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STRATEGIES FOR DEALING EFFECTIVELY WITH A RANSOMWARE THREAT

Do you know about the BlackCat Ransomware Group that launched a malicious attack inflicting 233 German gas stations in 2022, causing the oil company, Shell, to redirect supplies to various storage depots? According to the German Intelligence Services, two software applications, namely Microsoft Exchange and Zoho Adshelf Service Plus 1 were compromised. Protect your data from the growing ransomware threat.

Ransomware threats are labeled as ‘high-alert’ by nations worldwide; these intrusions are detrimental to SMEs, conglomerates and MNCs, compelling cybersecurity agencies to reinforce their measures with better options. Endpoint security, which includes, EDR, MDR, and XDR with SIEM and SOAR capabilities is effective in this regard.

What is Ransomware Threat?

A type of malware that restricts access to files or documents on a PC or other electronic devices. After encrypting the files, the individual or group demands a hefty payment for returning the data. Recent ransomware threats include double or triple extortion tactics: Either the data is said to be transferred online or used to attack the clients or business partners of the victim.

Dealing efficiently with a ransomware threat requires a arrangement of practical measures and a well-thought-out response plan. Following are some strategies to consider:

Prevention is Key

Continuous Updates

Make sure that the entire database, operating systems, plugins, or software applications are updated with the latest security patches. Vulnerabilities can be exploited by ransomware groups. Implement a schedule to manage the entire process.

Employee Training

Prior to ransomware threats or attacks, employees need comprehensive training on various aspects, such as cybersecurity awareness, ransomware prevention, and malware awareness. On the other hand, ignoring the training program can put the firm at risk: Legal, financial remediation, loss of trust, loss of property, and more. 

If a business cannot train employees for ransomware protection, , a managed security services provider is a viable option. 

Restrict User Permissions

Limiting user permissions is another solution to manage ransomware intrusion. Conversely, a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) restricts hackers to remove the backup data. In other words, authorized users are granted access to the network.

Regular Backups

Maintain periodic backups of essential data; keep the data in a controlled environment, such as cloud services. These reinforcements protect against ransomware threats, human errors, power failures, and hardware malfunctioning.

Develop a Response Plan

Incident Response Team

Create a professional unit for responding to ransomware attacks: This team should be diverse and functional, possessing members from IT, security, legal, and financial departments. Save and initiate processes for quick response to ransomware threats.

Communication Plan

Prepare a communication plan for notifying employees, clients, and other stakeholders in the event of a ransomware attack. Transparency and timely updates are essential in this regard. Ensure that the strategy complies with relevant legal and regulatory requirements, such as data breach notification laws, data privacy laws, etc.

Detection and Containment

Monitor for Anomalies

Use network monitoring tools to identify unfamiliar activity, such as a ransomware attack. And, if it is detected, take evasive action by isolating the system from the network.

Identify Ransomware

Determining the type of ransomware is important: You can easily sedate the malware through different techniques. Following is a list of recognized ransomware programs:

  • Locker Ransomware
  • Crypto Ransomware
  • Fair Ransomware
  • Locky
  • Bad Rabbit

Recovery and Mitigation

Restore from Backup

If you have backups, restore your systems and data. Ensure that the backup data is free from defects; run a security check just in case. Use decryption tools provided by antivirus vendors and security researchers to recover encrypted files without paying the ransom.

Security Enhancements

Implement added security measures to avoid ransomware attacks in future, such as enhanced endpoint protection, email filtering, and ZTA.

Dealing with Ransom Demands

Evaluate the Situation

Evaluate the effect of the ransomware attack on your firm; check and assess the value of the encrypted data and the cost of downtime. Manage a suitable solution for the ransomware threat. Explore several alternatives to paying the ransom, such as decryption tools or restoring backups. Paying the ransom does not guarantee that the data is retrieved fully.

Seek Legal Advice

Before making a decision to pay the ransom, seek legal advice to understand the potential legal and regulatory implications.

Dealing effectively with a ransomware threat requires a multi-faceted approach that includes prevention, preparedness, detection, and response. By implementing these strategies, organizations can reduce the risk of falling victim to ransomware and minimize the impact if an attack does occur. Contact Us For More Details.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q.1. Which is the most common ransomware attack on companies?

Ans. Crypto ransomware is the most common type of attack faced by firms around the world.

Q.2. Which tools are used by ransomware attackers?

Ans. Social engineering and phishing are mostly used by ransomware groups.

Q.3. How is ransomware detected?

Ans. There are three ways to detect ransomware: 

  • Signature
  • Behavior
  • Abnormal Traffic