Veeam – Prepare yourself and your infrastructure against Ransomware

A little more than a week ago a new ransomware called WannaCry hit various computers and IT systems, private persons and businesses, all around the world. More than 200’000 computers in up to 150 countries, experts say. That’s a lot. It happend fast. And this ransomware created also some serious damage.

ransomware

Yes, the red marked countries are those affected by WannaCry…

(Image by Wikimedia Commons)

Ransomware preparedness and recovery

Not only firewall, even hardware appliances or software firewalls on your computers, should be installed, but also a decent antivirus and anti-malware scanner should be in place. Obviously with daily updates and new signatures at least.

But when desaster strikes, it’s probably to late to update your security systems. The digital pest is on your system, somehow it made it’s way through various security barriers. Probably through security flaws, undetected by any antivirus or firewall, via mail, drive-by downloads or what not. What can you make then? Glad you have a backup of your systems and your data! Oh, did i mention to air-gap your backups? It doesn’t help when you’ve got ransomware-encrypted backup. The air-gap becomes more and more popular, not only for private users but also for big companies.

To have a 1TB external USB drive with your data, which is safely ejected after successful backup (Veeam Agent for Windows FREE does that), is ideal for your home computer, or your laptop. And absolutely recommended to do so. But imagine your 20 or more terabytes in your office? All your virtual (and physical) servers? Mail data? SharePoint and so on?

Veeam recently released some blog posts and white papers about ransomware topics. I’d like to share those valuable bits and bytes and ressources with you.

White paper

Rick Vanouver, Director of Technical Product Marketing at Veeam, created a white paper with the name „Designing Veeam Availability Suite to Protect Against Ransomware Threats“. Get your copy here:

https://www.veeam.com/wp-veeam-availability-suite-protection-against-ransomware-threats.html

…and learn more about:

  • Offline storage, the most effective ransomware resiliency technique
  • Using different credentials for backup repositories
  • The need to have more types of restore points that are more frequent

Blog post

But Rick created not only the white paper but also a comprehensive blog post about „Ransomware resiliency & Availability: The endpoint is a great place to start“ which is available here.

This blog posts shows you how you can use both Veeam Agent for Linux and Veeam Agent for Windows in your environment. It doesn’t matter whether it’s installed on a server or a computer, Veeam Agent for Linux and Windows are two pieces of software which are tightly integrated into the Veeam Availability Suite yet, and will be even tighter integrated into the next version 10 of Veeam Availability Suite.

At this point I would also like to refer to the early tipps for some of the early attacks and some practical tipps when using Veeam Backup & Replication.

E-Book

Last but not least, Veeam and Conversational Geek are offering a free e-book about the above topic. This e-book not only gives you an insight into the ransomware threat, but also reviews the fundamentals of top notch ransomware preparedness and recovery, in order to help you protect yourself and your organization.

Download it here:

https://go.veeam.com/ransomware-awareness-education

Learn more about:

  • Ransomware milestones, key capabilities and impact
  • Key layers of ransomware protection and preparedness against attacks
  • Quick and painless recovery from backups
  • And much more!

 

VeeamON 2017 – General Session Wednesday – a review

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Thanks to the live stream there wasn’t an NDA on the announcements today made at the General Session. People announced stuff and did live demos of new features awaiting us in the next version of Veeam, the Veeam Availability Suite v10. Let’s now dive into it.

Kicking off the General Session

Peter McKay, COO and President, was on the stage. He’s greeted all attending people, even those who were streaming the general session event to their computers at home or at the office.

Peter McKay introduced himself and showed us about his career. He showed us the example of his children, they’re living a real digital life already. And we all are doing so. It’s all about digital transformation. It’s our digital future.

the past and the future

Read more…

VeeamON 2017 – VMCE-A Training on Monday and Tuesday

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The VeeamON week started early for me. When i did all the booking for VeeamON, i signed up for the VMCE-A course. This is the course required for the VMCE Advanced certification. If you’re already VMCE (Veeam Certified Engineer) you can go a little further, do the course, learn a little more and then get certified again. Engineers who complete both VMCE and VMCE-Advanced: Design & Optimization programs (courses + exams) will be granted with the „Veeam Certified Architect“ (VMCA) title by Veeam.

