One of our clients, the Lewis Group of Companies, originally started looking for a new storage solution because of a very particular problem. The Lewis Group is one of the largest privately held real estate development companies in the nation. The company has 500 employees spread out across 30 offices. Before Nasuni, files were stored at the central office in Southern California, and users had to access data via terminal services. File access was slow, and when the central office had an outage, it affected the entire organization. Nasuni cloud-scale enterprise file services relieved all that pain, and our latest case study details the benefits that both end users and the IS group at Lewis now enjoy. But this is a different story. This is about how Cloud NAS helped the Lewis Group thwart the Cryptolocker Trojan and defuse a digital standoff.
At the end of 2013, the Cryptolocker Trojan emerged as a dangerous new threat. Cryptolocker is a form of ransomware. Users who open one of its cleverly disguised application files fall victim to a program that encrypts their own data. The malware holds the private key needed to unlock those files, and the program informs users that if they want access, they have to pay a ransom in return for the key. Early on, people did pay, although their files weren’t always decrypted, and by April of the following year, more than 200,000 computers had been vicitimized. A sophisticated international investigation took down the original Cryptolocker virus soon thereafter, but it has spawned imitators. Ransomware remains a real threat.
When a Lewis Group employee’s system was infected with Cryptolocker, the company didn’t miss a step. Nasuni features unlimited snapshots, so changes to files are pushed to the cloud as often as every few minutes. Normally we highlight this when we’re talking about how our technology eliminates backups and enables fast disaster recovery. Yet this frequent snapshotting also protects Nasuni users against ransomware. At Lewis, the Cryptolocker Trojan infected a few hundred user files, but with a single click in the Nasuni Management Console, IS simply restored the versions of those files from a few minutes earlier.
If you have a functioning backup system, you can use the same tactic to fight ransomware. The difference is that you’ll only restore from the last time a backup was taken — which could be a day or a week earlier via traditional solutions. With Nasuni, the frequency and availability of snapshots means end users will miss a few minutes’ work at most.
Find out more about how Nasuni Continuous File Versioning protects your files from malware such as Cryptolocker and WannaCry.