11.3.17 Cyber Security

Jungle Disk: An Encrypted Backup Solution That Protects Retailers from Modern Threats and Data Loss

By: Jon McDonald

The Crunch: Even small retailers today need affordable, reliable protection against the onslaught of hackers and ransomware. As a cost-effective and intuitive data security suite, Jungle Disk provides those businesses with an accessible cyber security solution. Jungle Disk was already a well-established data backup solution before spinning off from cloud computing company Rackspace in early 2016. Since then, Jungle Disk has expanded into network security and email archiving services with an experienced staff that stays on top of the latest trends and provides expertise through training and customer support. And because the data backup, network security, and email solutions are cloud-based, computer systems aren’t weighed down.

Entrepreneurs pour a significant amount of time, effort, and money into building their businesses, but often don’t have the necessary resources in place to survive a cyberattack or data breach. But having that protection in place is especially important since 43% of companies that have a significant data breach go out of business.

As ransomware attacks grow more prevalent, Jungle Disk has emerged as an affordable and effective data protection and cyber security solution for SMBs. The cloud-based suite lets businesses proactively defend their network and critical information without having to devote a massive amount of resources.

Jungle Disk CEO Bret Piatt spoke with us about how vital it is for SMBs to protect their data.

After spinning off from Rackspace in early 2016, Jungle Disk added cloud-based network security and email archiving to its established file storage and encrypted backup options. The services are accessible and affordable, with no hardware, installation fees, set-up charges, or long-term contracts.

CEO Bret Piatt said Jungle Disk also offers guarantees on its plans, an added piece of assurance for the SMBs who turn to Jungle Disk after their last network security plan has failed.

“Generally, the clients that sign up for our network security service have been victims before,” Bret said. “They had something in place that they thought was protecting them, but it wasn’t protecting them against more modern threats. So they’re coming in and asking lots of really detailed questions to make sure that — this time when they buy something — it’s going to keep them safe.”

Jungle Disk also offers its clients the expertise of experienced staff to provide technical support and insight on the steps to take against the latest cyberthreats.

From Backup Solutions to a Complete Data Security Suite

Jungle Disk started in Atlanta in 2006 as a software-based product to help system administrators create file servers on Amazon’s cloud. That original Amazon focus is also the inspiration for the jungle reference in the name, Bret said.

In 2008, San Antonio-based web hosting provider Rackspace purchased Jungle Disk to bolster the services it offered and gear up for competition with Amazon Web Services. In January 2016, Bret, a business partner, and a group of San Antonio investors purchased Jungle Disk from Rackspace in a buyout agreement.

“At the time of the spin-out, we had about 25,000 small business customers all over the world using the product for encrypted online storage and encrypted offsite backup of the critical information inside their business,” Bret recalled.

Around that same time, Bret said he noticed a trend of business-owner clients calling and asking: “Do you know how I can get Bitcoin?”

As it turned out, they had all been hit by ransomware attacks threatening to delete all their files if they did not send Bitcoin payments. So Jungle Disk decided the best way to deal with a ransomware attack is to put in protections so businesses don’t get ransomware in the first place. The company launched its network security solution subscription in spring 2016. Email archiving followed in early 2017.

The company has quickly established itself in those service areas and stays on top of trends and emerging threats. For instance, hackers looking to breach a system to steal and sell information, such as credit card numbers, usually focus on large companies. Small retailers can face ransomware attacks that threaten to cripple their business if they do not pay. For individual gas stations and convenience stores, the threat is typically a card skimmer at the gas pump.

Unlike data breaches, businesses are not currently required to report ransomware attacks if the hacker keeps you from accessing your information but does not access it themselves. That’s why the public and other businesses often do not hear about most ransomware attacks or realize how prevalent they are.

“It’s not good marketing to go out and tell your customers you’ve been hacked and compromised,” Bret said. “So they don’t go public or tell customers. A good amount of it’s happening, and folks are just restoring from backup or paying the ransom.”

Technical and Customer Support from a Team of Experts

The staff’s experience and expertise are what keep Jungle Disk on top of the latest trends and on the front lines of protection against the newest retail cyber threats.

