Acronis Briefing – Happy 15th Anniversary

I had the opportunity to catch up with Pat Hurley, GM of Americas at Acronis, after two years. They have gone from talking about block chain technology and intelligent search to data protection for consumer and lower mid-market. For ease of use Acronis allows the user to manage and protect their data under a “single pane of glass” as Hurley described.  

Acronis is working with cloud providers to give consumers a similar level of protection that is found in business level data protection. This includes a streamlined interface as well as compatibility between Windows, Mac, iOS and Android devices. They also offer free ransomware protection for Azure users. We discussed the ability to create a “Survival Kit” that contains boot media, system partition, and all user backups as a complete package to restore your whole system if necessary. It’s also possible to have data management for your backups, allowing the user to clean up backup versions when needed to optimize space. For portability, users can clone a whole system while it is still active and have the versatility with tools that allow for full images. Other essential features include file/folder-level backups, active disk cloning, event-based scheduling, non-stop backups, and boot media builder.

Acronis Active Protection offers free ransomware protection in their consumer offering that will block ransomware and cryptoware like a security perimeter, but will also help the user recover if an attack gets through. Its offers prevention, detection, and mitigation all in one for consumers. The “zero hour” ransomware protection will detect and track suspicious behavior with the files identified and displays a warning. At that point the user can choose to trust or block activity while in the middle of compressing and encrypting files from an archiving program. If “block” is selected, the user is prompted to recover any affected files. This technology is currently available leveraging ML and AI in Microsoft Azure which provides pattern protection and another layer of defense.

Acronis Notary informs you if a file has been tampered with using their well known blockchain technology and creating a unique certificate for each file. This means users can prove a file’s authenticity and time of creation which can help with legal, proprietary, copyrights, and other types of sensitive documents.

The business backup, recovery, and storage management offer capabilities for central management of hybrid cloud environments for Azure and Amazon S3. This is still built on the blockchain technology they have developed and continue to optimize. For cloud-only users Acronis does offer services like file sync and share, backup, and disaster recovery.  I see the support for external storage and network-attached storage (NAS) as an opportunity for Acronis moving forward.

Overall, Acronis has thought-forward technology, intuitive and easy-to-use UI, and multi-device mobility. Their feature rich online services are robust for tech savvy power users. Acronis True Image does come at a cost, and with a complicated pricing structure. But in this case “you get what you pay for”.

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