Asigra adds cybersecurity protection to 14th generation of their backup platform

The Asigra Cloud Backup Evolved platform targets ransomware Attack Loops, which corrupt backup data in order to prevent successful restores and force organizations to pay ransoms. It also adds a new management interface, GDPR compliance certification, and container support.

Eran Farajun, EVP at Asigra

Today, backup provider Asigra is announcing Cloud Backup Evolved, the 14th version of their cloud backup software platform. The main innovation here is the addition of cybersecurity to counter rapidly growing malware threats, including ransomware Attack-Loops, which target backup data so that successful recoveries are no longer possible. There are however, several other significant new capabilities.

“We have been quiet for 18 months, but this is a big release for us,” said Eran Farajun, EVP at Asigra. “It reflects the need to evolve new things that have evolved in data protection. People today want to do different things with their backup data, like use it for test/dev purposes.

The central change here was the need to add much greater protection against ransomware and malware, because backup has become an offensive attack vector that is targeted by criminals, instead of being what it was before, a defensive tool to protect you once you get hit.

“The bad guys started to attack backup software, using Attack Loops, which insert executable code within the backup data, inside data objects which get backed up,” Farajun said. “Once inside, the ransomware later attacks in coordination with an attack against primary data. When the target tries to restore the pre-attack backup, they find that the malware code is still there, so they are subject to a loop of attacks, and can never properly recover. As a defense against this, organizations have gone to making three copies of their data, including one that is airgapped. But this makes them store a lot more, and use tape all over again, and it’s still very possible that the dormant malware will be in the airgapped backup as well, because they don’t know when it got in. The attack loops are very difficult to get out of for this reason, and it turns backup into an offensive attack vector.”

Cloud Backup Evolved now includes the industry’s first zero-day Attack-Loop preventative technology. It uses bi-directional malware detection, zero-day exploit protection, variable repository naming, and two-factor authentication for a full defensive suite, which is complemented by FIPS 140-2 certification and military-grade data encryption. The security technology is OEMd. Farajun indicated that Asigra isn’t making the providers public, so as not to make attackers’ jobs easier, but he said that there are multiple engines involved – not just one – to provide overlapping protection.

“Version 14 creates a completely new posture around security, which makes it much harder not only for malware to get in, but to delete things if they do get in,” Farajun said.

While the new security additions are the headliner here, the new version of Asigra has other new wrinkles as well, including a new Asigra Management Console.

“It has a whole new GUI, which uses Google interface design,” Farajun said. “There are RESTful APIs for everything in the new GUI, so things are easy to modify.” Farajun also noted that the new GUI comes out the door on Day 1 in 104 languages.

The new Asigra platform has also received GDPR compliance certification by the Information Commissioner’s Office in the U.K. for organizations conducting business throughout Europe, indicating that it meets GDPR Article 17’s Right to the Forgotten.

“Article 17 requires that these records have to be deleted from backup as well, something that is very manually intensive with image-based backup,” Farajun said. Asigra is file-based, so had an easier time adapting to this.

“With this kind of new compliance, the role of image-based backup and file-based backup will need to evolve,” Farajun said.

“Version 14 now can run entirely in containerized environments,” Farajun added. “It now has deeper support for Office 365, covering  backup and recovery for Groups as well. Our backup for Microsoft Teams is coming along well, and when Microsoft releases Teams from beta, we will release our Teams solution.”

Finally, Farajun noted that Asigra is adding an instant recovery capability.

“Instant recovery allows you to mount your data without a full recovery,” he said. “We are building this in as a free feature.”