Datto enables public transport company to remain operational in the face of growing ransomware threat.
Datto has given details of the successful deployment its business continuity solutions at Reading Buses, Reading’s leading public transport provider. Datto’s technology will empower the provider to defend against ransomware attacks and other downtime threats.
Reading Buses serves the areas in and around Reading, and has more than 150 buses and 400 drivers. Coordination of resources involves the use of various industry-specific solutions, and every single mile of operations needs to be recorded and reported to the Traffic Commissioner for auditing. Failure to provide data can result in fines. Moreover, businesses of a similar size to Reading Buses are increasingly falling victim to ransomware attacks. Muni, San Francisco’s public transport authority, for example, was targeted in 2016 when its ticketing system was taken offline for more than 24 hours. Ransomware is evolving in its sophistication, often accessing systems protected with antivirus in place, encrypting critical data and causing damaging downtime. With thousands of individuals relying on Reading Buses each day, it’s imperative for the company to be operational 24/7.
Recognising the need for a solution that could protect all of its data from unforeseen events, Reading Buses asked Complete I.T. (CIT) – its managed service provider (MSP) based in Buckinghamshire – for a recommendation. CIT suggested Datto’s Total Data Protection solutions, which enable fast, frequent backup and restoring of data and systems. Data from Reading Buses is now stored and backed up both on-site and in Datto’s private cloud at regular intervals, and is available to be restored at a moment’s notice.
“Providing a first class service is paramount, but downtime was becoming a more regular occurrence,” said Mark Price, IT manager at Reading Buses. “We were repeatedly targeted with ransomware but we couldn’t simply disregard emails from unknown senders, as we receive many enquiries each day from passengers. We needed a solution that would work in the background and enable us to restore systems quickly; ensuring our customers weren’t affected, we didn’t lose revenue and our reputation was safe. Datto was the perfect fit.”
Datto’s solution was called into action almost immediately on deployment, when Reading Buses was able to quickly restore systems following a ransomware attack. Arriving as an email attachment, the ransomware strain ‘Locky’ quickly encrypted the machine of the unsuspecting user, as well as many shared locations across the business the user had access to. Whereas Reading Buses would once have suffered significant downtime due to the attack, Datto was able to locate the infected files, remove them and restore all relevant information from the back up. Reading Buses was operational again within minutes. No ransom was paid.
“The entire project has been a huge success,” said Colin Blumenthal, Managing Director at CIT. “Initially, Reading Buses only used Datto to back up its critical systems, but it has since upgraded its data protection service and the company now protects all aspects of the business, including vehicle maintenance and payroll.”
“Ransomware is an epidemic and every business is at risk of falling victim to it,” said Andrew Stuart, Managing Director at Datto EMEA. “While it may be a type of malware, antivirus isn’t sufficient to prevent it from taking hold. Reading Buses is a great example of how backup and disaster recovery can be used to keep businesses operational despite new sophisticated threats.”