I had just finished a climbing-intensive 12-mile mountain bike ride. My 40-something-year-old legs were a bit like Jell-O and completely dust encrusted, I needed to wring out my clothing and I’d burned through the 2.5L of water in my hydration pack. The 95-degree heat, with 90% humidity sprinkled in for good measure, had kicked my butt. The bugs were like an ongoing aerial bombardment around my head, despite a copious dose of 40% DEET spray-applied head to ankle and I’m pretty sure I swallowed a couple along the way.
Still, it was an awesome ride, filled with lots of flowy goodness, whoot-inducing technical rocky descents, some good air, and more than a few sweet man-made features mixed in for good measure. My Remedy ran super smooth, its tires felt glued to the trails, even factoring how bone dry they were after months of way too little rain.
I figured I made good time along my route and I was stoked to see what see how my splits broke down – with luck I’d even beaten some of my personal bests. After 35 years of riding it’s less about beating the speed demons and their oft-questionable times, and more about just having fun and pushing myself each ride.
After wiping down, peeling my skull cap off, and plopping my helmet and riding glasses in the back of my Murano, I pulled out my iPhone to let my GPS connect to it, grab my riding stats and sync to Strava…only to have the connecting app say, “We’re unable to connect at this time. Please try again later”. Giant facepalm!
I was admittedly a wee bit peeved, but I didn’t think a whole lot about it at the time, figuring it was a random glitch that would probably be fixed in a day at most. When I rode again a couple of days later, I had the same problem. Dude, what the…?!
Something was definitely rotten in the state mountain biking tech and my software product marketing Spidey senses were now piqued. I was determined to investigate when I got home.
Lo and behold, I soon found I wasn’t alone in not being able to sync my rides. It didn’t take long before a ripple of discontent manifested across posts across Facebook, Reddit, and other spots, with cranky mountain bikers, grousing over not being able to sync their rides, and hosts of others annoyed with their workouts not being synced.
It didn’t take much longer for word to trickle out that the second-largest GPS provider in the US, unfortunately, was the subject of a ransomware incursion on July 23, and further investigation by a number of security firms surmised it was due to the WastedLocker ransomware, created by Russia’s Evil Dynasty malware shop.*
The ransomware not only impacted the vendor’s consumer offerings, like fitness-tracking but also its commercial solutions for flight-plan filing, account synchronization, and database concierge. Indications are they incurred a $10 million payout to release their data, and nearly a week later were still slowly getting systems and services back online. Data on the overall business impact is still unknown.
The Painful Lesson…and Not Just to Your Legs
The incident is the latest instance of a rising ransomware trend that is impacting all businesses, large and small, and shows not only why security protocols are critical in mitigating the possible impact of a threat incursion, but also why having a robust disaster recovery plan in place is critical.
As this example illustrates, having one’s systems go down and key data being inaccessible can be exceedingly costly, above and beyond potentially having to pay a ransom to access encrypted data.
Here’s some context worth considering for the potential impact by company sizes:
- Upwards of $9,000 per minute of outage for large companies, or hundreds of thousands of dollars per day.
- Costs can easily hit $8,000 per hour for small businesses and $74,000 for medium-sized ones.*
Add to that, nearly 60% of small businesses that have experienced a major data loss or cyber attack are out of business within six months.*
Ugh, Disaster Recovery is SO Not Fun…
Much like how some bikers groan about climbs, disaster recovery planning isn’t one of the most fun areas of IT work and it’s often one of the more neglected areas as a result. But surveying your IT landscape to understand your recovery needs, then developing, implementing, and testing a robust disaster recovery (DR) plan goes a long way to providing a high level of business continuity and protecting the integrity of your critical business data during a downtime event – and doesn’t it have to be overly hard.
That’s where utilizing a powerful resource like RapidScale’s Managed Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) platform, powered by Zerto, and the knowledge of our experienced IT engineers – especially when paired with a cloud target platform to safeguard your critical business data, can make a world of difference – blunting the impact of a disaster, be it security, human, equipment, or natural in genesis.
As an always-on, continuously covered resource, our Managed DRaaS solution helps simplify DR by replacing multiple legacy solutions with one tool for disaster recovery, backup and cloud mobility, tied to the hypervisor of your choice. It allows you to protect on-premises workloads, as well as hybrid and multi-cloud environments.
With its built-in orchestration and automation, you can define workflows that support live failovers and failover tests that initiate agentless recovery without impacting production workflows – and achieve recovery point objectives (RPOs) as fast as seconds and recovery time objectives (RTOs) of minutes, thanks to journal-based changes tracked for 30 days.
Need more than 30 days of coverage? Easily expand your journal to cover data storage in the cloud for longer backup and retention goals.
Our Managed DRaaS platform is ideal for ensuring that you’re covering numerous application dependencies across multiple VMs, with Virtual Protection Groups that protect the entire application stack of a given application. And you can easily add a new virtual appliance any time you have a new virtual host.
The built-in automation functions provide freedom to recover your apps along with pre-defined settings, particularly for your desired boot order, unique network configuration, and optional re-IP when a downtime event hits.
Not Just for Disaster Recovery
Finally, building your DR strategy provides your organization added perks for an improved, modern IT roadmap. As you’re replicating your VMs and applications to a cloud platform, you can leverage those instances to facilitate greater cloud transition and offload costly on-prem equipment, or even data centers – further shifting away from CapEx expenditures associated with buying new, or upgrading old, existing hardware, and maintaining those physical devices – to a more manageable and predictable OpEx approach.
It’s also an excellent way to give your organization greater flexibility if you’re deployed in a multi-cloud environment because you can more readily pivot between providers, be it for better DR coverage or application availability, or to leverage cost savings and improve cloud consumption.
Less Pain, More Gain
Much like the painful lessons, the pins of your flat pedals instill the first time they slam into unprotected shins, the GPS company’s ransomware instance shows where having set up a strong disaster recovery strategy would have allowed them to have navigated their metaphoric IT rock garden better, without painfully shredded shins.
By having and testing a capable plan, supported by a powerful DRaaS tool like RapidScale’s Managed DRaaS, they could have quickly pivoted from the hijacked application servers that support their consumer and commercial offerings, initiated a failover to spin up new instances of their replicated and protected VMs to a point right before the malware lockdown – so downtime likely would have been significantly limited – plus less unhappy customers and no need for a multi-million payout.
For organizations that want to offload the drudgery of building, testing, and refining a DR plan, our engineers are ready to help you assess your IT landscape, design a strategy, build your runbook, run regular tests, and refine along the way – so your team can focus on driving business efficiencies and revenue outcomes.
Check out our solution pages at https://rapidscale.net/services for more information or contact us for further details.