We’ve already gone into detail about ransomware attacks in our dedicated guide, explaining what they are and how to detect them. To avoid cyberattacks, businesses and individuals often keep their files and documents in cloud storage. But it’s not a failsafe solution that guarantees protection from ransomware and its impact.
Can ransomware infect cloud storage? In fact, yes. Moving enterprise data to online storage still comes with risks. According to Hosting Tribunal, 94% of enterprises already use a cloud storage service. Naturally, hackers capitalize on this, exploiting security vulnerabilities and, as always, capitalizing on the weakest link—the human.
Even with the best cloud storage solutions, businesses may still be at risk of ransomware.
So, how can ransomware infect cloud storage, exactly? Find out below and learn the attack methods, prevention techniques, and how to recover your data.
How Can Ransomware Infect Cloud Storage?
Cloud-based platforms are the center of hackers’ attention, so users must always be careful of any suspicious activity in these environments. The way cloud storages typically work enables cybercriminals to implement their malicious plans easily.
Most cloud storage solutions use file synchronization to keep files updated in simultaneous locations. And this is the very prerequisite that paves the way for ransomware infection.
Nowadays, ransomware strains exist that specifically target cloud platforms and spread faster than ever Once the victim clicks on the malicious link, the ransomware attacks anything the user is connected with and has access to. This is another reason for users to seek proven cloud storage solutions.
How Does Ransomware Impact Files?
Once files move from local to cloud storage, they get synchronized This synchronization action allows for two or more locations to have the same up-to-date files. By infecting a local file copy, ransomware triggers a change to the file. File synchronization kicks in, updating the same file in other locations. This results in a real-time widespread ransomware infection.
The user whose data is infected with ransomware may accidentally synchronize encrypted files to cloud storage. In turn, these infected files may be shared with all company employees, thereby encrypting them for everyone.
What is RansomCloud?
RansomCloud is a type of ransomware created to encrypt cloud storage. As not all ransomware works for cloud-based applications, RansomCloud was created by cybercriminals to get the job done.
No matter if it’s a public, hybrid, or multi-cloud infrastructure, hackers can gain access to your data. Collecting so much data in one place makes the case way more appealing for cybercriminals, more so if it’s confidential data. To avoid RansomCloud attacks, your business needs the best cloud storage solutions. As a result, you should consider contacting some of
the most popular cloud consulting services to advise you on your best alternative
How Does it Work?
Typically, RansomCloud encrypts storage data with XSS exploits, injecting new scripts into trusted pages or in the whole data. This way, cybercriminals no longer need to encrypt a user’s whole hard drive but only the data itself. You may still think, does ransomware impact files on the cloud if those files are kept in someone else’s cloud? Actually, yes, RansomCloud programs can easily make that happen.
RansomCloud often focuses on cloud-based email accounts, too, as they may contain much organizational data. By sending a malicious email from within the cloud, hackers easily trick users into granting special email permissions.
How to Prevent Ransomware Risks in the Cloud?
Users may think the cloud is the safest place for their data to remain sheltered but ransomware’s impact comes to prove just the opposite. Learning how to stop ransomware in action is vital. However, preventing ransomware risks in the cloud is entirely different.
First, do your research to find cloud storage solutions that have proven assurance for both personal and business data protection. You’ll also want an effective cloud storage backup solution.
Here are a few more useful prevention mechanisms:
- Back up your data regularly: Ensure your data is backed up to off-site locations frequently. Reduce the time you spend on finding clean copies by keeping separate backups for business systems.
- Use malware detection tools: It’s not an easy task to ensure your backup is malware-free but it’s worth investing in. Using specific tools for malware detection can help prevent ransomware infections.
- Apply the 3-2-1 rule: Take at least three copies of company data, store them in two various media forms, and keep one copy off-site. If you want to protect your cloud-stored data from ransomware, make sure the offsite backup is separated from the business network.
How to Recover Data from Ransomware Infection?
It’s vital for each person and company to have a robust data protection strategy in case they deal with a cyberattack. Your recovery plan must clearly prioritize all critical assets to minimize the impact of ransomware infection more easily. And finding good cloud storage solutions is an important part of the plan.
If you have files encrypted from ransomware, consider these five methods to recover them instead of paying the ransom:
- Restore your systems from backups: This is the fastest way to recover your files. You must have a recent version of your data and ransomware-free applications. Make sure to reset your systems to factory defaults to eliminate any ransomware risks.
- Use Windows system restore: This can be helpful for Windows users. It allows you to backup the lost or damaged files using file history. Simply go to “Control Panel” and select “System and Security.” Click on “Backup and Restore,” and select “Restore files from backup”. A wizard will help you recover the files.
- Use Windows file versions: This tool is specifically tailored to restore unique file versions included in a previous restore point, Windows Backup, or File History.
- Use data recovery software: This is another useful cloud storage backup solution for both personal and corporate data recovery. Use this software in case you don’t have backups or recovery points to restore your files from. The software typically erases harmed or deleted data from storage devices, restores hard drive partitions, and de-formats drives.
- Use ransomware decryption tools: These tools work with algorithms developed by security experts. If your files are infected by ransomware, these solutions can help break the encryption. You can find such tools online. Just be careful— fake versions exist that include additional malware.
So, can ransomware infect cloud storage or not? Now you know. Even if you dig deep into cloud storage solutions before making a choice, remember that data protection is a lifelong experience.
It’s critical for any business to backup their data regularly to mitigate any ransomware infections via the cloud. Having a consistent ransomware prevention and data recovery strategy is crucial. Cybersecurity awareness and best practices are important too.
Does ransomware impact files on the cloud? Yes, and quite effectively. Consider taking steps to prevent any possible infection to your files as the data loss may cost more than the ransom itself.