Acronis True Image 2018 protects against ransomware

Martin Brinkmann
Aug 23, 2017
Backup, Software

Acronis True Image 2018 is the newest version of the company's personal backup software for devices running Windows and Mac operating systems.

The commercial backup software comes with a range of new features, among them a security feature called Active Protection Technology that protects Windows devices against ransomware attacks.

The anti-ransomware technology protects Acronis True Image, back up data, and system data against ransomware threats.

It runs in the background and uses behavioral analysis to detect malicious patterns. When it detects malicious activity, it tries to stop the process that is responsible for the activity.

If data was encrypted by the process, backups may be used to restore the files provided that backups exist.

active protection acronis backup 2018

Acronis True Image 2018 users may open Active Protection in the program's interface to manage the anti-ransomware component of the backup software.

The screen highlights the status of the feature, lists monitored processes, and provides a summary of activity. Active Protection can be turned off there; this is useful if another anti-ransomware solution is enabled on a system, or if the protection is causing issues on the system.

Suspicious processes are listed under "manage processes" in the interface. These are not blocked, however and the list included only legitimate processes on a test system (Windows Firewall Control, Veeam EndPoint Backup and rundll32.exe).

You may add applications to the whitelist so that they are never detected as threats by the application. The process is not super comfortable however as you cannot just add the suspicious processes but need to use a file browser instead for that. An option to add suspicious processes directly would improve the usability.

The second option that Active Protection comes with is to exclude files or folders from the ransomware protection.

Other features of Acronis True Image 2018

Acronis True Image 2018 comes with additional new features and updates of existing features.

  • Active Cloning lets you clone an active Windows system to a local drive or USB drive while it is running. Snapshots can be created this way, and it is possible to boot from these new disks afterwards.
  • Convert to Virtual Hard Drive. Create a virtual hard drive image of the Windows system, and use it in virtual machines.
  • Better incremental backup performance. New changed block tracker technology improves the performance of incremental backups by up-to the factor three for smaller changes (30% of disk or less).
  • Backup Activity and Statistics. The new dashboard highlights the status of backups, displays information about each job.
  • Wireless mobile backup to NAS. Back up mobile devices running Android or iOS to network-attached storage, or local PC or Mac devices using Wi-Fi.

Closing Words

The new version of Acronis True Image 2018 is available for $49.99, and as a free trial version. Integration of anti-ransomware technology in the backup solution sets it apart from other backup solutions, provided that the protection works as reliably as advertised.

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  1. Mike Clitherow Clitherow said on January 7, 2018 at 9:11 pm

    I’ve used TI for years, but the 2018 product is a major step backwards. It is far more complex than needed, is extremely buggy and I won’t trust my backups to it. While I’ve already paid for it, I’ll move to another product…any suggestions?

    1. Clairvaux said on January 8, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Mike, have a try at Macrium Reflect. The interface is a bit quirky and you’ll need to use Windows Explorer as well to have an easier view of your backup files, but it is reliable, it’s business-level and there is good support.

      There’s a free version which is deliberately hidden. It’s already quite powerful, although of course there are one or two useful features missing from it (notably incrementals and encryption). But it might be just enough for you, and you can certainly use it to test the product with no time limit. It is even allowed now for business use !

      The payed-for version has got a bit expensive, however not more than Acronis I believe, and maybe less :

      People say good things about Veeam Agent for Microsoft Windows Free, but I did not try it :

      A surprisingly free offer from a purveyor of enterprise-level (and horrendously expensive) products.

  2. Bignose said on October 23, 2017 at 1:12 pm

    Just a few minutes ago upgraded from TI 2015 to 2018 & noticed things seemed to be slower & jittery
    www scrolling etc.
    even this artilcle would scroll slowly or judder.
    Just turned off Active Protection & now all smooth again. Perhaps just my system but keep eye out.

    1. Clairvaux said on October 23, 2017 at 7:20 pm

      Typically the sort of obnoxious behaviour Acronis has been known for, and the reason I stay away from it. Plus, it seems to have switched now to a horrendously expensive, subscription or quasi-subscription model, where they conflate the software with an eye-wateringly overpriced cloud storage “feature”.

      Force the consumer to pay and pay and pay again for a product he’s already bought, plus hide the true cost behind a hugely overpriced additional “service”. A nice racket if you can get away with it.

