watch for the following progression of warning signs:

  • Are any arrays seeing a spike in workload?
  • If so, is the spike isolated to a few LUNs?
  • Does the workload remain high over time?
  • If so, is the growth starting to spread to other LUNs?

Potential ransomware will progress through all four areas. 

First, is there a spike in workload? If a new workload was recently installed, there could be an easy explanation for the spike. But if it is a workload the company was unaware of, or if you are unsure what is causing the spike, it deserves investigation. 

If the origins of the spike are unknown, then it’s time to look to the next step: Is the growth isolated? If the growth is isolated to a particular area or project, notify the person in charge of that workload. 

You should also monitor that workload – and your other workloads – over the next few days. If ransomware truly is the cause of the spike, it won’t flatten over time. Instead, like a virus, it will spread to other areas while trying to avoid detection. 

It may sound simple, but these four steps are critical for detecting potential ransomware warning signs before it is too late.

  1. Spike in workload
  2. Isolation to a few LUNs
  3. Remaining high over time
  4. Spreading to additional LUNs

Visual One Helps IT Leaders Detect Possible Ransomware 

Visual One Intelligence (Visual One) offers IT leaders this safeguard approach. Through consolidated reporting and weekly emails, IT leaders are notified by a Visual One team member if any of these warning signs are present. There is rarely enough time in a day for IT teams to track these sorts of changes. With Visual One, businesses gain proactive analysis that will allow them to prevent problems early rather than reacting too late. 

Through single-pane-of-glass visibility into your hardware resource utilization, changes, and trends, Visual One identifies nuances in your environment that often go unnoticed or can indicate malicious use of resources. Visual One pairs this unmatched level of monitoring with personalized reports from an expert who understands your business. No one else pairs this level of human and automated reporting.

At Visual One, we believe that IT leaders need access to the relevant data and a unified analysis across their storage environments in order to provide the strategic leadership they were hired to deliver. Reduce costs, save time, minimize risk, and improve efficiency. 

Don’t become another headline. Watch a demo or talk with a Visual One data expert today to see how we can help you be proactive and secure.

Key Takeaways

  • Ransomware cyberattacks are on the rise, with thousands of companies being targeted each year.
  • Avoid leaving your business vulnerable to cybercrime proactively monitoring your infrastructure.
  • Ransomware has a specific profile that can be identified in storage environments.
  • Visual One is helping IT leaders by monitoring for and alerting them to these signs of possible ransomware.