Technology evolves – your backup should, too

Even though many defense systems are complex beyond most people's understanding, it only takes one effective hacker to break through and access whatever information they want. Is artificial intelligence an answer?

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Over the summer, "Game of Thrones" once again grabbed the attention of the global community – even on days when it wasn’t airing.

Why was the popular show getting so much attention on days where no new episodes were airing? Because new episodes were being leaked.

HBO’s servers were attacked, and the information that was stolen included unreleased TV show episodes, scripts and entire seasons of shows.

This is the power of ransomware, the type of malware used to steal HBO’s information. While the thieves eventually ran out of data to leak, the damage was already done.

As the IoT continues to grow and dominate, safer ways of storing data need to be considered. Even though many defense systems are complex beyond most people's understanding, it only takes one effective hacker to break through and access whatever information they want. It’s almost as if hackers are one step ahead of security systems.

How can we combat ransomware when it’s one step ahead of our defense systems? Well, it turns out that we probably won’t have to – new data backup software can teach itself to be a step ahead.

A safer way to store data

Artificial intelligence has a romanticized connotation to the general public. Yes, AI is already here; no, this doesn’t mean that your computer is plotting to take over the world.

AI has plenty of benefits, from smart cars learning to drive to computers creating a language to facilitate communication among one another. While even the latest AI implementations don’t quite reflect sci-fi novels, it does learn, making things easier for us, the users.

One way AI is improving our lives is by fighting these ransomware programs without us even having to pay attention. Backup software that embraces AI is the next step in computer security, and the first – and so far only – mover in the space, Acronis, known for its cloud-storage services, has started implementing AI into backup software.

Acronis’ True Image uses AI to fight ransomware before it can do any harm – with the intent that AI will find the ransomware before it’s able to find your data.

A safer way to back up data regardless of ransomware that could be stirring in your files, the AI-based software also prevents the corruption of data.

One reason this software in particular is seeing so much success is because of its integration of blockchain technology, the same type of technology used to support cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.

As more uses are found for blockchain technology, you’ll probably start seeing it protect your computer in other ways, as well.

But as exciting as the prospects are for blockchain, AI is likely to be the driving force behind all ransomware prevention at some point in the future.

Watching your backup

While HBO’s issues with ransomware this summer should certainly be a cautionary tale for businesses, anybody with any valuable information on their computer should consider improving their backup data.

Ransomware doesn’t just happen to businesses – hackers will steal information wherever they can, and stealing information from an individual instead of an enterprise like HBO is similar to robbing someone on the street instead of a bank. Attacking smaller organizations – or even armies of one – have a lower risk factor than stealing from bigger entities.

As technology evolves, so does ransomware. Poorly protected computers aren’t even able to tell that ransomware is there, and some might even be tricked into thinking that ransomware is helping in some way.

The only way to stay safe in the modern era is to evolve with computers. You don’t have to understand exactly how AI systems like Acronis’ True Image work. But you also may not know the intricacies of most of the software on your computer – software that you use on a daily basis.

Fortunately, you don’t have to understand anything about backing up data and information, and with AI-based software, you don’t even need to try and keep up. AI teaches itself, and the best protection against a ransomware attack is going to be a software that learns, reacts and acts before any damage is done.

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