My proverbial neighbor asked me some time ago if he could have a zero data loss ransomware recovery solution for his IT shop. He is not a very technical guy, yet responsible for the IT in his department, and he is wise enough to go seek advice on such matters. My man next door could very well be your boss, being provoked by a salesperson from your software vendor.
What is a zero data loss ransomware recovery solution?
A ransomware recovery solution is a tool that provides you the ability to recovery your IT systems from the incident in which a ransomware criminal has encrypted a crucial part of your IT systems. A zero data loss solution promises to provide such a recovery without the loss of any data. The promise of zero data loss must be approached with the necessary skepticism. A zero data loss solution requires you to be able to decrypt the data that your ransomware criminal has encrypted with the keys that he offers to give you for a nice sum of money. To get these keys you have two options:
- Pay the criminal and hope he will send you the keys.
- Create the keys yourself. This would require some highly advanced algorithm, possibly using a tool based on Quantum computing technology. This is a fantasy of course. This first person to know about the practical application of such technology would be your ransomware criminal himself, and he will have applied this in his encryption tooling.
So getting the keys is not an option, unless you are in the position to save up a lot of money, or find an insurer that will carry your ransomware risk. Although I expect that will come at an excruciating premium.
The next best option is to recover your data from a point in time just before the event of the ransomware attack. This requires a significant investment in advanced backup technology, and complex recovery procedures, while giving you little guarantee as to what state your systems can be recovered. And, setting the expectations, will come with the loss of all data that your ransomware criminal managed to encrypt. We cannot make it more beautiful.