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Submitted by NAV Insights on 27 July 2020

Worried About Ransomware Attacks? Azure is the Cost-Effective Solution

It can be simple or complex in form and cost a few thousand dollars to millions, but one thing is for sure: Ransomware attacks are on the rise around the world—and no organization is immune to them. According to Safety Detectives, the average ransom payment has nearly doubled since 2018, and in the U.S. alone, more than 50% of organizations across industries reported ransom attacks in 2019-2020

And the costs go much deeper than just the payout (which in itself can put a company out of business). There is lost revenue due to downtime and loss of confidence with customers and companies you do business with. In addition, hackers often duplicate successful attacks and hit their victims again and again, and some will corrupt or delete your files while they wait for payment to prove they’re serious and can do what they’re threatening to do.

While there’s no iron-clad defense against ransomware attacks, there is something any organization can do: Take advantage of the cloud—specifically, Microsoft Azure. Before you stop reading this because you’re not ready to upgrade key applications like Microsoft Dynamics NAV to Business Central or work with applications that do not offer a cloud version, hear us out.

In just the past few months, several of our customers using NAV on-premises have avoided ransomware disasters because they had Azure on their side. Ransomware attacks are a very real threat—and Azure is a very practical solution.

With Microsoft Azure, you have several options for using it to help protect your data from ransomware and other attacks—as well as natural disasters or other events that can have an impact—without moving all your systems to the cloud.


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How Azure Protects Data from Ransomware Attacks

Backup and business continuity have evolved tremendously with the advent of the cloud. The cloud is a cost-effective, efficient, and reliable alternative to sending media off-site for long-term retention, and it can provide all the services of a secondary data center, but at a fraction of the cost. Microsoft’s Azure cloud is ideally suited for these roles:

Azure Backup. These services simplify data recovery, allowing you to back up virtual machines, SQL workloads, and more with a single click. You can quickly restore data without compromising application consistency. You can also set up your servers and desktops to be automatically backed up on a nightly (or whatever cadence you choose) basis.

Azure Disaster Recovery. This service keeps critical applications running during planned or unplanned outages. You can replicate, failover, and recover processes while minimizing downtime because of multiple virtual machines.

Azure Security Center. This makes Azure the only public cloud platform that offers continuous security health-monitoring. You get a centralized view of your Azure resources, which helps you prevent, detect, and respond to threats with increased visibility and control.

You Can Use Azure without Moving Everything to the Cloud

While there are many reasons we highly recommend you move your on-premises systems to the cloud—cost, ease of upgrades, security, to name a few, we understand that not everyone is ready or for some reason simply cannot. However, you can still use Azure as your weapon against ransomware. Here are some options:

Option 1: Azure as a Backup Service

You don’t have to touch any of your current applications or systems, but Azure can still be used to back up your critical data.

Option 2: Lift and Shift

If you cannot or are not prepared to upgrade or replace an on-premises system, you can move them directly to Azure—giving you access to the security offered by Azure, as well as other added benefits, including “elastic compute”—computing resources that can be scaled up or down based on need, and exponentially better performance as well as the ability to get a new application up and running very quickly.

Option 3: The Best of Both Worlds

If you’re happy with your Dynamics NAV ERP solution, it’s understandable that you don’t want to upgrade—yet. However, you are missing out on the power of Azure by using an on-premises application. There is an option: Keep NAV—but on Azure. This gives you the benefits of NAV along with the power, flexibility, scalability, and security of Azure. You’ll not only protect your data, but you’ll reduce maintenance and support costs
the strength of Dynamics AX combined with the flexibility, scalability, and processing power of Azure…and with the rest of the Microsoft platform (Microsoft 365, SharePoint, etc.)

Why Trust Azure?

Microsoft clearly knows what they’re doing when it comes to managing and protecting data. There are very few companies that have the budget or ability to match what they can do from a technology, design, or experience standpoint. In fact, 90% of Fortune 500 companies trust Azure. Here are some very good reasons to trust Microsoft—and Azure—with your data:

  • Azure has decades of experience in managing their global data centers, which are backed by Microsoft’s $15 billion infrastructure investment that is under continuous evaluation and improvement.  – with ongoing investments and improvements, of course.
  • Microsoft offers 99.5-99.9% uptime on their services. Read the full SLA for more details.
  • Azure comes with Locally Redundant Storage (LRS), where data is stored locally, as well as Geo Redundant Storage (GRS) in a second region.
  • All data stored on Azure is protected by an advanced encryption process, and all Microsoft’s data centers have two-tier authentication, proxy card access readers, biometric scanners. 
  • Azure has more certifications than any other public cloud provider on the market, including ISO 27001, HIPAA, FedRAMP, SOC 1, SOC 2, and many international specifications.

Don’t Take Chances with Your Data

No organization is immune from ransomware or other attacks, so don’t take that chance. Learn more about how the Microsoft Azure Cloud can help your business or talk to the experts at ArcherPoint about the best option for your company to take advantage of the protection Azure can offer.
 

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