What You Really Need To Know About Ransomware: Cloud Trumps On-Premises In Terms Of Security

What You Really Need To Know About Ransomware: Cloud Trumps On-Premises In Terms of Security


On-premises data storage is at risk for ransomware. Ransomware attacks have become more sophisticated, and now target both personal and business users. Cybersecurity Ventures estimates that global ransomware damages are estimated to exceed $265 billion annually by 2031, with a new attack on a consumer or business happening every two seconds. The United States is targeted by more ransomware attacks than any other country in the world.

On-premises data storage exposes organizations to security risks, necessitating a shift to a more secure cloud-based alternative. In this article, we’ll take a close look at OneDrive, Microsoft’s cloud storage and synchronization service, as a more secure alternative to on-premises solutions. First, let’s take a look at the shortcomings of on-premises solutions when it comes to ransomware.

Why is on-premises data storage at risk for ransomware?

When an organization manages data storage systems within their own premises or data centers, the infrastructure is managed and controlled by the organization’s IT personnel or dedicated teams. While this allows for an organization to have full control, with direct oversight and customization, on-premises storage is often not as secure as cloud storage.

Because on-premises storage solutions are often located on the same network as the computers they’re backing up, they’re more vulnerable to attack. When you factor in things like limited resources, lack of expertise, limited redundancy, physical security risks, limited scalability and lack of built-in security features, the risk of attack climbs higher.

Even if an organization has backups of their data, the backups may themselves be vulnerable to attack due to proximity, lack of isolation, insufficient versioning, limited offline or immutable backups, lack of monitoring and alerts, human error and/or inadequate security practices.

If an organization with data stored on-site is the victim of ransomware, there’s a good chance they’ll have to pay a ransom to get it back. And even then, it may take an extended amount of time and resources for backups to be restored. So what’s the solution?

OneDrive data storage is a more secure option. 

When it comes to ransomware recovery, version history allows OneDrive users to restore their files to a point in time before a ransomware attack occurred. This means that even if the files on their local devices are encrypted, the copies stored on OneDrive can be recovered, ensuring data integrity and minimizing the impact of the attack. Organizations can recover files without relying solely on backups or paying the ransom.

OneDrive has a number of other advantages over on-premises storage solutions:

  • OneDrive is a cloud-based service. Data, spread across multiple servers and locations, is automatically backed up.
  • OneDrive includes Office 365’s built-in security features like multi-factor authentication and Advanced Threat Protection.
  • OneDrive uses advanced encryption techniques. Files are encrypted when uploaded to OneDrive and remain encrypted while stored on Microsoft’s servers.
  • With OneDrive’s always-on scanning feature, even if a computer isn’t connected to the internet, OneDrive still scans files for signs of malware and blocks any attempts to encrypt them.
  • Users can easily control who has access to their files and what level of access they have. Even if an attacker does manage to encrypt files, they won’t be able to do anything with them unless they’re given explicit permission.
  • OneDrive can eliminate the need for VPN (Virtual Private Network). The security measures often exceed what’s provided by traditional VPNs, and because files and data are stored in the cloud, with a copy on the local machine, there’s no need for a direct connection to the organization’s internal network.  

Is it really that easy?

While moving your data from on-premises storage to OneDrive is a smart security move, there are some important things to consider to mitigate potential gotchas.

First, an understanding of the documentation, guidelines, policies and limitations of your specific OneDrive plan or subscription is crucial.

Second, ensure that you’re very familiar with settings and customizations like time limitations, version overwriting, shared file considerations, differential roll-back, network and internet connectivity and roll-back availability.

Third, remember that OneDrive isn’t the be-all end-all solution to data security. Don’t forget preventive measures like maintaining up-to-date antivirus software, practicing safe browsing habits, being cautious of email attachments and links, and regularly learning about the latest ransomware threats and security best practices. Finally, when it come to making sure everything works as expected and nothing is left behind, partnering with an expert in this type of migration is ultimately the most secure way to make the move. Threadfin always ensures a smooth transition by implementing best practices and configuring OneDrive in the way that’s optimal for your organization.

Stop leaving your on-premises data at risk. Start the move to OneDrive today with Threadfin.

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