Cloud IaaS provider Nebulon has introduced what it is calling the first and only combined server and storage solution in help organisations quickly recover from ransomware attacks.

Indeed, the Nebulon TimeJump solution is said to be architected from the ground up to address key ransomware mitigation challenges faced by IT departments, and is claimed to offer complete ransomware recovery in less than four minutes.

It comes as ransomware attacks remained the bane for many IT departments in recent years, with ransomware attacks being one of the most common forms of cyberattacks organisations will experience.

Nebulon TimeJump

Nebulon cited Comparitech, which carried out an investigation of 186 ransomware attacks on US businesses in 2020.

It found that downtime costs alone totalled $20.9 billion, averaging a staggering $112 million per attack.

Therefore, one of the main responsibilities for IT departments following a ransomware attack is to quickly bring application data back online quickly, reliably, and at scale.

Ransomware recovery solutions offered by traditional 3-tier and hyperconverged infrastructure vendors can address part of the problem with a “snapshot” of customer data, noted Nebulon. However, when ransomware strikes, the attack can infect operating systems and disable critical infrastructure, preventing immediate recovery from data snapshots.

The resulting infrastructure recovery can take hours – or even days – and lead to unnecessary downtime costs.

The east coast American city of Baltimore for example in 2019 struggled for nearly a month to restore crippled online city services and thousands of computers.

Nebulon TimeJump claims to provide four-minute restore capabilities not only for critical application data but also infected operating systems, so application infrastructure can be brought back online near-instantly.

Nebulon says that with the debut of TimeJump, IT organisations no longer have to suffer through a lengthy manual recovery of critical infrastructure. They can instead reduce application infrastructure recovery from hours or days to under four minutes.

“CIOs and CISOs are squarely focused on protecting their organisations from hackers on the lookout for the most vulnerable infrastructure attack vectors,” said Nebulon CEO Siamak Nazari.

“Nebulon can help them sleep a little better at night knowing that our solution can both minimise the data services attack surface for ransomware, as well as help simply and quickly recover in under four minutes – an industry first we a proud to be a part of,” said Nazari.

How it works

This rapid ransomware recovery solution, coupled with Nebulon’s smartInfrastructure offering, also protects against ransomware attacks due to a day-one design decision, said the Fremont, California-based firm.

All critical enterprise data services, such as erasure coding, encryption and snapshots, are enabled by Nebulon’s PCIe-based services processing unit (SPU).

The SPU connects to the server’s internal solid-state disks (SSDs) and operates in a separate security domain from the server’s CPU, memory, network, and operating system. Isolated compute and storage security domains prevent ransomware from infecting the data protection software that enables reliable recovery of the operating system and application data.

Alternative solutions like hyperconverged infrastructure share server and storage security domains, so a ransomware attack on the server easily infects storage resources and protection software, said Nebulon.

This is particularly problematic when infrastructure management tools used for recovery depend on a healthy hypervisor, operating system, and software defined storage (SDS) data services.

Meanwhile besides Nebulon ON, the company’s cloud control plane, employs end-to-end hardware-based cryptographic authentication, and all communications are protected by always-on, end-to-end encryption, to add further safeguards.

Tom Jowitt

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelancer and long standing contributor to Silicon UK. He is also a bit of a Lord of the Rings nut...

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