Avi Vaserman, owner of Canadian MSP Sytex Ltd shared with us his best-practice analysis for what to do in case of a cyber-attack to restore data as usual. This can be a common issue in the daily work of any MSP, we thought to share Avi’s way of dealing with this matter.

When a malware attack happens, it can feel out of the blue. A simple email or a file download suddenly becomes a threat to the whole company. There are four straightforward rules that can protect your business from this kind of attack, limiting the fallout, and ensuring that your operations are disrupted as little as possible. As some of the largest financial damage to a business after a cyber-attack comes from service interruption or data loss, it’s no surprise that limiting this is top priority for many companies. According to the Radware Application and Network Security Report, “Data leakage and information loss remain the biggest concern to more than one-third (35 percent) of businesses, followed by service outages.“

Here are Sytex’s four rules that should never be ignored:

  1. Make sure you have a back-up system in place.
  2. Ensure that all your OS and programs are up to date.
  3. Use anti-virus software that has Crypto-Guard service as well as Tamper Protection.
  4. Set up and maintain a strong firewall.

Let’s look in more detail at number one – how we set up a safe and strong back-up system. First, let’s see what options are out there on the market for businesses.

A – On-site back-ups

This was the traditional solution for many companies, working well for years before the age of sophisticated ransomware and cyber-crime. Simply put, you attach a hard drive or storage solution to the server, and all the data is copied over periodically. This hard drive is manually replaced daily. However, ransomware can encrypt your data while it is connected to the network, which would result in a loss of all the data since the last back-up was complete. This kind of gap means that on-site back-ups are ineffective at best.

B – Cloud stored backup

Because cloud back-ups are not reliant on manually replacing hard drives or using internal storage, they are a lot less disruptive to business as usual. Back-ups can be completed more frequently, and you’re less likely to lose data for good.

However, it can take time to restore huge caches of data after a service failure, not just hours but even days in some cases. A high-speed internet connection of 100Mbits/s will need around 12 hours to restore just 500GB of data. Service will come to a halt, business is stalled, and your end customers are anything but happy.

C – A Hybrid back-up solution

Why not try to enjoy the best of both worlds? Not only does it bridge the gaps of both solutions, a hybrid back-up platform can actually be more cost-effective for your business. There will be a short recovery time, as well as minimal (if any) data loss. Sound too good to be true? It’s all about the personal touch.

Your IT services provider should be able to adopt a tailored bespoke solution that can meet your security needs. This could be a combination of on-site back-ups, continuous cloud back-up that keeps track of your latest changes, and VPN on the cloud which can be used as a temporary substitute if anything happens to your on-premises infrastructure. Sytex believes that there is no ‘one size fits all’ back-up solution, and that each customer will need their own requirements met, individually.

Let’s look at some of their best practices, all of which can be found with Atera’s all-in-one back-up integration with its MSP toolkit.

  • Restore: Recover your files, folders and application data from any protected server or workstation, and from any historical point you choose. Continuous recovery means that business systems can be restored at any time and are always up to date.
  • Instant Fail-over: If disaster strikes, such as a fire or a flood, your network is recreated in the cloud, just minutes later. As all employees have a secure connection, business can continue as usual.
  • Security Focused Storage: All data is fully encrypted as standard. File versioning means that the company can restore from a previous back-up and get back to work without fear in case of ransomware or cyber-attack.

“Our mission is to help YOU streamline and simplify your MSP / IT business. The better we understand what YOU want and need, the better we can serve you and the entire IT community.

So, if there’s something you need from our full-package MSP solution that you’re not seeing, let us know. We’re happy to connect with you and discuss getting you what you need.”

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