Infrascale Helps SMBs Fight Off The Scourge Of Ransomware

Infrascale is a data protection company targeting small and medium businesses via MSPs with two major product streams: disaster recovery as-a-service (DRaaS) and backup and recovery.

Infrascale backup sends data to the cloud, and also backs up data in cloud applications like Office365, Dropbox, Google Workspace, etc. Its disaster recovery options support backup to an on-site appliance, running off local system replicas for DR, or running DR in the cloud.

Infrascale also has a particular strength in ransomware protection that goes beyond just backing up data so it could be restored if a customer gets hit with ransomware. It has behavioural monitoring for things like lots of new files being created or data change rates going up a lot, and a rudimentary malware file signature detector.

However, this doesn’t actually prevent ransomware from attacking your systems; you’d need to add a security product to do detection and prevention but the Infrascale gear will at least help you notice more quickly if you get hit so you can stop things from getting worse, and it’ll also help you recover from the attack.

Infrascale demonstrated a simple 4-click process to restore data to before the ransomware hit, which reduces the impact of an attack. Computer systems have become so complex, and they change so frequently, that it’s proven to be very difficult it is for even well-resourced organisations to prevent ransomware. A solid recovery strategy gives an SMB a much better chance of staying alive if they do all the right things and still somehow manage to let some ransomware in the door by accident.

Infrascale's 3-part architecture for keeping data protected from ransomware.

Infrascale’s 3-part architecture for keeping data protected from ransomware.

Infrascale has invested in making sure customers can rely on their backup data being available and usable, which is tremendous to see. A lot of traditional backup products are vulnerable to malware once it gets access to the system. Some ransomware variants actively target backup systems to remove a victim’s alternative to paying up if they want to get their data back. Infrascale doesn’t charge extra for keeping unlimited versions of data, so you can be sure you can go back and find something to restore. Permissions are also limited so that ordinary users can’t delete their own backup data, preventing malware from pretending to be Bob from accounting and nuking all the financial backups.

I particularly like Infrascale’s easy-to-understand interface that has graphical displays and slider bars for configuring how paranoid you want to be. The interface appears to be dealing with statistical process control, given the characteristic appearance of sigma for threshold levels, but most operators won’t need to care. They can just pick a level that seems to be about right and tweak it if it starts sending too many false alarms.

Talking about deeply technical and nuanced terms like RPO and RTO might be okay for enterprise architects at large multi-nationals (though I would dispute that) but for people whose focus is most definitely not on IT, complex interfaces full on tunable nerd knobs are not merely annoying they’re downright harmful. It’s great to see a lot more focus on good user interface design in SMB products that have traditionally been pretty horrifying to deal with.

Given Infrascale’s MSP channel approach, it’s not surprising to see a solid multi-tenant interface as well, making it straightforward to administer a whole fleets of customer systems, or groups of customers.

The refresh of Infrascale’s product portfolio and its focus on what SMBs are really looking for from data protection bodes well for their future. The fact that they included a concrete and detailed customer case study in their presentation helped to demonstrate the real value provided by their offer.

It’s easy to wax lyrical about the high-level and theoretical benefits of a product in generic terms, but there’s nothing quite like seeing something as concrete as “we got the point-of-sale systems back online within hours and competitors were down for days”. That’s the kind of thing SMB managers are looking for.

Ransomware continues to be the best advertising for data protection we’ve ever seen.

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