Acronis Cyber Protection Week: Five essential steps to achieve cyber protection

Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud
for service providers

In recognition of Acronis Cyber Protection Week 2023

If there’s one thing that our recent Cyber Protection Operation Center Report: Cyberthreats in the second half of 2022 — Data under attack emphasized, it’s that we at Acronis continue to see and warn both businesses and home users that new zero-day vulnerabilities — as well as old, unpatched ones — are a top vector of system-compromising cyberattacks. While software vendors try to keep up and release patches regularly, their efforts are often not enough. For IT users working to modernize their cyber protection, it’s time to rethink digital defenses to more reliably overcome cyberthreats and avoid data loss.

The report highlighted our findings from the back half of 2022. In this free resource, you’ll find high-level trends in attack patterns, an overview of significant software vulnerabilities and detailed insights into the most dominant cybercrime gangs and their tactics — not to mention plenty of recommendations for staying safe in the year ahead. Below, we have identified five essential steps for safeguarding your data and ensuring your cyber protection is at peak efficiency.

1. Regularly back up important data

In our Monday post for Acronis Cyber Protection Week 2023, we examined the importance of having a robust data backup strategy using a very basic but effective “3-2-1 backup rule,” which counsels to make a few copies of your data and store them in different locations, so that you’ll always have access to your data, regardless of whatever disasters you may experience — be they cyberattacks, natural disasters, or other adverse events.

The 3-2-1 backup rule is a pioneer data backup strategy. It follows the below requirements:

·       You create three copies of your data — the original data on your primary device and at least two copies.

·       You use two different storage devices — here, it’s up to you to choose the two storage media carriers — your PC, external hard drive, a USB flash drive, DVD, NAS or cloud storage devices.

·       And, you keep one of the backup copies off-site — by keeping copies of your data in a remote location, you prevent data loss due to a local disaster or a site-specific failure scenario.

To improve your personal or professional cyber protection, start by backing up on a daily basis and keep multiple copies of your backups, with at least one local copy for fast recovery and one off-site in the cloud to guarantee recovery in the event of a disaster.

2. Update your operating systems and applications

Outdated systems and applications lack the security fixes that stop cybercriminals from gaining access. And that’s why updating is crucial, as many attacks succeed due to unpatched vulnerabilities. With a solution like Acronis Cyber Protect, you’re covered with embedded vulnerability assessment and patch management functionalities. We track all discovered vulnerabilities and released patches, allowing admins or technicians to easily patch all endpoints with a flexible configuration and detailed reporting. Acronis Cyber Protect supports not only all embedded Windows apps but also 300 popular third-party apps, including telecommunications tools like Zoom and Slack, and popular VPN clients used in remote work. Be sure to patch high-severity vulnerabilities first and follow the success report to check that patches were applied properly.

If you don’t have Acronis Cyber Protect and / or don’t use any patch management software, the task becomes much harder. At the very least, you need to ensure that Windows gets all needed updates and that they’re installed promptly. Users tend to ignore system messages, especially when Windows asks for a restart — this is a big mistake. Be sure that auto-updates to popular software vendors like Adobe are enabled and apps like PDF Reader are also updated promptly.

3. Avoid suspicious emails, links, and attachments

Most malware infections are the result of social engineering techniques that trick unsuspecting individuals into opening infected email attachments or clicking on links to websites that host malware. Personal IT users and IT professionals are both aware of this threat: data theft and phishing attacks are among the top concerns for both groups.

Phishing messages and malicious websites appear in large numbers every day. These websites are sometimes filtered out on a browser level, but with cyber protection solutions like Acronis Cyber Protect, you also gain dedicated URL filtering functionality. As a general rule, don’t click on links you don’t need to click — or that you didn’t expect to receive.

Phishing or malicious-themed attachments can come through email — the same as the malicious links covered above. Regarding attachments: always check where they really come from and ask yourself if you’re expecting them or not. In any case, before you open an attachment, it should be scanned by your anti-malware solution.

4. Install modern antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware software

As the ransomware threat landscape is still going strong and evolving, and while we are seeing a shift towards more data exfiltration, the main actors are continuing to professionalize their operations. Most of the large players have expanded to macOS and Linux, and are also looking at the cloud environment. New programming languages like Go and Rust are becoming more common and require adjustments in the analysis tools. The number of attacks will continue to grow as they remain profitable, especially when cyber insurance covers some of the impact. This will undoubtedly increase the cost of cyber insurance premiums even further.

Because of these developments, cyberthreats can only be overcome with modern cyber protection initiatives. Acronis cyber protection solutions include built-in antivirus, anti-malware, and anti-ransomware capabilities that protect your entire system while providing visibility into the threats targeting you. With proactive, active, and reactive protection that extends to your data, applications, and systems — you can be confident that you’re defended against known and unknown threats.

5. Unify your defenses with a single cyber protection solution

The solutions and approaches that personal IT users and professional IT teams have relied on for years are no longer enough to ensure data protection and cybersecurity. Despite individuals and organizations enabling complicated patchworks of protection, data loss and downtime remain familiar, and increasingly costly, threats. Rethinking the approach to protection is essential to achieving a more reliable, holistic defense for the data, applications, and systems, particularly one that unifies and integrates these separate tools into a single, more easily and efficiently managed platform.

For businesses looking to defend themselves against ransomware threats, Acronis is sponsoring an exclusive virtual workshop on April 5, 2023 to help them prepare an incident response plan. This workshop for IT practitioners will reveal how an effective incident response plan can help minimize the risks posed by ransomware attacks. During it, experts from the Acronis Academy will share proven best practices IT leaders, like you, can use to develop a well-crafted response plan and minimize the operational disruption and reputation damage that often comes following a cyberattack.

Acronis Cyber Protection Solutions — Acronis Cyber Protect Home Office for individuals, Acronis Cyber Protect for corporate end users, and Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud for service providers, resellers, and distributors — deliver all of these benefits, unifying modern data protection, cybersecurity, and endpoint management capabilities into a single console and user experience.

About Acronis

A Swiss company founded in Singapore in 2003, Acronis has 15 offices worldwide and employees in 50+ countries. Acronis Cyber Protect Cloud is available in 26 languages in 150 countries and is used by over 20,000 service providers to protect over 750,000 businesses.