City landscape

Ransomware vs Data Breach: What They Are and How You Can Protect Your Enterprise From Them

There are two popular types of malicious attacks: A data breach and a ransomware attack. You may have heard these two terms used interchangeably, however they’re not quite the same.  A data breach occurs when a hacker gains access to information and steals the unencrypted data from the system. This is often used to steal financial, medical, and other personal information. A ransomware attack occurs when hackers gain access to a system and hold the data hostage in exchange for a ransom, regardless of whether the data is encrypted or unencrypted. A hacker may keep the data inside the enterprise’s system but encrypt it so the right people can’t gain access to it. They may also remove the data from the system and return it in exchange for ransom. Both types of attacks have been around for a while, but recently, ransomware attacks have become more prevalent.

Examples of each kind of attack are found everywhere. Some of the more publicized data breaches happened to Facebook, Yahoo, and Marriott. In all of these instances, personal information was removed from the internal system from hackers which cost these companies a LOT of money in damage control. Not to mention their stock value and consumer reputation. In the instances of the Rivera Beach attack, Lake City attack, and Norsk Hydro attack, these companies had their data held captive by attackers. Rivera Beach forked over a hefty $600,000 to get their data back while Norsk Hydro stood their ground and didn’t give the hackers a penny. While this was an honorable and heroic act, it ended up costing them upwards of $57 million in damages. Atlanta was another city that was infected by a ransomware attack, as was the city of Baltimore MD, not too far from Fornetix’ HQ.

Related Webcast: Fornetix & RackTop – Advanced, Yet Simplistic data Storage and Management for Security and Compliance

The impacts of these attacks are absolutely crippling. Electronic paychecks can’t be delivered, 911 operators can’t enter calls into their database, Police can’t issue electronic citations, personal and employee emails are exposed…the list goes on. According to the Huff Post, “more than 50 cities in states across the U.S. have been crippled by ransomware attacks over the past two years.” To put it into perspective, that’s the equivalent of a U.S. city getting cyberattacked every 2 months. 

Here’s how you can protect your enterprise against these threats: Practice good cybersecurity hygiene. This includes activities like continuously monitoring your enterprises’ access points, regularly updating software systems, and deleting unopened fishy emails. In addition, taking precautions such as encrypting your data with automatic key rotation, data backups and privileged access management are highly important. Even if stolen during a breach, data that is encrypted is unreadable to a hacker. With ransomware, frequent backups help to minimize the potential damage when an organization is locked out of its data. That’s why RackTop, Seagate Government Solutions, and Fornetix have partnered together to combat these external and insider cybersecurity threats. Together, we’ve created a product called the Secure Data Protection Platform (SDP2) that can provide both the public and private sectors with military-grade security that is easy to implement and economically efficient. The powerful combination of Fornetix encryption automation and RackTop’s CyberConverged data protection solution using Seagate self-encrypting drives makes it easier to dynamically manage and re-key drives and datasets without compromising data security, which is traditionally a cumbersome and difficult process.​

Learn more: Fornetix Racktop SDP2 Data Sheet

SDP2 solves not only security concerns but compliance issues as well. Perimeter based security isn’t enough security. Bad actors are everywhere, with growing numbers in the commercial space. Data breaches and ransomware attacks have shifted from being a national security concern to a real-world problem for every individual in all aspects of their digital lives. SDP2 is extensible and ready to be deployed anytime to work with your system. The multi-layer security ensures your most valuable data is protected without hindering performance. Check out a few videos below that highlight the unique capabilites and benefits of SDP2. To request a demo, visit or email