Case Study: Maschinenringe Deutschland GmbH trusts Blocky as their last line of defense against Veeam® ransomware attacks

Blocky instantly transforms Veeam® backup into an immutable, zero-trust repository to protect against cyber attacks and encryption malware

The consequences can be devastating when organizations fall victim to cyberattacks and ransomware. Targeted attacks infrastructure to encrypt files and anything mutable, including the primary target – the backup files. Deleted and/or encrypted backup files make it difficult to impossible for a company to continue normal business operations and restore from a backup copy. The added demand for high ransom payments for the decryption code only compounds the damage. There is no guarantee that all data can be recovered. To prevent such disasters, it is crucial to have readily available, immutable backup files that are protected from ransomware attacks. The Agricultural Association of Maschinenringe Deutschland GmbH recognized the potential harm ransomware could cause and chose GRAU DATA’s Blocky for Veeam® with WORM technology to secure their Veeam backups.

Blocky for Veeam® prevents data deletion from malware and ransomware. Maschinenringe can be sure that, in the event of an attack, their data and systems could be quickly restored from their Veeam® backups, and that the blackmailers would fail with their threats and ransom demands.

Maschinenringe was founded in 1959 as an association and self-help organization for agriculture. Farmers who join the association share a communal pool of machines and digital services, so data and IT security are critical. The 192,000-member community benefits from shared services and discounts and relies on Maschinenringe to ensure that digital services are always available.

Growing ransomware attacks gave cause for action

In January 2021, Maschinenringe became increasingly concerned about its data security and the potential for Veeam® ransomware due to the growing prevalence of successful data deletion and ransomware attacks across all industries worldwide. Despite having robust security measures in place for servers, networks, and endpoints, cyberattacks have proven to be effective even in secure environments to delete and encrypt backup files. Attackers can bypass traditional network security and virus protection methods by launching well-coordinated ransomware attacks that encrypt all backup data. As ransomware attacks have become an inevitable threat, it is more crucial than ever to ensure that a Veeam backup repository can withstand a ransomware attack.

The threat to mutable backup data

Traditionally, backup solutions were used to ensure that data could be quickly saved and recovered in the event of a disaster, such as server or storage system failures, fires, or natural disasters. However, due to the growing threat of ransomware, backups have become a critical insurance policy that can save the company in the event of a ransomware attack, but only if the backup is not compromised or encrypted. In an emergency, it is essential to have an unencrypted backup that can be quickly restored to avoid downtime and ransom demands.

A problem with traditional backup solutions is that they are often set up as visible shares on the network, making them easily accessible targets for ransomware. To ensure that backups remain accessible while also protecting them from ransomware, it is essential to isolate or segment them from the rest of the network. This way, ransomware will not be able to change or encrypt the backup data.

Maschinenringe Deutschland chooses immutable backups protection

For the leadership at Maschinenringe Deutschland GmbH, it was evident that they needed to add ransomware protection to their existing backup solutions from Veeam. Their trusted technical partner, Cristie Data, offered the seamless solution they needed, Blocky for Veeam® from GRAU DATA, which effectively protects Veeam backup data against ransomware and met all of their requirements. Their desired features for the new ransomware protection included: creating a zero-trust environment, a user-friendly and organized menu interface, detailed access logs for intrusion detection and event management, scalability to meet the association’s long-term needs, and minimal additional workload for the IT team.

Ransomware protection deployed in minutes

With help from Cristie Data, the team from Maschinenringe finished the installation and training in about 30 minutes.

“Attackers are now increasingly targeting secondary systems, such as backups, as these have been neglected by many companies when it comes to protection. Fortunately, we have not had any ransomware incidents, which should stay that way. That’s why we took preventive measures with the Blocky for Veeam® solution to protect our systems, “says IT administrator Sascha Hein.

Proven WORM technology protects against any ransomware

Blocky for Veeam® was developed by GRAU DATA, a specialist in storage and archiving, in 2018. The technology behind Blocky is based on the WORM (Write Once, Read Many) principles to create an immutable backup and prohibit unauthorized data deletion from ransomware threats.

Blocky automatically converts the Veeam® volume into an immutable WORM repository that segments the Veeam® backup data, and using Blocky’s zero-trust principle; backup data cannot be modified or deleted except by trusted Veeam® processes. This makes it impossible for ransomware to encrypt the data. Blocky’s unique fingerprint authentication verifies each write, modify, and delete process to ensure that only trusted Veeam® processes have access to the valuable backup data. All untrusted processes are denied and alerted to the administrator. This zero-trust approach ensures that malware cannot corrupt the backup data, providing guaranteed protection against ransomware.

“For us, three criteria were decisive:

  1. The additional security had to be seamlessly integrated into the existing systems.
  2. It was important that the integration was quick and uncomplicated and that no further administration was required.
  3. The cost of the software and the amount of work required were also important.

Compared to other solutions, which usually would have required a complete overhaul and change of the backup structure, Blocky for Veeam® is the most economical and, at the same time, the most secure solution. GRAU DATA Blocky meets all three criteria for Veeam®, and we can be sure that in the event of an emergency, the data backups will be available without restriction and, above all, unencrypted,” Sascha Hein sums up.

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