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Cyber Security

How intelligent business continuity beat cryptolocker




Following a recent cyber security report by Cisco that highlighted the threat of ransomware for businesses of all sizes, Datto’s EMEA MD, Andrew Stuart has warned of the importance of improving ransomware detection or “Time to Detect (TTD)”.

““The presence of ransomware on a system can cause significant downtime, which can incur massive losses; companies still need to pay staff wages and keep the lights on. Downtime can also cause inestimable damage to a company’s brand and reputation. In addition, 41% of organisations end up paying the criminals, further fuelling this crimewave.

Once you’re infected with ransomware there are usually only two options – abandon your data, or pay up. However, with Datto, there’s a third option – restore from your cloud backup and continue your business without interruption. It’s vital for businesses of every size to review their data backup procedures to ensure that they can restore their data smoothly in the event of a ransomware incident.

Preventative measures such as scanning your machines regularly with reputable AV software, not opening unknown attachments, and backing up your computer regularly should be taken, but there is no sure fire way of preventing ransomware.

In a recent survey conducted by Datto EMEA, 91% of IT Solution providers said ransomware-infected customers actually had Anti-Virus software in place. However, 97% of malware today can morph to become unique to each endpoint device, making traditional signature-based security now virtually useless.

Anti-Virus and ‘best practices’ can only do so much in the face of this onslaught, so it’s worth considering cloud-to-cloud backup to defend against ransomware and for your own peace of mind. Secure cloud-to-cloud backup solutions create another encrypted version of your data and maintain prior versions – in the case of a ransomware attack, the versions before the attack. And of course this second copy has the added benefit of preventing data loss via accidental deletion.”



Harbro Ltd, a £100 million multi-national agricultural feed supplier, is just one of the companies that has benefited recently from Datto technology. Their decision to implement a business continuity solution was motivated by the need to consistantly serve their customers and prevent any downtime occuring – even in the face of a serious virus attack.

The business was built from the ground up, originally supplying the North-East of Scotland. Now, the business has grown to 400 staff and distributes nationwide. Harbro pride themselves on improving customer profitability, and therefore unnecessary downtime is not an option.

Harbro has worked with Clark Integrated Solutions (CiT), one of Scotland’s leading independent MSPs, since 1994 to manage their data and systems. However, the business environment has changed and Harbro’s data was more vital than ever. Harbro turned to Clark IT with their concerns; how could they minimise downtime and ensure the business kept delivering?

CiT recommended a Datto SIRIS SE 5000, and the device was installed a part of Harbro’s overall business continuity plan.

The decision to invest in a Datto solution with CiT paid dividends when Harbro suffered a ransomware attack in the form of the CryptoLocker virus. It was just six months after the SIRIS was installed – which could have spelled disaster for Harbro and their customers. The virus entered Harbro’s system via email, in the form of a false invoice opened by an employee.

Crytolocker would have wreaked havoc, but CiT detected the infection when they saw oversized backups on the Datto device. CiT had the backups pre-scheduled on a regular basis, so the sudden change in size served as an alert. This also enabled CiT to track the Crytolocker to the affected machine.

Once identified, CiT performed instant virtualisation to their onpremise Datto SIRIS device through their own portal, ensuring that the business saw almost no disruption. From a data perspective, the Datto device enabled CiT to quickly restore the 120,000 corrupted files by going back to an hour before the virus struck. If Harbro had still been backing up with traditional tape methods they would have suffered days of downtime.


When evaluating backup and recovery solutions, key criteria for CiT are ease of use and that they deliver a two-hour RTO (recovery time objective). Austen Clark, Managing Director of Clark IT, commented: “Preventing data loss and ensuring business continuity for our customers is key. The financial data the company holds on its clients and the loss of revenue and reputation due to a stall in business operations can have a fatal effect on any business – particularly in today’s climate. By selecting Datto, we can be sure that businesses like Harbro can keep on going.”

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