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What college football tactics can teach you about surviving a ransomware attack



Justin Best.jpgBy guest blogger Justin Best, WW Product Marketing - HPE Hyperconverged Infrastructure

It’s finally feeling like fall, and that means NCAA football season is here. Last week I watched a game that I usually would have already abandoned. Team A was winning and the score was 44–10 in the third quarter. Just when I was thinking there was no coming back from this deficit, miraculously, the comeback was ignited. Thirty-five unanswered points by Team B and an instant classic was born. Team B had a plan, made adjustments, and executed. Team A simply kept doing what it was doing and never adjusted to the new threat. What seemed to be a comfortable position was lit on fire in a matter of minutes.

This unpredictability is what I love about college football: the ability of some teams to make enormous adjustments on the fly and the way those changes effect the outcomes. Team A, who was in the lead for most of the game, was banking on disaster avoidance and playing not to lose. Team B, who ultimately came out on top, was playing with disaster recovery and had a plan to adjust, execute, and recover from losing the entire game to coming out on top in short order. From the outside looking in, playing not to lose might seem like a decent strategy, but when bigstock-American-Football-1029621.jpgyou don’t have an actual recovery plan in place, written down, and executable by everybody on the team – it can get ugly in a hurry. Then what? If you’re a business who has just been a victim of ransomware, you’re potentially out millions of dollars, your reputation takes a hit, and the data loss can cripple your business.

Ransomware has been ravaging business data the past couple of years. The attacks come unannounced and can bring the whole company down, a little bit like Team A’s attack in the first two quarters. Your business needs to be prepared to respond with a plan, some practice, and most importantly with proven disaster recovery technology. That’s where HPE SimpliVity RapidDR comes in.

Plan Ahead

In a hyperconverged environment, putting your plan in writing is as simple as building the plan with HPE SimpliVity RapidDR. It’s your playbook. The beauty of it is that the core backup and restore plan is all there in the HPE SimpliVity powered by Intel® platform. RapidDR joins in and automates it so you don’t have to click several times and worry about human error, such as miskeying IP addresses, which can cause massive, time-consuming issues.

Just like Team B was able to make the necessary changes based on the information at the time, adjustments need to be made regularly in your disaster recovery plan. Ongoing maintenance is a necessity and being able to quickly add/remove/change VMs along with business processes is key. RapidDR allows you to make those updates to current plans without having to create net-new plans each and every time you’re ready to update.

Get the Team Ready to Execute

Just like in football, there are veterans and there are newcomers – at any given time a starter can go down with unexpected injury, grade ineligibility, illness, etc. You never know who will be the one to “flip the switch” in case of a disaster recovery event. Due to any number of scenarios, it makes sense to have multiple people in place that know the procedure. HPE SimpliVity RapidDR has a one-click execute button. It might seem trivial, but in times of high stress or pressure to get your company back up and running – that one click versus a binder full of pages of detailed steps could be the difference between going on with business or going out of business.

Practice Makes Perfect

You’ve got your plan, you know what you want to accomplish, but how do you know you can execute and that it will actually work? HPE SimpliVity RapidDR is equipped with the ability to execute in a test bubble where everything will come up but won’t be able to talk to the outside world, thereby isolating any potential issues.

HPE SimpliVity RapidDR is literally an orchestration engine purpose-built for disaster recovery. Your plan is in place, tested, executable by almost anyone, and easy to maintain when adjustments are needed. HPE SimpliVity helps ensure that you are as ready as SDRM Authority was to bring back an entire directory when an employee inadvertently deleted it. The restore operation was completed in minutes. Or ready for a viral attack, like the one Worth & Co. experienced. According to their CIO, “When our production systems were hit with the CryptoWall virus, we were able to restore all of our critical applications to a known working state within a matter of hours…. With our previous implementation, some of our apps would have been out of commission for days.”

I know of at least one coach in college football that would love to have had this type of preparation in place. Don’t be stuck without a plan for disaster like that coach. A tick in the “L” column of your business could mean more than just a lost game.

To learn more about disaster recovery with HPE SimpliVity, download the free e-book: Hyperconvergence for Dummies.


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