News | November 6, 2013

Axcient Safeguards Data From The CryptoLocker Virus

Leading Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery Cloud Keeps Businesses Running During Attacks

The CryptoLocker virus is causing havoc in the tech community and leaving companies scrambling to access and recover their data. While numbers of total infected companies are hard to determine, the ransomware virus – so called because it encrypts your files and requests payment to give you the decryption key – is affecting companies nationwide. Axcient, the leading disaster recovery and business continuity solution provider, recently saved several companies from severe data loss resulting from this virus. 

The CryptoLocker virus is often spread in email messages that include a PDF of a scanned image of a signature from an express delivery service, such as FedEx, or a note confirming a wire or money transfer. Once the PDF is opened, the encryption software targets specific extensions within files and folders on local drives and mapped drives. The user is then prompted to pay $300 to recover the files by a certain deadline. If the user does not pay, the files can’t be decrypted and thus are rendered useless.

Ceeva, an IT service provider, integrates the Axcient solution with its customers. The company recently aided several companies in restoring their files after learning that they were infected with the CryptoLocker virus.

“We recently received a call from an accounting firm, saying they couldn’t open the files from one of its servers,” said Rick Topping, vice president of Sales at Ceeva. “We realized the files had been encrypted and there was no way to decrypt them. We also discovered that other companies had paid the ransom, but either never got the decryption key or the code didn’t work. The only way to recover the client’s files was to restore from backup. ”

Like Ceeva, MYTEK Network Solutions experienced the same situation with its customers.

“In the past two weeks, we’ve had five customers come to us because their networks were infected with CryptoLocker,” said Theo Soumilas, Senior Account Executive at MYTEK Network Solutions. “The virus doesn’t discriminate against company size. Any user who unknowingly downloads it to his or her computer can quickly infect an entire network.”

With the cost of downtime estimated to be an average of $163,000 per hour, according to the Aberdeen Group, every minute counts. By using Axcient, Ceeva and MYTEK were able to restore more than 100,000 files that had been affected by the virus and get their customers back in business. The Axcient solution gives companies a hybrid solution in which a local appliance protects data locally and then transmits it to the Axcient cloud for off-site protection. If needed, it is possible to do a failover of the server to the local appliance while restoring files, or to virtualize the server, or the whole IT environment in the Axcient cloud.

“We value our partnerships with MYTEK and Ceeva,” said Justin Moore, CEO of Axcient. “These companies understand that backup alone is not enough in today’s business environment. A true business continuity solution is the only way to ensure businesses can continue operating even when faced with a major disaster, be it fire, flood or a raging virus.”

Tips for Protecting Networks
Axcient suggests the following steps for companies that want to avoid the potential dangerous financial impact that downtime resulting from the CryptoLocker virus can have:

  1. Set up software restriction policies (SRPs) to block executable files from running in the areas where CryptoLocker launches itself.
  2. Ensure all servers and workstations are part of your backup schedule and that they are all running anti-virus programs. Schedule the anti-virus updates to happen on a daily basis. Subscribe to news alerts from your chosen anti-virus provider to be warned of the latest threats.
  3. Encourage employees to never open file attachments unless they have been scanned by antivirus.
  4. Draft security policies that involve rules for connecting new devices on a network, password policies and usage of third-party software, among others. Educate your users on the different types of threats, including electronic and human. These actions are your best defense against security breaches and in preventing viruses.
  5. Post security alerts, reminders and policies in high-traffic places, such as kitchens, bathrooms, hallways and conference rooms.
  6. Craft a disaster recovery plan. Identify critical servers, workstations, and applications and draft a plan that addresses your business needs for continuous operation.
  7. Implement a business continuity solution like Axcient for full data and application protection. The ideal solution should allow you not only to do frequent backups, but also to failover and virtualize servers, locally and in the cloud, for maximum protection and eliminate downtime.

About Axcient
Axcient is an entirely new type of cloud platform that eliminates data loss, keeps applications up and running, and makes sure that IT infrastructures never go down. Designed for today’s always-on business, Axcient replaces legacy backup, business continuity, and disaster recovery software and hardware, and reduces the amount of expensive copy data in an organization by as much as 80%. By mirroring an entire business in the cloud, Axcient makes it simple to access and restore data from any device, failover IT systems, and virtualize your entire office with a click - all from a single duplicated copy. Trusted by thousands of businesses to store and protect more than 10 billion files and applications, Axcient maximizes productivity, reduces cost, and eliminates risk. The company is headquartered in Mountain View, Calif. For more information, visit www.axcient.com.

SOURCE: Axcient

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