In Google’s own words, “Unfortunately not much can be done about ransomware. Best of luck to you.” This is not news, but the problem of G Suite ransomware is only getting worse — so it’s time you had a good G Suite backup plan.
First, the bad news (which isn’t news): Your G Suite data isn’t safe from ransomware. For those unfamiliar with the term, ransomware is a form of cyberattack wherein malware encrypts some or all of the data on your hard drive, and then demands you pay a ransom to regain access to all that data. As encryption keys are generally uncrackable, your options are either pay the ransom or give up on all your files, forever.
Some users mistakenly believe that their G Suite data — stored safely on Google’s cloud, not their personal computer or server — is protected from ransomware. For some of the data, that’s true. But the Google Drive desktop app that allows local access to Drive documents means that local ransomware can attack Google Drive data and sync the malicious encryption to every copy of the ensnared document on any connected Google Drive. Even web-hosted data can be corrupted by malware via the Google Drive app.
Google’s advice is to either tediously roll back your Google Drive files to their previous versions, one at a time, or find ways to manually decrypt the files using GitHub solutions (which may not actually work).
And before you suggest simply doing away with the desktop version of Google Drive, the new ‘Cute’ ransomware can infect your local system directly from a Google Doc. The G Suite isn’t just a target of ransomware anymore — it’s a way for ransomware to get in. If you’re using Google Apps — desktop app or not — your system is at risk for ransomware.
Reliable, secure, automatic, daily backups of your G Suite data like those provided by Backupify are the only real protection against ransomware. Should ransomware strike, simply wipe the infected machines and restore your G Suite data from your Backupify archives — quickly, easily, and without the tedious manual oversight Google recommends.
It’s cheaper than any ransom, more efficient than manually rolling back file versions, and more reliable than just hoping you don’t get attack. Now that’s a good G Suite backup plan.
Want to learn more about ransomware in Google Apps? Check out our new eBook.