Two large hotel and casino chains in the US this week provided a high-profile reminder that ransomware is still very much with us.
MGM Resorts, which includes several of the largest hotels in Las Vegas and across the US, was largely shut down due to a ransomware attack, with credit card transactions halted and casino floors dark.
Caesars Entertainment, another of the largest in Las Vegas, reportedly paid a $15M ransom to avoid a similar fate.
These were “social engineering” attacks, meaning that perimeter defenses were defeated simply by gaining the unwitting assistance of people inside the organization.
News reports stated that:
- “Two sources familiar with the matter told Reuters the hacking group Scattered Spider was behind it.”
- Scattered Spiders is “one of the most prevalent and aggressive threat actors impacting organizations in the United States today.”
Everyone is vulnerable
No doubt, these hotel and casino operations had a robust security posture in place. And yet these two operations — essentially next door to each other — were successfully targeted. The implication is that many, many other businesses remain vulnerable, including possibly yours.
Should an attack happen to you, your last best defense is an immutable copy of your data. Having an immutable data backup copy prevents hackers from encrypting or deleting your data for a specified period of time, thereby letting you recover an unencrypted copy of that data without having to pay ransom. This reduces the financial costs and downtime resulting from an attack.
Object Lock: Fast recovery, no ransom
Cloudian enables data immutability with Object Lock. Like a time lock on a bank vault, Object Lock makes data unchangeable for a user-defined period. That data cannot be hacker-encrypted, nor can it be deleted, either by an external bad actor or a rogue employee. Object Lock is a standardized feature that is supported by multiple data protection software platforms. IT managers can leverage Object Lock within an automated workflow, eliminating the need to separately manage protected copies of data.
To further prevent tampering, Cloudian also locks down root access, meaning that even with physical access to the device, data cannot be touched.
It is worth noting that data immutability can also help with obtaining cyber insurance, and even perhaps help secure a discount for the insurance. We have heard reports of customers receiving a 15% insurance discount for maintaining immutable backups.
Add ransomware protection today
The MGM and Caesars incidents remind us that ransomware remains a threat. Cloudian offers a simple, cost-effective solution.
Learn more about Cloudian’s ransomware protection here.
Or get a free trial now.