As cyberattacks target critical infrastructures, YTL PowerSeraya enhances ransomware protection with Veeam
- YTL PowerSeraya switched from time-consuming, tape-based backups to a modern data protection solution in light of the increase of well-funded and well-equipped cyber criminals targeting critical national assets
- YTL PowerSeraya is also looking into new ways to use Veeam to improve its data security strategy
Ransomware attacks are a growing threat to businesses and organizations worldwide, especially when it targets critical infrastructure. This concern has raised organizations’ awareness of the importance of integrating a ransomware protection tool to safeguard its business and employees.
According to the FBI’s annual Internet Crime Report, 2021 saw a total of 649 complaints regarding ransomware attacks on critical infrastructure. One such instance was the Colonial Pipeline attack in May 2021. The Colonial Pipeline attack caused significant disruption and resulted in fuel shortages in various regions. The hackers asked for a ransom payment of several million dollars to unlock the encrypted data.
What’s more alarming is that Gartner predicts that by 2025, cyber attacks will have weaponized operational technology environments to successfully harm or kill humans. This almost became a reality during a ransomware attack on the Florida water system in February 2021. In this attack, the Oldsmar water treatment plant in Florida had its computer systems compromised by ransomware. The attackers tried to raise the amount of sodium hydroxide, or lye, in the water supply, with aim of poisoning the entire water treatment meant for households.
In both attacks, the critical systems were compromised and a lack of a sufficient backup strategy made it harder for them to recover from the ransomware attack. As these examples indicate the harm that ransomware attacks can do, companies must take precautions against such attacks, which is why YTL PowerSeraya Pte Limited, a Singapore utility company and energy producer, has taken the initiative and invested in enhancing in backup and data protection by investing in Veeam.
YTL PowerSeraya selects Veeam’s ransomware protection
Veeam Software stated that YTL PowerSeraya Pte Limited has switched from its time-consuming tape-based backups to Veeam Availability Suite to protect against a new wave of cyber threats and ransomware attacks.
YTL PowerSeraya relies on a hybrid-cloud platform to deliver online account management services to energy customers and provide essential business processes to the back office. The business decided to switch from time-consuming, tape-based backups to a modern data protection solution in light of the increase of well-funded and well-equipped cyber criminals targeting critical national assets.
According to Fu Xiao Hua, Head of Technology Group at YTL PowerSeraya Pte. Limited, maintaining the efficiency of their power-generating assets around the clock is their top priority.
“If our IT systems went offline unexpectedly, we’d feel the impact immediately,” said Fu. “For example, customers would be unable to manage their accounts online, and employees in key functions such as Finance and Human Capital would be unable to carry out their roles. Prolonged downtime could expose the business to significant financial and reputational risks, so we take data protection very seriously.”
YTL PowerSeraya chose Veeam Availability Suite to meet its disaster recovery goals and ensure that its IT systems are operational and always available. With Veeam Backup & Replication, the company is equipped with strong ransomware protection via immutable backups, while Veeam ONE provides comprehensive, intelligent monitoring, reporting, and automation capabilities.
In partnership with Veeam and a Veeam technology partner, the architecture for YTL PowerSeraya’s new data protection solution was created. The new setup goes beyond the 3-2-1-1-0 rule, with three copies of the data at the company’s on-premises data center, one at a backup location, and extra backups to Microsoft Azure.
YTL PowerSeraya has significantly increased its disaster recovery capabilities by switching from tape-based backups to hybrid-cloud data protection from Veeam. The business now performs daily incremental backups, eliminating the possibility of backup jobs extending into production. Additionally, the organization has decreased the recovery time objective (RTO) for a typical 300GB tier-1 server from six hours to two hours – a reduction of 67% that helps lower the risk of prolonged outages for vital internal and customer-facing systems.
YTL PowerSeraya is now looking into new ways to use Veeam to improve its data security strategy. For instance, the company is considering using Veeam Backup for Microsoft Azure to backup virtual machines (VMs) in the cloud and consolidate all IT backup tasks into a single environment.
In conclusion, organizations and people must take precautions to protect themselves from the substantial threat of ransomware attacks. “As a provider of critical national infrastructure for Singapore, it’s vital that we have the tools to fight back against a new generation of cyber threats, including ransomware,” said Fu. “Veeam solutions help us guarantee that key digital services will always be available when our customers need them.”