Most managed service providers will remember 2016 as the year data protection was tightly coupled with IT security for the first time, thanks to the rise of ransomware. The idea that data protection and IT security should be linked has been around for decades. But, it wasn’t until IT organizations realized that the only effective defense against ransomware is to have access to pristine unencrypted copies of data that data protection became a real element of IT security defense strategies.
The challenge going to in 2017 is figuring out how to augment those defenses at a time when ransomware is on the cusp of becoming even more lethal. Cybercriminals have already figured out how to attach the malware they use to encrypt data to self-propagating worms that have the potential to spread ransomware across hundreds of machines in a few short hours.