ASL Airlines Limited is an Irish carrier that operates both passenger and cargo delivery services. The company has recently won a cybersecurity award on its robust disaster recovery program devised against ransomware attacks—data backups are at the center of that program.
Cargo industry is a target of high-value ransomware attacks. Boeing was hit by WannaCry last year but fortunately evaded any substantial damages. Before that, TNT (FedEx’s subsidiary in the Netherlands) faced a lethal cryptovirological attack in 2017, costing the company 300 million dollars in the name of ransomware removal and lost business. TNT couldn’t run its day-to-day cargo services due to extended downtime. In this context, ASL’s ransomware disaster recovery regimen holds more importance.
An Active Anti-Ransomware Module
The Chief Information Officer of ASL has shared the details of their award-winning anti-ransomware setup. According to him, the security experts in the IT division regularly scavenge ransomware strains in the digital ecosystem of the organization.
Moreover, a robust backup routine is the cornerstone of this preparation. It is important to mention here that ASL completely moved to cloud data management in 2017 from disk-based backups. According to the company’s CIO, this shift has increased its data retrieval speed three times. This means any potential downtime will automatically be shortened with such quick data recovery.
Moreover, ASL‘s cloud data management works on a daily basis. Data generated every day is backed up in clouds on the same date. Lastly, they make two copies of the backed up files and store them separately. A standalone security feature is also helping ASL to save 40 hours a month that were earlier spent on security checks.
What Prompted ASL to Devise a New Ransomware Disaster Recovery?
In a ransomware removal and recovery trial, the company came to know that it took its IT team 15 hours to deal with a minor cryptovirological attack suggesting that a serious ransomware activity could incur days or even weeks of downtime. This unpreparedness alarmed the higher management at ASL.
For an airline, even a downtime of more than a couple of minutes can disrupt its entire flight schedule. So, ASL decided to set up a backup module where they can continue with their day-to-day operations even after taking a cryptovirological hit.
Backups are always considered an effective measure to prevent the tangible damages caused by a cryptovirological attack. With a copy of data safely stored somewhere else, affected organizations don’t need to engage with the attackers to get ransomware removal solution.
The effectiveness and robustness of ASL’s disaster recovery measure haven’t been tested by an actual cryptovirological attack. Nevertheless, the meticulous nature of it assures that the airline will be able to thwart any ransomware infiltration.