Email Archives and the Risk of Ransomware

Today computer hackers are becoming more sophisticated and are successful at entering company networks.  The latest trend has them installing code that encrypts data so the owners of this data can no longer access it.  In almost every case, the data is held for ransom.  Therefore, it is called Ransomware.  

If we were to consider that an organization is only as secure as their weakest network point, the security aspect of localized data has the potential of being compromised.  This may be your email severs; this may be your financial solutions or even your local major systems.  The inability to utilize these business-critical systems will bring any company to a grinding halt. In addition to the financial loss aspect, access to critical data required for compliance and legal reasons can be the difference between successfully defending litigation or losing it.

When we take into consideration that email archives are in place to ensure legal requirements for email retention, if this data were to be compromised or worse yet, subject to ransomware, the financial repercussions would be devastating to that organization.

“With damages from cybercrime expected to hit $6 trillion this year (up from $3 trillion in 2015), we expect the number of ransomware attacks to increase and newer forms to become more sophisticated and disruptive.” 

Blackfog – The State of Ransomware in 2021

To help combat these risks, many organizations are actively moving their local data stores to cloud based solutions.  The local email archives are also one of those platforms.  That brings up the question of how these can be moved in a manner so that it retains all legal requirements.  Most organizations utilize a third-party software solution to facilitate this.  With these solutions, the data is migrated and tracked.  This is all done with a “Chain of Custody.”  This Chain of Custody refers to individual messages that have been successfully migrated from an old system to a new system.  In addition, the records for each message documents the original message ID, the associated metadata, and the new message ID created in the target system.  This provides a direct correlation between the old system messages to the new system messages.

Invariably there will likely be a small percentage of messages that are no longer readable in the original archiving solution.  These corrupt messages can no longer be accessed by the original server or by an administrator.  In terms of Chain of Custody, these items are again documented so that should the need for litigation arise, it becomes legally defensible that these items are no longer available.

Trusted Data Solutions works with Cloud Archive vendors to be able to provide the original archive data in a manner that these providers require.  Whether it is through a direct migration into the cloud archive or and extraction to PST files for ingestion, TDS is the leader in the source and destination archive migrations.

If you have found your organization is a victim of Ransomware, TDS may be able to help you.

TDS has three main business pillars: Tape Management and Restoration and Email Archive Migrations. Trusted Data Solutions has 40 years of experience in the data restoration business.

Contact us today with your legacy data needs.