Product 101: Why add anti-malware protection to a backup solution?

Why add anti-malware protection to a backup solution?

Everything you need to know about Acronis True Image 2021’s anti-malware technology, including how to turn it off – and why you shouldn’t

Recent releases of Acronis True Image have included an integrated defense against ransomware, the fastest-growing cyberthreat. With the launch of Acronis True Image 2021, we expanded those capabilities to include a full range of advanced anti-malware capabilities, including real-time protection, antivirus scans, vulnerability assessment, web filtering, and videoconference app protection.

In the wake of this release, a lot of you were perplexed by those additional cybersecurity features and asked what was happening with your beloved backup solution.

In this article, we’ll explain why Acronis True Image evolved from a mere backup solution into the world’s first personal cyber protection solution.

Without anti-malware, backups are no longer enough to protect your data

In today’s digital world, you can lose data in any number of ways. You can accidentally delete an important file. Your hard drive can fail, losing all of your business and personal information. Your laptop can get stolen together with your photos, videos, and contacts. On top of those threats, there’s been a never-ending barrage of malware in recent years that aims to not only harm your data but also to corrupt your backups so you have no way to recover or worse. These attacks can even block your entire operating system.

As noted in The Acronis Cyberthreat Report 2020, ransomware continues to be the most prominent cyberthreat. One strain in particular, Maze ransomware, was widely used during the past year and accounted for nearly 50% of all ransomware cases.

Historically, the simplest defense against ransomware was to create a backup. If you get attacked, you merely restore your system from a backup made before you got infected. But what happens when the copy of your data you were going to use to recover has been encrypted or infected by malware?

Unfortunately, traditional backup solutions are unable to detect and prevent data corruption from modern malware. For example, many of those targeted in cyberattacks became victims because they clicked on malicious links in emails, or they have opened infected attachments. With the prevalence of work-from-anywhere, it’s also common to have your data exposed during a videoconference call. 

Once your original data gets infected, it can be days – or even weeks – before you realize that the data you’ve been meticulously backing up has been compromised. That’s why a traditional backup is no longer sufficient to safeguard your data, applications, and systems. 

Cybersecurity trends of 2021

As threats evolve, so should your protection

“Individuals and businesses alike need a new, more robust approach to protect data that allows them to easily, efficiently, and securely overcome the threats to data, application, and systems at work and home. They need cyber protection,” said Serguei “SB” Beloussov, founder and CEO of Acronis. 

Introduced by Acronis, cyber protection is an innovative approach that integrates data protection (backup) with cybersecurity (anti-malware/antivirus) in a single solution that aims to safeguard both the original (device) and backup data leaving no gaps in the defense. As a result, you are sure to have authentic, unaltered data that’s free of malware for safe recoveries. You can proactively stop any malware attack and then quickly restore affected files.

Comprehensive cyber protection

The power of integration

While some people might try using multiple products to cover it all, they often run into problems. Since separate backup and anti-virus solutions are not designed to work together, gaps in your defenses are created. Juggling multiple interfaces also makes managing your protection more complex. Plus, buying separate backup and anti-malware solutions simply costs more.

Why pay for two solutions when one provides greater protection? A single, continuously updated solution requires less time to manage and reduces your costs and complexity.

Acronis True Image 2021 – from a backup to an all-in-one cyber protection solution

With the release of Acronis True Image 2021, we brought the first truly comprehensive personal cyber protection solution to the market – integrating advanced cybersecurity with our best-of-breed backup.

Jon L. Jacobi of PCWorld pointed out its unique nature and benefits, describing Acronis True Image 2021 as “indisputably the most comprehensive solution when it comes to backup and computer security for Windows PCs. In fact, we’re unaware of any other product that actually marries these two software disciplines into a single streamlined application.”

In addition to labeling Acronis True Image 2021 a PCWorld Editors’ Choice, Jacobi called it “an all-encompassing tragedy-prevention solution.”

Stopping ransomware from attacking backups

Anti-malware capabilities

Recent releases of Acronis True Image have included ransomware and cryptojacking protection – but with the launch of Acronis True Image 2021, we expand those capabilities to include a full range of advanced anti-malware capabilities, including:

  • Real-time protection, driven by AI-enhanced behavioral heuristics, that stops all malware – including zero-day attacks (never-before-seen malware)
  • Vulnerability assessments that check if your system is susceptible to any known vulnerabilities and recommends security updates to keep you safe
  • On-demand antivirus scans that can be scheduled in advance or run instantly to check the full system or quick scans of at-risk files
  • Web filtering automatically blocks Windows users from accessing malicious websites that harbor malware, scams, and phishing attacks
  • Videoconference protection prevents hackers and malware injection attacks from exploiting popular apps like Zoom, Cisco Webex, and Microsoft Teams

Third-party antivirus solutions

We are aware that you probably have specialized antivirus, web filtering, or other security software installed on your device. Even though we recommend uninstalling the third-party software and fully relying on Acronis' anti-malware solution, you can still keep it active. Acronis' anti-malware protection is compatible with most common anti-malware solutions. They do not conflict with each other for resources and do not create an extra overhead on the system.

However, our real-time protection switches on only if there is no third-party real-time protection solution running on your device. If third-party software is detected, you'll receive a message on your protection dashboard notifying you that another piece of software is protecting you from malicious files.

Note: If you continue using an existing third-party solution for device protection rather than Acronis' anti-malware, we cannot guarantee the reliability of that third-party protection.

Unique data protection capabilities

Even though you can easily disable Acronis anti-malware from the Protection tab, we recommend keeping it running as it delivers data protection capabilities many third-party antiviruses don’t. Such as:

  • It keeps your backup safe. A dedicated module of Acronis anti-malware protection guards your backup files and the backup agent, preventing deletion or alteration by malware.
  • It restores ransomware-affected files automatically. The majority of other security software only prevents the attack, without automatically recovering the ciphered data.

The future of data protection and cybersecurity

Cyberthreats are becoming increasingly more sophisticated and harder to detect, targeting not only original data but backups as well. Ransomware and phishing, especially, continue to be tools used by cybercriminals because of their high success rate. As a result, cybersecurity and data protection solutions must constantly change so they can keep up.

Whatever the future holds for us, one thing is certain – Acronis will remain committed to keeping your valuable data protected from any risk.

If you have more questions regarding Acronis True Image anti-malware capabilities, check out our FAQ section.