  3. Ron O said on October 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm

    I AM NOT ALONE HERE. I prefer a manual backup system. What i do is boot off a CD and then run the backup. Too many companies load up the PC. That is why i stopped using Norton. Others may prefer automated backups but not for me.

  4. Davey Hg said on October 13, 2017 at 11:38 pm

    I have bought and love acronis 2018 – i have an intel i5-2500k with 16gigs of ram and i can tell you honestly that i dont even notice it is there.. people who are complaining must have poor system specs.. this program is super lightweight on resources and its not full of bloatware its full of usefull tools.. simples..

  5. Wayfarer said on September 30, 2017 at 9:23 pm

    I’ve used Acronis for years. But usually older versions. Like so many imaging backup solutions, Acronis just gets more and more bloated. Seems impossible to get them (and other similar applications) to realise that there’s always room for a basic version that does no more than perform a manual imaging on demand, as opposed to a sophisticated (and in my direct experience, unreliable) solution. Perhaps the biggest problem for commercial products like Acronis is that the freebie alternatives seem to be getting the message better than they are. Not so much a question of changing a product as of allowing users with simpler requirements to obtain a simpler (and in the case of commercial software, cheaper) product.

  6. Flyer said on August 24, 2017 at 12:27 pm

    This feature is (or at least should be) a part of any AV software which should be installed on every computer nowadays.
    So sooner or later it will be a conflict between two programs accessing suspicious software.
    Many years ago Acronis created software which was small and fast. Now new additional feature plus bloooooated content exactly means, the computer will work slowler. The huge size of this program is hidden behind small web installer but after installation it will be nasty surprise how it is resource hungry.
    To be honest, backup software should be light and fast – these are basic features. After installation many new services run in the background, megabytes of hard drive needed for the software also are the bad way to go. Or at least for people who expect fast computer for user’s basic purposes.
    So Acronis, definitely no no. Sorry.
    There are many better and faster solutions.
    And against ransomware and other nasty viruses I use AV software.

  7. Clairvaux said on August 24, 2017 at 2:54 am

    “Acronis has implemented a robust self-defense mechanism that won’t let criminals disrupt the work of the Acronis application or backup file content.” (from their site).

    “Robust” = we think it’s very good, but we don’t say it’s perfect. It’s not clear at all how this is different from any other anti-virus solution. What’s not claimed by Acronis is that their software makes it completely impossible for ransomware to encrypt backups, as in 100 % sure, 100 % safe because it’s just physically impossible, the way it is when backup disks are disconnected from the computer.

    Anti-virus programs offer only a certain amount of reassurance ; none claims to make infection impossible. If this is only one more fallible layer of protection, why bother ? I’d rather my anti-malware barriers be managed by anti-malware professionals, and not have two of them competing with each other. Backup is another range of expertise altogether.

  8. Emil said on August 23, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I really don’t like another filter driver and processes running, it’s most probably doing something that is already being done by antivirus software. Acronis have it too good from their OEM distribution through both large manufacturers. True Image is a bloated *** that is already running a lot of useless services and drivers and keeps getting worse.

  9. Robert said on August 23, 2017 at 1:36 pm

    I got rid of Acronis a few years back because they started demanding that I pay per computer after an upgrade. Up until then I was able to use one subscription on both of my computers at the time. I switched to Terabyte Image For Windows for my backups and am glad I did because Terabyte also backs up Linux Partitions and is much cheaper and better in my opinion. So really if you have a system backup using any software, you are always protected from ransomware.

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on August 23, 2017 at 2:54 pm

      Robert, right, backup is a defense in itself. The only thing one needs to make sure of is that ransomware cannot manipulate the backup itself. I know, common sense but still worth mentioning.

  10. Jimmy James said on August 23, 2017 at 11:42 am

    I think this is a good addition, but it must be stated that you need 3-2-1 backup in place to protect against ransomware. Anything less is not a proper backup. You can’t recover files if your backup snapshots have also been encrypted. Password protected storage that your computer/s don’t have write access to should be the minimum, your backup software doesn’t care where your backups are written, you should. Some networks are also moving towards zero access backup media. I.e the backup device pulls the backup files instead of the files being written to the backup device (thus eliminating anything being able to write to the backup location and compromising your backups).

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