Tuesday, 07 August 2018 00:02

BlackBerry Workspaces gains ransomware recovery feature

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BlackBerry's Workspaces file sync and sharing system is gaining a feature that allows ransomware-encrypted files to be selectively replaced without causing a potential loss of work to unaffected users.

Ransomware was the most common type of malware in 2017, according to the Verizon data breach report, and "recovery can be time-consuming and expensive". Cybersecurity Ventures predicts that the aggregate yearly cost of repairing ransomware damage will reach US$11.5 billion by 2019.

BlackBerry's contribution to addressing this pervasive issue is the addition of a ransomware recovery feature to Workspaces.

The idea is to freeze the accounts of affected users in the event a ransomware attack encrypts their synced files. Rather than having to enforce an organisation-wide rollback, administrators can then examine user logs to determine exactly which items have been affected, and then selectively roll them back to pre-attack versions.

This approach is said to help organisations avoid the loss of work and productivity that often come with system-wide recovery mechanisms.

“Beyond data loss, opportunity costs, and reputational risks, downtime resulting from ransomware attacks can inflict real harm on customers in any industry, including healthcare or public safety, where the consequences of any delay can be catastrophic,” said executive vice-president of enterprise products, Billy Ho.

“Organisations need to have a strong culture of security to minimise the risk of an attack – something that our cyber security consulting team has been supporting for the last several years. And in a worst-case scenario, it’s critical that organisations also have a layered defence model in place and an enterprise technology stack that is designed with the inevitable breach in mind.”

The new ransomware recovery feature will be available in the Collaborate and Secure Plus editions of BlackBerry Workspaces at no extra cost.

A webinar featuring a step-by-step demonstration of BlackBerry Workspaces' ransomware recovery feature is scheduled for 3am on 22 August. Registrations are being taken here. Watch this space for information about possible replays that better suit Australia.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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