A Tale of Two Backup & Disaster Recovery Strategies

A True Story of How One Business Survived Two Ransomware Attacks

A few years back we had an IT support customer that had been with us for about 10 years or so. They had about a terabyte of data on their file server, and at the time they had a cloud file-based backup that was backing up their data about three times a day.

Current Situation:

  • 1 terabyte of data on a file server
  • File-based backup
    • Located in the cloud
    • Backing up 3x/day

Despite all the right cyber-attack prevention efforts, they got hit with some form of ransomware. All employees were locked out of their computers and simply saw a message on their screens that a ransom was requested.

As their outsourced IT vendor, we were able to get in, figure out where it came from, and rectify that issue. But, the only strategy to get the business running again was to restore from backup.

It took three full days to restore a terabyte of data back down from the cloud.

Total business downtime: Three full business days

It didn’t take that long because the data wasn’t available for them, or that we didn’t have a good backup or a recent backup, the issue was the amount of data and where it was housed.

In this case, the business’ backup strategy wasn’t in line with something called their Recovery Time Objective.

In a recent webinar, we reviewed how to align your backup strategy with your business strategy by evaluating two key points.

  1. Recovery Point Objective (RPO), or the frequency at which you need to take backups.
  2. Recovery Time Objective (RTO), the amount of time you have to restore your data from backups.

In this case, their backup strategy didn’t line up with their Recovery Time Objective. In other words, it took longer to restore data from backups than the business could tolerate.

So, we helped them evaluate other backup solutions that could better meet both their RPO and RTO, and implemented an image-based backup solution for them.

New Solution:

  • 1 terabyte of data on a file server
  • Image-based backup
    • Located in the cloud and on a local device
    • Backed up 3x/day

Then, almost a week, maybe a week and a half later, they got hit again, a common occurrence after the first ransomware attack.

This time, the recovery was a completely different story. Their business was fully restored in 1.2 hours.

Total Business Downtime: 1.2 hours


Like many others, this business had good, working backups in place, but hadn’t fully evaluated the reality of needing to restore the business from backup. Their data backup strategy worked, it just didn't allow for business continuity while the data was restored.

After closer review of the business objectives, we helped them adopt a more appropriate backup solution. 

In order to evaluate your backup and disaster recovery solution you must be able to answer the following questions about your data backup.

  1. How frequently are backups taken, and how much data am I at risk to lose at any given time?
  2. Where are my backups located & how are they protected?
  3. How long would it take to fully restore my data from backups, and could my business survive that amount of downtime?

Want to Learn More?

Complete the form or give us a call at 301.739.7414 to see if your business could benefit from a strategic technology partnership with Innovative.