Ransomware attacks have now become more common and also stronger than ever before. A ransomware attack can cost an organization up to $100 billion every year. Often, email campaigns and targeted attacks are used to distribute malware.
Ransomware has many variations, but the objective is the same. A technique called ‘double extortion’ exists that employs a threat to leak the data of the victim organization. Once it presents itself on the system, it stays there to accomplish the goal – get the ransom paid.
Ransomware is widely used by cybercriminals because of the low entry barrier and lucrative payday. Criminals, who don’t know much, also pay to buy a “ransomware-as-a-service” model. The developers sell their threats to earn without distributing them. The ransomware-as-a-service might use subscription or registration to access the ransomware.
Below are some of the strategies listed down to stay away from such attacks.
Get regular backups
Due to double extortion, system backups don’t always provide a complete shield to the system. In fact, advanced ransomware is designed such that they even knock down the backups. But it doesn’t mean that they don’t play their role in restoring the data after an attack or system failure. You might consider employing more than one backup way at different locations.
Perform network segmentation
Network segmentation is a technique that divides a network into smaller segments in a number of ways, including firewalls and virtual LANs. It might strengthen your overall security by limiting access, improving the network performance, and reducing the number of users in each zone.
However, it doesn’t protect from cyberattacks. It doesn’t allow malware and human intruders to move laterally inside the network. Separating customer-facing services from apps or non-regulated data from regulated ones are some of the ways to carry out segmenting.
Security Assessments on a regular basis
The compliance standards like NIST, PCI DSS, and HIPAA command to perform scans and tests at required intervals. Usually, the organizations perform tests annually, while the scans are required quarterly. Although these are the standard requirements, in scenarios where changes in the data environment are made, frequent testing is required.
Educate and train employees
Just because an employee clicked a malicious link, worthy security systems can go down in a minute – resulting in a million-dollar loss. For this reason, employees of industrial environments should be trained for the safe operation of machinery in their respective departments. These are not one-time training sessions.
Due to the changing cybersecurity environment, employee education is a continuing process. The employee should be aware of the solution to any security issue encounter. The organization also conducts ‘phishing attack’ tests to check employee understanding and knowledge.
Implement a robust security
Before remote work became known, compromised passwords were behind more than half of the data leaks. After its widespread, the brute-force attacks multiplied rapidly. Most ransomware attacks involve phishing or remote desktop protocol (RDP) compromise. These call for a very strong password security system. The security protocol includes safe access and multi-factor authentication.