Ransomware has become a major threat to cybersecurity. Security Center provides protection, generates alerts, and backs up data to protect your server from ransomware. You can create an anti-ransomware policy based on which data on your server is backed up. This topic describes how to create an anti-ransomware policy.
The anti-ransomware feature is available only for the Anti-virus, Advanced, Enterprise, Ultimate, and Value-added Plan editions of Security Center. For more information about how to purchase and upgrade Security Center, see Purchase Security Center and Upgrade and downgrade Security Center.
The version of the anti-ransomware agent is upgraded to V2.0 or later. You can no longer modify the existing V1.0 anti-ransomware policies based on which the V1.X.X anti-ransomware agent is installed. After the agent upgrade, you can create only V2.0 anti-ransomware policies.
|Item||V1.0 anti-ransomware policy||V2.0 anti-ransomware policy|
|Custom directories to be excluded||Not supported.||Supported.|
|Compatibility with Hybrid Backup Recovery (HBR)|
|Backup method||Multiple data backup tasks can be run at a time, which may cause high CPU utilization.||Multiple data backup tasks can be run in sequence.|
Upgrade V1.0 anti-ransomware policies with a few clicks
- The upgrade of the anti-ransomware agent does not affect backup data. After the upgrade, your data backup tasks run as expected. If the upgrade fails, the version of the anti-ransomware agent is automatically rolled back to V1.X.X, and data backup tasks are not affected.
- For some servers, the installed anti-ransomware agent cannot be upgraded with a few clicks. In this case, we recommend that you remove the server on which the anti-ransomware agent fails to be upgraded from the anti-ransomware policy, and click Upgrade in the Actions column for the anti-ransomware policy to upgrade the policy. After the anti-ransomware policy is upgraded, reapply the anti-ransomware policy to the server that you remove. Then, the V2.X.X anti-ransomware agent is automatically installed on the server.
- You can incrementally back up data to protect your server against ransomware. If this is the first time that you back up all data in protected directories based on an anti-ransomware policy, a large number of CPU and memory resources are consumed. To avoid negative impacts on your services, we recommend that you back up data during off-peak hours. In subsequent backups, Security Center backs up only files that are newly added, modified, or deleted. This reduces server resource consumption and prevents excessive consumption of the anti-ransomware capacity.
- Security Center starts a specific number of data backup tasks based on the versions
of anti-ransomware policies and the directories that you want to back up.
Directory to back up V1.0 anti-ransomware policy V2.0 anti-ransomware policy All directories
- For a Linux server, Security Center generates only one data backup task.
- For a Windows server, Security Center generates one data backup task for each data
disk. If your Windows server has two data disks, Security Center generates two data
backup tasks. The two tasks start at the same time. Compared with a Linux server,
the Windows server consumes more CPU and memory resources during backup.
Important We recommend that you schedule the data backup tasks based on the CPU utilization and memory usage of your Windows server.
For a server, Security Center generates only one data backup task. For multiple servers, Security Center generates multiple data backup tasks and starts the tasks in sequence. This consumes less CPU and memory resources and does not affect your services. Specific directories Security Center starts one data backup task for each directory that is specified in an anti-ransomware policy. Security Center allows multiple data backup tasks to run at the same time. The tasks may consume a large number of CPU and memory resources.Important We recommend that you specify an appropriate number of directories in the anti-ransomware policy based on your business requirements.
Create an anti-ransomware policy
Before you create an anti-ransomware policy, make sure the operating system version of your server is supported by anti-ransomware for servers. If the operating system version is not supported, the data of your server cannot be backed up. For more information about supported operating system versions, see Operating systems and versions supported by anti-ransomware for servers.
- Log on to the Security Center console. In the left-side navigation pane, choose .
- On the Server extortion virus protection tab of the Anti-blackmail page, click Create Policies.
- In the Create Policies panel, configure the following parameters and click OK.
Parameter Description Policy Name The name of the anti-ransomware policy. Server Type The type of the server to which you want to apply the anti-ransomware policy. Select Assets The assets that you want to protect. You can select an asset, an asset group, or multiple assets from asset groups. To select the assets that you want to protect, perform the following operations:
- In the Asset Group section, select an asset group. Then, all assets in the group are selected. You can clear assets that do not require protection in the Assets section.
- In the Assets section, enter the name of an asset in the search box to search for the asset. Fuzzy match is supported.
- If you want to apply the anti-ransomware policy to ECS instances, you can select ECS instances that reside in different regions. If you want to apply the anti-ransomware policy to the servers that are not deployed on Alibaba Cloud, you must select the servers that reside in the same region.
- To make sure that the anti-ransomware capacity is effectively utilized, you can add a server to only one policy.
Protection Policies The anti-ransomware policy that you want to configure. Valid values:
- Recommendation PolicyIf you select Recommendation Policy, the default values of the following parameters are used:
- Protected Directories: All directories
- Directory to Exclude: Excluded
- Exclude specified directories: directories that are excluded from the policy
- Protected File Types: All File Types
- Start Time: a point in time within the range of 00:00 to 03:00
- Backup policy execution interval: One Day
- Backup data retention period: 7 Days
- The bandwidth limit of the backup network: 0 MByte/s
Note The value 0 indicates that no limits are imposed on the bandwidth.
- VSS (Windows): Yes
Note The VSS feature is available only if you create the anti-ransomware policy for Windows servers. After you enable the feature, the number of backup failures due to running processes is significantly reduced. We recommend that you enable the VSS feature. After you enable the feature, the data of disks that are in the exFAT and FAT32 formats cannot be backed up.
- Custom policy
If you select Custom policy, you must configure parameters based on your business requirements. The parameters include Protected Directories, Protected File Types, Start Time, Backup policy execution interval, Backup data retention period, and The bandwidth limit of the backup network.
