As an Axcient product manager, it’s a great feeling to know that I am helping contribute to the protection of customers’ data. Knowing that our customers depend on us to help them avoid the catastrophic ramifications of business and application downtime is a key motivating factor for all of us here at Axcient. That’s why it’s so rewarding to receive customer feedback.

I would like to share a recent one from Integrated Enterprise Solutions, who – like thousands of businesses – was affected by the CryptoLocker virus:

We’ve been reselling Axcient to our clients for a number of years, educating them on how important it is to ensure that business data is protected in case of a disaster occurring within the business. At a client’s business on November 11, approximately 35 workstations were infected with the CryptoLocker virus. This virus is known as Ransomware and since it changes constantly, Heuristics won’t even pick it up. Therefore, anti-virus programs sometimes will not even detect it. This virus went to work on the shared drives of the infected user’s computer and encrypted about 250GB of their data. There was no way to unlock these files except by restoring from a backup. Since Axcient protects the data, we proceeded to restore the data using the latest restore point. With the help of Axcient Support, we were able to restore all the files without major data loss. Our client was able to continue with their business within five hours. This is an example of the necessity of Axcient, which is a must-have when disasters strike to ensure that business can run as usual with little down time.

The CryptoLocker virus encrypts all the data on drives connected on the same network and can only be released when the ransom (which has increased to the $400 range from $300 last time we spoke to our customers) is paid in a predetermined timeframe. The most effective defense against a virus like the CryptoLocker is to ensure that all critical business data is protected on a regular basis, because the files cannot be held for ransom if there is another way to access them. Our press release from early November covers other success stories from customers such as Ceeva and MYTEK Network Solutions, as well as pointers for protecting against computer viruses.

So with this success story as a backdrop, I’d like to discuss the following tips for setting up the Axcient solution to ensure that you are protected against Ransomware like CryptoLocker and other calamities:

  1. The first and foremost setup is to define backup jobs for each device to run on a regular basis. It is important to keep in mind that in case you need to restore data due to viruses like CryptoLocker, the retention periods should be long enough to ensure that the uninfected restore points are still available at the time of the restore.
  2. For complete disaster and cloud virtual office protection, ensure that all mission-critical data is protected locally and transmitted to the Axcient Cloud by enabling the offsite option.
  3. Routinely test your data recovery for both local data and data in the Axcient cloud.
  4. It is also a good idea to routinely run a Test VM to verify that images will function properly for production failovers. A similar test can be performed for your offsite data to ensure both local and cloud business continuity will work as desired.

A true business continuity solution like Axcient makes it easy to not only protect all your data, but also to failover and virtualize servers to truly eliminate downtime. Please visit us to learn what makes Axcient an entirely new type of cloud platform that eliminates data loss, keeps applications up and running, and makes sure that IT infrastructures never go down.

Nancy Chu is an Axcient product manager by day and a beauty blogger by night: