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New Asigra backup appliance targets ransomware

The evolution of Asigra Cloud Backup Evolved results in an integrated appliance with partner iXsystems, called the Asigra TrueNAS Backup Appliance with ransomware detection.

Cloud backup software vendor Asigra is taking its second stab at an integrated appliance, this time with hardware partner iXsystems.

The Asigra TrueNAS Backup Appliance combines Asigra's Cloud Backup Evolved software with iXsystems' TrueNAS storage hardware. Because the new Asigra backup appliances are, at their core, TrueNAS storage devices, they can be used for workloads beyond just backup.

"This joint solution is broader than backup because of the functionality and the enterprise capabilities that TrueNAS brings to the table," said Eran Farajun, Asigra executive vice president.

The first Asigra backup appliances launched three years ago. Farajun said Asigra moved into hardware to simplify the buying experience for customers and lower their costs. He found iXsystems' TrueNAS devices did a better job of that.

"We looked at our own roadmap of what we wanted to build into our own appliances, and the iXsystems solution really had that plus then some," he said. "So we decided to form a partnership and to create new, next-gen Asigra appliances that are based on the TrueNAS series."

The Asigra TrueNAS Backup Appliance is available immediately and sold exclusively through Asigra partners. The platform includes the X10, X20, M40 and M50 models, with capacities ranging from 60 TB to over 10 PB.

Render of the Asigra TrueNAS M-Series appliance
The Asigra TrueNAS M-Series appliance marks a partnership with iXsystems

Tackling ransomware in backups

Cloud Backup Evolved, or "version 14," is the latest Asigra backup software and offers protection against ransomware that lays dormant after initial infection. "Our software has built in a number of different malware detection engines that are used to ensure customers are not unwittingly backing up malware into their backup repositories and not unwittingly recovering malware back into their production environments," Farajun said.

Farajun explained how new, sophisticated malware infections lay dormant for a period of time to allow automatic backup systems to capture them in snapshots. These compromised snapshots get restored after an attack and can continue to launch more attacks in the future.

Our software has built in a number of different malware detection engines that are used to ensure customers are not unwittingly backing up malware into their backup repositories.
Eran Farajunexecutive vice president, Asigra

"[Other vendors] are going to monitor your systems and say it's seeing behavior that looks like an attack taking place, then they orchestrate a recovery back to the latest version, full stop. And they're claiming that to be a ransomware-defeating thing," Farajun said. "Except, by the time they've detected it, it means you already got infected. It doesn't prevent the types of attacks that the bad actors are now doing called 'attack loops.'"

Asigra backup breaks these loops by detecting malware infections and quarantining them.

"[Asigra] can detect infections in the backup streams so they don't back it up. And they can detect infections in the old backups," said Marc Staimer, founder and senior analyst at Dragon Slayer Consulting.

This is a key difference in how Asigra backup software works compared to ransomware detection from some other vendors. "Some of them will actually have some scripting or software that will automate the recovery, but the problem with that is they're recovering more infected stuff," Staimer said. "They miss the point of eliminating the infection before it detonates."

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