Monday, 15th of May – First day of VMCE-A training

I got up early, heading for a breakfast and then walking to another hotel just around the corner, where all the courses were located. I registered there for VeeamON to receive my event badge, and then i registered for the classroom.

We were about 20 people in the class. Some very experienced people, from all kinds of IT, like storage professionals, server specialists and so on. Our teacher did very good. He knows the stuff, and he is anything but boring. We had some good laugh and very good discussions. People are sharing examples of their experiences, from the real world and real customers. During the morning we went through some theoretical things, numbers and calculations. And these numbers are another sign that SMB (Small and Medium-sized businesses) are in different size in different countries…

During the afternoon we had a case study. Some fictional company (no, not Contoso…) had its infrastructure and some requirements regarding RPO / RTO, backup, failover and all those things. Our task was to analyze the infrastructure, plan some optimizations and create a concept of how we could fulfill the customers requirements. That task was a group work.

Tuesday, 16th of May – Second day of VMCE-A training

Today i was up on time and heading directly to the class rooms. It’s great to have a Starbucks coffee right in the reception area of the hotel where the trainings and class rooms are located. I grabed a iced cold brew, something with coconut in it. Waiting there for my coffee a guy showed up and greeted me, and made compliments about my blog. The coffee tasted great and meeting this guy was a great start in the day 🙂

The morning began also with some theoretical things, numbers and a little math. We talked a lot about personal experiences and shared real life stories. Shortly before lunch we received the task to build groups again and check our design from Monday. The fictional company for which we planned our design on Monday was now operating for a year. We had again to analyze the actual situation and create a new concept how to backup, replicate and keep the data available.

For me those two days were really interesting and educational. I did not many design-things in my actual IT career. We had a great class, good discussions and a great teacher. Many thanks to Bart Pellegrino, you did a great job!

Follow up:

VeeamON 2017 – Travel and first days in New Orleans

Veeam – NEW Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0

With Veeam Backup & Replication you can backup your whole virtualized infrastructure in a fast and easy way. It doesn’t matter if you’re using Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere, or if you’re using both virtualization platforms. It just works TM!

But what about physical workloads? Or even workloads in your private or public cloud? Due to various factors some physical servers and workstation cannot be virtualized. And sometimes backup of cloud workloads are in the responsibility of the customer. Or at least customer want’s to be completely safe and wants to have also a copy of his cloud data in it’s own safe place.

The new Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows solves these issues. And it also closes the gap that some enterprises face with large, heterogeneous environments and further enables workload mobility by delivering Availability for cloud-based workloads.

If you know already the extremely successful Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE, then you will love the new Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0. It’s built on Veeam Endpoint Backup FREE and includes two brand new editions, Workstation and Server.

Part of the Veeam Availability Platform

Veeam Agent for Windows is another key component of the Veeam Availability Platform and should be used for workloads that Veeam Backup & Replication cannot protect, such as:

  • Tablets, Laptops, Desktops
  • On-premises physical servers
  • Cloud-based workloads
  • VM’s running on-premises with RDM mappings
  • VM’s running on-premises on non-ESXi / Hyper-V hosts (like KVM etc.)
  • File-level backup to disk

Supported operating systems:

  • Windows 7 SP1 to Windows 10
    • has been certified by Microsoft as Windows 10 compatible!
  • Full support for Windows Server 2008 R2 SP1, 2012 R2 and 2016

You need a Linux backup solution? Veeam got you covered with the Veeam Agent for Linux: https://www.veeam.com/linux-cloud-server-backup-agent.html

Enterprise-level backup and recovery

Built on rock-solid and proven Veeam technology, with Veeam Agent for Windows you get the power and flexibility you need to ensure availability for your workloads. You get all the technology you already know from Veeam Backup & Replication:

  • Active full backups
  • Application-aware processing
  • file indexing and search
  • Instant recovery to Microsoft Hyper-V VM
  • Integration with Veeam Backup & Replication
  • Server-specific scheduling and retention
  • Synthetic full backups
  • Transaction log backup for databases
  • And much more!