“We have a very strong team with many people — like myself — who have over a decade of experience,” Bret said. “With my background working on product development at places like AT&T and Rackspace before buying Jungle Disk, I’ve spent a lot of time in the corporate strategy group and trying to look at things 3- and 5 years out into the future. We try to get in front of things that will affect small businesses.”

Since many small-business owners do not have the expertise to configure their network security, Jungle Disk focuses on product simplicity and providing customers access to data security experts who are available via phone for customer support and can assist with setup and training.

The Jungle Disk support team’s only goal is to make sure each customer’s issue is completely resolved.

“You’ve got the aspect of setting up and configuring the technology and security awareness training that employees need so they don’t click on a phishing email or fall victim to other common attacks,” Bret said. ”And then we can have those conversations about the process of wire transfers or other sensitive data interactions where criminals may be trying to exploit weaknesses within business processes.”

There are no extra fees or limits on the number of customer support calls, and Bret does not track the length of customer support calls.

“We know that small-business owners value their time,” he said. “We’ve had 25,000 customers for years, and we treat everybody fairly. We don’t run any call scripts. I don’t track average handle time to see if we’re on the phone with somebody for too long. We’re there to answer all their questions, solve all their problems, and make sure their business is up and running.”

Cloud-Based Services Provide Layered Protection

Jungle Disk has three main cloud-based product offerings: encrypted data backup, network security, and email archiving with a variety of affordable monthly pricing plans.

“Almost all of our customers choose to have a data backup,” Bret said. “It’s extremely affordable, and you can’t afford to lose data and then have to go back and recreate it. That takes hundreds of hours, and maybe you may not even have the paper records to recreate it.”

The network security product launched in early 2016 as Jungle Disk helps protect businesses from ransomware attacks.

“Network security is one of our newest offerings and what we’ve seen in that market is a bit more advanced than what many of the small businesses are doing out there today,” Bret said.

He said a lot of small-business customers bought their own “high-end consumer, low-end business” network security but then found it was not adequate protection against modern hacking techniques and ransomware threats. Jungle Disk is a stronger — but still affordable — defense system.

“Our network security solution deploys at the office location level,” Bret said. “All the devices connected to that network will have a comprehensive security added into their connection out to the internet.”

And since most of those customers have been burned before, Jungle Disk offers a limited warranty if they have a security incident or data breach with the Jungle Disk product up and running.

“We’ve put that guarantee in place to put our money where our mouth is,” Bret said.

Jungle Disk’s email archiving service is also an important protection to have because even a reliable server cannot retrieve an accidentally deleted email.

“The email archiving provides that safe, second backup copy of everything. Users in the healthcare and financial services industries are often required by law to have an archiving service,” Bret said. “Other industries like retail are not required to, but it is so affordable and just, generally, a good idea. It will make your life easier.”

All three services are cloud-based, which offers other distinct advantages, such as easy installation and OS interoperability.

“Another reason we prefer the network instead of the endpoint is that if you are installing something on the computer, then you are using that computer’s resources to provide security,” Bret said. “Retailers often have a lot of older computer systems, and those operations can overload the computer.”

Jungle Disk: Affordable Network Security for 25,000+ Companies

After establishing a decade-long track record as a cloud-based data backup solution, Jungle Disk has branched out into network security and email archiving because that is what small businesses need.

With more than 25,000 customers across the globe, Jungle Disk has emerged as an affordable protection provider to help SMBs fight the ever-mounting wave of hacking and ransomware attacks — and stay in business.

Jungle Disk’s low monthly cost and the fact that it does not require additional fees or a long-term contract have positioned it as an attractive solution for retailers that need to protect vital data but lack the resources of larger brands.

Because whether a business chooses to address data backup and security comprehensively, it will always be one cyberattack away from damaging its brand to the point of no return. With Jungle Disk, companies don’t have to worry about being pushed to the brink.

About The Author

Jon McDonald is a contributing editor for DealCrunch with over 15 years of experience editing, writing, and designing at numerous publications. His passions include digging into emerging trends and seeking out the companies making an impact on the retail industry.

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