Ransomware and Channel Partners

Ransomware.  The word strikes terror in the hearts of unprepared channel partners.  And for good reason.  The growth and ubiquity and Ransomware is staggering.  More than 4000 Ransomware attacks have occurred each day since the beginning of 2016.  This represents a 300% growth in attacks since the beginning of 2015.  [Source: Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS)]

Channel partners are both the targets of Ransomware attacks as well as the trusted advisor to their customers who also face attack.  As such, channel partners have a unique position to be able to first and foremost protect their clients.  In doing so, channel partners will be able to offer more uptime and confidence to their customers.  The channel partners who proactively offer Ransomware protection to their clients will be able to achieve higher profits – both in terms of selling services to their customers and in terms of the channel partner’s increased productivity in handling Ransomware attacks.

5 Fundamental Steps for Channel Partners to Protect and Profit

Below I’ve listed 5 steps that channel partners should take to protect and profit from helping their customers handle the scourge of Ransomware.

  1. First and foremost, lead by example and protect yourself.  The last time you flew, remember the airline attendant telling you to put your mask on first before trying to help others?  It’s the same principle.  If you’re off trying to recover from a successful Ransomware attack, you will have far fewer resources and attention to help your customers.  And if it is made publish that you paid to recover your files, your reputation – and recurring revenue – with your customers is going to suffer.
    • Ensure that you and your customers have modern backup, productivity, and continuity systems in place that enables you to protect yourself and your customers and allows quick recovery from Ransomware attacks.  Backup has received a lot of attention, as well it should, as method for handling Ransomware intrusions.  But the ability to quickly access files, servers and VMs, or entire data centers is critical to increase uptime.  Look further for productivity systems (also known as copy data management) that let you and your customers test with your secondary (backup) data.
    • Look for unique and innovative Ransomware detection and protection technologies.  There have been advances in training and in some endpoint security products.  In the domain of backup, Unitrends for example recently released Ransomware detection powered by machine intelligence technologies that is offered bundled into our physical and virtual purpose-built backup appliances.
    • Recovery assurance technologies that provide application-level automation and orchestration are critically important in staying ahead of Ransomware variants.  But be careful and don’t mistake primitive screen-shot and login level auditing for application-level automation and orchestration recovery assurance capabilities.
    • Finally, in terms of protecting you and your customers from Ransomware, local protection augmented using cloud DRaaS (Disaster Recovery as a Service) is  vital.  Ransomware is a threat that takes advantage of the weaknesses of people to trust – using local and cloud-based DRaaS allows you to protect you and your customer from infections that can bring down entire data centers.

If these steps are followed, you will build a win/win relationship with your customers in which they sleep better at night while you are able to achieve higher revenue and profitability – and keep that customer delighted with your products and services for years to come.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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