Endpoint protection

You’ve got some important mobile users with laptops? Your boss? Accountants? Get them covered with Veeam Agent for Windows! It’s a great solution for endpoint devices wether they are in the office, at home or somewhere on the go. It helps you to overcome everyday challenges such as lapses connectivity, hardware failures, file corruption — even ransomware or theft.

  • CryptoLocker protection for USB devices: Veeam Agent for Windows automatically ejects USB backup storage after the successful backup.
  • Endpoint protection for mobile users: backups are cached localy when the target is not available, and synced once the connection has been reestablished.
  • And many more!

Workstation and Server editions include a remote configuration and management API. You can export the local agent’s configuration to a XML file, which then can be used for a silent deployment of pre-configured agents. You can even brand the interface using the white-label option so that your employees and customers can see that they’re beeing protected by a familiar and trusted advisor.

More information about Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0

Click the link to get more information and to get your copy of Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows 2.0.

https://www.veeam.com/windows-cloud-server-backup-agent.html

Download free trial here:

Or get a free 6-month license here if you’re a current Veeam customer with no limitations:

Pricing and packaging:

VeeamON 2017 – Travel and first days in New Orleans

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I knew that this trip would not be easy. It’s a long distance from Switzerland to New Orleans, and there were no direct flights. So i’ll have to change the plane at least once. But let’s start at the beginning of my journey to VeeamON 2017.

Saturday, 13th of May – Flight to New Orleans

Last Saturday the 13th of May it all started. I woke up early in the morning to get the rest of my stuff packed, and checked if there is anything missing. Fortunately there wasn’t. I got my clothes, my laptop, all the necessary cables and chargers and travel documents. I’m good to go. I went to the train station to catch the train to Zurich Airport. The nice thing is that directly under the airport there is a train station. So i went from the train directly to the baggage check-in and then straight through security to the gate.

The flight from Zurich to London, where my connection flight was scheduled, was not so nice. The flight itself was smooth and without turbulences. But there was a small child, crying the whole flight. I was hoping that this won’t happen on the plane to New Orleans…

In London i met a bunch of cool people. Some guys from the UK, all Veeam addicted assembled there, and we all together took the „Veeam Plane“ to NOLA. We were about ten or so people, Scottish, Englisch, Spanisch and Swiss. We had good fun on the plane to New Orleans. I thought I could get some sleep on the plane, but there wasn’t any chance. It’s not easy to catch some sleep if you’re not tired and when it’s noisy. I ready some pages and watched three movies. Finally, with the last movie, i found also my headphones.

At around 7pm in the evening we landed a little before schedule on Louis Armstrong International outside of New Orleans. After border control and baggage claim we were picked up by bus drivers and were driven to the hotel. At the hotel we checked in and met a little later at the reception to go out and find some good food. We were all hungry after such a flight. And thirsty too…

We enjoyed a nice evening on Saturday, but good chats, good burgers and beer. Some went back to the hotel, some others went out for other bars. At this time i was tired. After roughly 24 hours being awake i needed some sleep really bad.

Sunday, 14th of May – Just a day off

I woke up earlier than expected on Sunday. I thought i would be dead tired and sleep until lunch. But i was fine and felt good rested. We met at the hotel reception and went out to get a good breakfast. There was a restaurant some minutes from the hotel. They served real good stuff. From traditional pancakes, to waffles and toast, omelets, there was anything available. You could also order a T-Bone steak if you’d like to.

After that great meal we had enough energy for the rest of the day. We were heading for the National World War II Museum, just some minutes in walking distance. If you’re in New Orleans, then this is definitely a place to go. It’s huge and very interesting. And it’s a national museum, the real thing, not some small backyard playground.

Wondering what will happen on Monday and Tuesday? Stay tuned 😉