Ransomware attacks pose a real and preventable threat. By taking appropriate steps like technology implementation, business process improvement, employee training, and so forth, businesses can drastically lower the likelihood of an attack occurring as well as its severity. The Amazing fact about assistance with cloud migration.
For best results in combatting ransomware, the best defense is making sure your data is backed up – whether with an external backup server or by isolating infected devices from network connections (both wired and wireless).
1. Install the Right Software
Ransomware attacks often target outdated software vulnerabilities that exist within outdated operating systems and applications, enabling cybercriminals to infiltrate networks and then use these vulnerabilities to encrypt user data until payment of an agreed sum has been received. To reduce breaches and protect themselves from ransomware attacks, organizations should regularly upgrade operating systems and applications.
Another essential step for protecting against ransomware is installing applications that restrict the use of untrusted digital media, like USB drives and memory sticks. This practice should form part of your cybersecurity best practices and should be enforced throughout your organization.
Ransomware can spread via email, so security measures must be put in place to protect it. These tools can stop phishing emails from spreading by detecting and blocking malicious URLs, disabling Remote Desktop Protocol, and providing zero-trust network access for remote employees.
Lastly, having an incident response plan ready in case of ransomware infection is absolutely crucial. Your goal should include procedures for identifying and isolating infected machines as well as an automatic backup solution capable of recovering files. Furthermore, make sure, if possible, to disconnect an infected device from the internet in order to stop its spreading to other computers.
2. Back Up Your Data
Ransomware attacks often leave victims heartbroken when their backup files have also been encrypted, underscoring why having an effective backup and recovery strategy is critical to protecting themselves.
An effective backup and recovery system is critical to protecting against ransomware attacks on your business operations. Experts advise using the 3-2-1 rule, in which data should be backed up to multiple locations (NAS, cloud, and disk) using different media (NAS and tape). Furthermore, backups should remain offline or disconnected from production systems to avoid ransomware targeting them directly; make sure you regularly test them to make sure everything works as it should!
Malware typically enters networks through email attachments, spam ads, and malicious chat messages before encrypting data and demanding payment in return for decrypting it.
To prevent attacks like these, your organization needs a comprehensive endpoint detection and response solution that can block command and control servers, quarantine devices that have been infected, and stop lateral movement. Furthermore, file sharing must be turned off on all devices so malware won’t spread from one machine to another in your network. Finally, having a central device inventory allows you to track and manage devices throughout your network.
3. Control Who Can Access What on Your Devices
Ransomware infections typically encrypt files and demand payment in cryptocurrency as an attempt by cybercriminals to gain control of businesses, but paying the ransom doesn’t always guarantee their restoration.
One of the best ways to protect against ransomware attacks is by limiting access to your devices. This can be accomplished by restricting privileged accounts on network devices and using password protection measures. Furthermore, keeping operating systems updated and making regular backups of data should help protect against attacks.
Train employees how to recognize suspicious emails and respond appropriately if they receive one that appears to be phishing. Furthermore, report all ransomware attacks immediately, as this will help law enforcement track down those responsible and stop further attacks from occurring.
Ransomware attacks can do severe damage to a company’s systems, reputation, and finances. To guard against an attack and reduce potential losses, follow these seven security best practices – from backing up data and installing effective antivirus software to providing cybersecurity education and creating incident response plans. If your business has already fallen prey to ransomware attacks, contact CrowdStrike immediately so we can assist your recovery efforts.
4. Update Your Firewall
Malicious actors employ phishing attacks and social engineering tactics to gain entry to your network, so employees should be trained on cybersecurity best practices – such as not downloading files from untrustworthy sources or disclosing sensitive data over the phone to unknown callers.
Your firewall must also be regularly updated in order to ward off ransomware infections, as this helps detect suspicious activity like file extension changes and renaming, as well as blocking ports and protocols used by ransomware, which makes its spread harder.
Keep USB drives and CDs free of malware in order to thwart ransomware attacks by only plugging authorized media and running antivirus software before opening devices or clicking links. Malicious actors often infiltrate these supplies through supply chain infection. Make sure only authorized media is plugged in before running antivirus software to scan all incoming media devices and before making connections between any devices that contain ransomware infections and your organization’s systems.
If your network has been breached, affected systems must be isolated immediately in order to limit damage and minimize impact. Furthermore, consulting federal law enforcement could prove fruitful; they may have identified vulnerabilities in specific ransomware variants, which they have decryption tools to counter.
5. Install Antivirus Software
Cybercriminals often use ransomware to demand payment from businesses by encrypting files or blocking system access. Once activated, this malware displays a message barricading users from accessing their system and requiring an exchange for the decryption key in return for payment of decryption fees.
Ransomware usually enters an organization’s computer systems through spam emails containing malicious attachments or links, malvertising (fake ads), or chat messages in various apps. Social engineering attacks also pose a threat, with hackers often gathering passwords and information in order to gain entry and install ransomware on systems.
Antivirus software can help guard against ransomware infections by recognizing known variants based on their digital signatures; however, as ransomware continues to evolve quickly, antivirus programs may miss some diseases altogether.
To help prevent this from happening, always install antivirus updates and keep them current. Furthermore, never click links in spam emails or untrustworthy websites; visit trusted ones instead, download software from reliable sources only, and never connect USB sticks that may contain malware to your network without first knowing where they came from. Cybercriminals often infect these devices with viruses so as to spread further.
6. Install a Firewall Filter
Ransomware attacks often utilize SMBs to gain entry to networks. To reduce their effectiveness, all inbound access to TCP 445 must be restricted through firewall rules on perimeter or boundary firewalls that explicitly deny all access. Doing this will prevent file and printer sharing on applications as well as any lateral movement of ransomware across your network.
Regular data backup is another essential mitigation tactic to combat ransomware attacks since attackers cannot encrypt backup copies you possess. Furthermore, it should be stored at an undisputable and remote location so as to remain accessible by attackers – the 3-2-1 rule should be observed here – with three copies being held separately in two different places, one copy being non-accessible offline and indefeasible by an attack.
Prevention is vital when it comes to ransomware and cyber extortion incidents. Installing robust antivirus software, installing and updating firewalls, conducting regular vulnerability assessments, educating employees, and creating offsite backups are all great ways to defend against these threats and significantly lower the likelihood of attacks and data loss.
7. Monitor Your Network
Ransomware attacks typically consist of two steps. First, malware infiltrates network devices before encrypting data to block access. Once sent back to an attacker’s C& C server, criminals demand payment as the price for recovery.
Though no system can stop every attack, preventing infections is possible. Best practices include having an adequate backup plan in place and updating devices with security patches regularly. Software restriction policies limit applications that could introduce malicious code into systems through software installations on other devices. Two-factor authentication (2FA) can help stop attacks like these as it adds another step during logins to verify an extra factor, such as a physical token, in addition to username and password authentication.
If an organization detects a ransomware attack, all systems must be isolated and removed from the network if possible. Operating system backups must then be restored, followed by scanning of fixed systems to ensure all malware has been eliminated. It would also be wise to notify law enforcement so they may help track down those behind this attempt at ransomware attacks.