Whenever the concept of public service melds into a business initiative for an enterprise and its ecosystem, the result is usually a win-win for everybody.
Data backup and recovery provider HYCU is immersed in such a project right now, and the timing couldn't be more spot-on, because it has to do with defending against the increasing number of ransomware attacks on businesses and organizations worldwide. Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum of money is paid.
The Boston-based company, which specializes in multi-cloud data backup and recovery-as-a-service, on Aug. 24 announced a new free-of-charge cloud application to help organizations identify and measure their ability to effectively recover in the event of a ransomware attack.
Ransomware attacks have been popping up at an alarming rate during the past 18 months. These cyberattacks are big business--so big, in fact, that research claims a business is attacked by a cybercriminal every 11 seconds, according to Cybersecurity Ventures. Damage costs from these attacks are predicted to hit $20 billion by the end of this year. For context, ransomware was merely a $325 million business in 2015--57 times less than this year's expected loss of $20 billion.
It's important for organizations to know what to do when this day comes, and the trend says it is likely to come to most companies.
HYCU is making its R-Score (ransomware score) evaluation available as a free service directly from GetRScore.org. R-Score is the culmination of months of work from HYCU data protection and cybersecurity experts and company partners, HYCU founder and CEO Simon Taylor told ZDNet.
"Ransomware and the horribly increased criminality that we saw during COVID increasingly drove board-level discussions around what companies were doing when it came to data protection," Taylor said. "All of a sudden the CISO, CIO, CFO, and CEO were talking openly with the board of directors about their data protection practices, and about what they were going to do if and when a ransomware attack occurred. We started to look at ways that we could become more involved in supporting our customers through these tragic times.
"One of the things we came up with was this concept of what we call our 'score.' Very simply, our score concept is effectively a credit score that rates your company's ability to recover from a ransomware attack. Our philosophy is: It's not 'if,' it's 'when.'"
The score, made available within about 10 minutes after it processes answers to its questions, is a number assigned to a company to tell management how prepared it will be to recover all its data after an attack. "So the way that I look at this is not as a commercial sales concept. This is really a true public service," Taylor said.
R-Score works similar to the way Fair and Isaac set up the FICO scoring system more than 30 years ago, Taylor said. The app uses entered data to assess an organization's preparedness to repel and recover from ransomware attacks in five key categories: backup process, backup infrastructure, security and networking, restore processes, and disaster recovery.
Once the questions are answered, an R-Score is generated within a range of 0 to 1,000. In addition to the score, users will be given steps to take to improve their overall score. No user data or information related to generating the initial R-Score is stored or captured in any user identifiable form, Taylor said. A free consultation is available to better understand what measures and steps could be taken to improve an organization's overall R-Score, Taylor said.
"There has always been more of a focus around backup in the industry versus what companies really care about, which is recovery," Enrique Salem, Partner at Bain Capital Ventures, which led HYCU's $87.5 million Series A funding round earlier this year, said in a media advisory. "Industry-wide initiatives like R-Score that allow organizations to better prepare themselves in the inevitable event of a recovery in light of ransomware need to be more widely adopted and applauded."
Earlier this year, HYCU announced support for Kubernetes environments and launched its first SaaS-based application on Office 365, Taylor said.