How Not to Pay the High Price of Ransomware?

Ransomware is a huge and growing problem for organizations. It’s like kidnapping. The bad actors encrypt your company’s data to bring down the IT infrastructure and the associated operations.

This year alone, the ransomware attacks have doubled. The first quarter of 2019 saw a 118% increase in ransomware attacks, creating an emergency for most businesses.

No organization, no matter the size or type, is immune, which means we need to be better prepared to respond to these attacks — as they’re becoming more targeted, sophisticated, dangerous and disruptive.

We recently saw how Nunavut, Canada’s largest and northernmost territory, had a hard time recovering from a ransomware attack. A sophisticated cyber-attack was launched on the Nunavut’s government network, resulting in the swift encryption of multiple Word documents and PDF files.

Ransomware is a Costly Affair.

Adding to the complexity are the bitcoin payments, regulatory considerations and other costs. Attackers typically demand the ransoms in bitcoin. These kinds of transactions are difficult and, many times, impossible to trace.

But if you’re ready to give the ransom for one time, you better be prepared to pay it again. Attackers attempt additional extortion schemes, once they know that your organization is willing to pay.

And, even when your company refuses to pay ransoms, ransomware is a costly affair. The inability to access data or computers can lead to significant losses due to downtime. Some organizations have to make big investments to recover back after an attack.

So how not to pay a high price for a ransomware?

You need to Respond Quicker.

Ransomware is problematic because it spreads very quickly. One of your employees clicked on an email or web link and got infected. Usually, the computers in a business setup are connected with other computers. This leads to a proliferation of the problem.

You typically have an hour to respond before it spreads to your entire company. Even after knowing that, most companies are slow to respond. One report from the Ponemon Institute states that the meantime, to detect a breach is 197 days. The research firm explains that responding to a breach takes another 69 days.

The data from these studies suggest that we require an innovative solution to control the damage and provide a fast response.

Better Visibility with Dynamic Isolation and Micro-segmentation.

Better visibility of your digital assets and the flows between them can help companies to limit the impact of ransomware. Monitoring networks and devices, scanning your systems and looking for abnormal behaviour can signal that a bad actor is inside your network.

We encourage enterprises to adopt a zero-trust approach to cybersecurity. You need to assume that bad actors can and will get in. Maybe, they’re inside your enterprise network already.

You should try and employ solutions such as dynamic isolation and micro-segmentation to limit the scope of the damage. For instance, if a computer gets infected, micro-segmentation makes sure that the infection doesn’t spread to the entire network.

Dynamic isolation, on the other hand, spots anomalous behaviours fast. It installs agents on machines that seem to exhibit strange behaviours. Also, it ensures data on these machines are safe by preventing bad actors from re-encrypting the data.

Enhance Security for Critical Assets.

Your organization can improve resilience to ransomware and other security attacks by applying cryptographic network isolation to their backup systems.

Cybercriminals understand that organizations store their most critical assets in the backup systems — they are now attacking cyber recovery vaults. You can add cryptographic network isolation via micro-segmentation to provide extra protection for these vital assets.

Two-factor authentication is another great method to prevent ransomware from getting into their organizations in the first place. You may employ different technology solutions such as biometrics to provide the second layer of defence.

In the End

Cybersecurity attacks are not limited to any particular type of organization. Ransomware is more frequent, causing significant damage and monetary loss to the organizations. We suggest that you’ve different plans to safeguard your IT infrastructure — so you can move from Plan A to Plan B to Plan C as per the need.

Organizations should have efficient network security and regular audits to safeguard their most critical assets. You can quickly identify unusual behaviour and contain it fast to be better positioned to avoid and recover from cyber-attacks, including ransomware attacks.

Need more tips and technologies to make your organizations resilient to rapidly rising ransomware attacks? Get in touch with our team.