The rise in cyber attacks, 2017 in review
As we head in to the final quarter, it provides a chance to reflect on what’s been happening during 2017. It comes as no surprise that news about cyber attacks and breaches have dominated globally; there is often a new story trending on twitter weekly.
So, when one annual review from GCHQ’s NCSC (National Cyber Security Centre) was released on the 3rd of October, it piqued our interest.
To summarise, the NCSC was launched last year from the UK Governing agency GCHQ, to protect the UK’s online presence. Now over 12-months in operation, their statics and figures are alarming of the sheer number of attacks happening throughout the UK alone.
With the emergence of new technologies and the growth in a digital nation;
“Protecting Britain from hacking and cyber attacks is as important as spying and preventing terrorism.” Jeremy Fleming, Head of GCHQ ¹
NCSC reported 1,131 total attacks within the first year, with 590 categorised as a major attack.²
One of the most significant and publicly aware cases being the ransomware WannaCry, which disrupted numerous NHS hospitals across Britain earlier this year; locking out medical professionals from patient information and records. There was SamabaCry the Linux alternative (read our previous blog post on the matter here). Followed by email hacking and leaks affecting key parliamentary personnel.
Microsoft recently announced a 300% increase in recorded cyber attacks within the last year. Brad Anderson, VP of Enterprise Mobility at Microsoft recently informed IT Pro that not only are these attacks on the rise, so are the sophistication. He commented;
“The rate at which the attacks are happening, the sophistication of the attacks and the rate they spread once they get inside an organisation – its gone past the point where human capacity can take it themselves… You have to have something like a cloud, or multiple clouds, backing you up.” ³
Therefore, businesses need to be smarter in preparation and have a clear plan in place in case of a DR scenario; backup and recovery software is key and this is where our field of expertise can help.
The importance of backup
Make sure to backup all critical systems and data. Ideally by using leading backup products in the enterprise and mid-market space, including EMC Networker, EMC Avamar, or IBM Spectrum Protect TSM. Then use an integrated bare machine recovery (BMR) solution, such as our range of Cristie Recover software, to ensure you have fast and reliable recovery.
Furthermore, make sure to use the test in advance functionality for recovery assurance; giving automated vital disaster recovery testing, identifying if systems are recoverable in a DR scenario. What’s more, with RS schedule regular or instant recovery simulations to virtual or cloud environments, run from the target or a different machine and it provides a report to validate the reliability of the recovery.
Having a regular working backup is significant; as backups can fail and you don’t want this to be your only option if you can’t use it to restore before the cyber attack has taken place. That is why having multiple snapshots of your system backup in different locations is another protection method.
The importance of backups to help mitigate the damage of cyber attacks is critical. Although there are prevention methods in terms of improved security and education; having a backup to restore to if an occurrence happens, is just as important and needs to be a part of every businesses DR plan.
It is clear that for the foreseeable future cyber attacks are going to be a concern for each individual, business and governing body worldwide; as it can all impact them in one way, for example the results of WannaCry.
The UK alone has noted a substantial number of attacks and this trend shows no sign of stopping. Therefore, it is imperative to make sure that as a business, you have consistent and dependable backup and recovery plans in action, just in case the worst does happen.
Need a reliable backup and recovery solution?
Useful links and other information
- ¹ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2017/10/08/defending-uk-digital-homeland-cyber-attack-important-spying/
- ² http://www.spamfighter.com/News-21164-UK-has-been-Drained-by-590-Significant-Cyber-Attacks-in-Last-Year.htm
- ³ http://www.itpro.co.uk/security/29632/microsoft-sees-300-increase-in-cyber-attacks-in-the-last-year