Storage visibility can help detect ransomware

Our Unified Visibility Detected Hidden Signs of Potential Ransomware

Ransomware has a specific profile, and it’s one that this company monitored for using Visual Storage Intelligence’s visibility tools. Otherwise, they wouldn’t have noticed this potential case of ransomware.

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The Problem:

Ransomware is Hard to See – Until It’s Too Late

Ransomware cyberattacks are on the rise, with thousands of companies being targeted each year. According to reporting from the FBI, ransomware attacks rose by 62 percent between 2019 and 2020 – making them the fastest-growing cybercrime threat for businesses. 

These threats are hard to detect. Too often, companies are blindsided and discover they are under attack when it is too late to defend themselves.

The Outcome:

Visual Storage Intelligence® Monitored for Four Early Warning Signs

Because they use Visual Storage Intelligence® for storage visibility, the company received an email alert notifying them that two early warning signs of potential ransomware were detected.

Ransomware typically follows a pattern of growth visible within storage data:

  • Are any arrays seeing a spike in workload?
  • If so, is the spike isolated to a few LUNs?
  • Does the workload remain high over time?
  • If so, is the growth starting to spread to other LUNs?

New data showed a sudden workload spike (isolated to a few LUNs) that was remaining high without explanation – the first three warning signs of ransomware.

The company was unaware of this activity and did not know what was causing the spike. As a result, they opened an immediate investigation thanks to Visual Storage Intelligence’s alert.

Unidentified spikes in workload - like this one - are cause for investigation.
Unidentified spike in workload – this could be the first sign of ransomware.

The Impact:

Improved Security & Awareness

Fortunately, the investigation revealed the source of the workload spike to be the result of a software installation error.

However, they were alarmed to learn that they would not have noticed the warning signs under their internal monitoring processes. As a result, relying on Visual Storage Intelligence’s monitoring became a significant part of their storage and security strategy.