Protected Directories The directories that you want to back up. Valid values:
- Specified directory: Security Center backs up only specified directories of the specified servers. Enter the addresses of the specified directories for Protect directory address. You can enter up to 20 addresses.
- All directories: Security Center backs up all directories of the specified servers. You must set
Directory to Exclude to Not Excluded.
Note If you set Protected Directories to All directories, we recommend that you set Directory to Exclude to Not Excluded. This prevents system conflicts.
Directory to Exclude Specifies whether to exclude system directories. If you set this parameter to Excluded, the system directories that are automatically specified for Exclude specified directories are excluded. You can also add or remove system directories based on your business requirements.Note System directories that are automatically excluded from the anti-ransomware policy for Windows and Linux servers are in update. You can view the system directories that are automatically excluded to the right of the Exclude specified directories parameter. Protected File Types The type of the files that you want to protect. Valid values:
- All File Types: Security Center protects all files.
- Specify file type: Security Center protects files only of the selected file type. Valid values:
- Audio and video
- Script code
- If you set Protected File Types to Specify file type, you must select a file type from the drop-down list that appears.
- You can select multiple file types. Security Center protects only the files of the selected file types.
Start Time The time at which you want to start a data backup task.Important If this is the first time that you back up all data in protected directories based on an anti-ransomware policy, a large number of CPU and memory resources are consumed. To avoid negative impacts on your services, we recommend that you back up data during off-peak hours. Backup policy execution interval The time interval between two data backup tasks. Default value: One Day. Valid values:
- Half a day
- One Day
- 3 days
- Seven Days
Backup data retention period The retention period of backup data. Default value: 7 Days.Important The backup data is stored only within the specified retention period. We recommend that you specify the retention period based on your business requirements.Valid values:
- CustomNote You can specify a retention period. Valid values: 1 to 65535. Unit: days.
The bandwidth limit of the backup network The maximum bandwidth that can be consumed by a data backup task. Valid values: 1 to unlimited. Unit: MB/s.Important If you create the anti-ransomware policy for an ECS instance, only internal network bandwidth is consumed. We recommend that you specify an appropriate bandwidth threshold based on the bandwidth of your server. This prevents the backup tasks from using an excessive amount of bandwidth and ensures service stability. VSS (Windows) Specifies whether to enable the VSS feature. The feature can maintain the change history of files and audit trace logs. The feature is also used for disaster recovery for files that contain source code. The VSS feature is available only for Windows servers. After you enable the feature, the number of backup failures due to running processes is significantly reduced. Valid values:
- Yes: enables the feature.
- No: disables the feature.
After you create an anti-ransomware policy, we recommend that you monitor the status of the anti-ransomware agent and handle the exceptions on the agent in a timely manner. This ensures that the data backup tasks and restoration tasks run as expected. For more information, see View the status of the anti-ransomware agent.
What to do next
- View the status of the anti-ransomware agent
After the anti-ransomware policy is created, you must check the status of the anti-ransomware agent that is installed on the servers protected by the anti-ransomware policy and make sure that the anti-ransomware agent is in the Client online state. To check the status of the anti-ransomware agent, go to the Server extortion virus protection tab of the Anti-blackmail page, find the anti-ransomware policy, and then click the icon next to the policy name. In the list of servers that are protected by the anti-ransomware policy, view the agent status in the Status column. Security Center can back up data for the servers only if the anti-ransomware agent is in the Client online state.If the status of the anti-ransomware agent is Not Installed, failed, or Exception, data backup fails. You must identify the cause of the exception to the anti-ransomware agent and handle the exception.Note If the status of the anti-ransomware agent is Exception, errors may occur during data backup or data restoration. If errors occur during data restoration, data backup tasks are not affected. You can handle the exception as prompted.You can use one of the following methods to handle the exception:
- Follow the instructions on the Anti-blackmail page.
- Submit a ticket for consultation and start a live chat for support.
- Manually install the anti-ransomware agent
After the anti-ransomware policy is created, Security Center automatically installs the anti-ransomware agent on your server. If your server is not started or is configured with specific firewall policies, Security Center may fail to install the anti-ransomware agent on the server. If the anti-ransomware agent fails to be installed, you must identify the cause and resolve the issue. Then, install the anti-ransomware agent on the server. For more information about how to manually install the anti-ransomware agent, see Manage servers that are added to an anti-ransomware policy.
- Uninstall the anti-ransomware agent
If the status of the anti-ransomware agent that is installed on the server in the anti-ransomware policy is Exception or failed, you can click Uninstall in the Actions column for the server to uninstall the anti-ransomware agent. Then, reinstall the anti-ransomware agent on the server.Note If you uninstall the anti-ransomware agent within the period specified by the Backup data retention period parameter, Security Center does not delete the data that the anti-ransomware agent backs up. If you uninstall the anti-ransomware agent in the time that is not within the period specified by the Backup data retention period parameter, Security Center deletes the backup data of the server.
- Delete the anti-ransomware agent
If a server no longer requires the anti-ransomware policy, you can delete the anti-ransomware agent from the server. If you delete the anti-ransomware agent from the server, the server is deleted from the list of servers that use the anti-ransomware policy, and the backup data of the server is deleted. After the backup data on the server is deleted, Security Center releases the anti-ransomware capacity. The anti-ransomware capacity is updated within 24 to 72 hours after the release. We recommend that you do not run out of the anti-ransomware capacity. If the anti-ransomware capacity is used up, data backup tasks stop, and a full backup is performed. This significantly increases the resource usage of the server.Important If the anti-ransomware agent is deleted from your server, the backup data on your server is also deleted. Deleted backup data cannot be recovered. Proceed with caution.