Chuck Leaver – Prevent And Manage Ransomware Withy These 4 Steps

Written By Alan Zeichick And Presented By Chuck Leaver

 

Ransomware is genuine, and is threatening individuals, services, schools, medical facilities, governments – and there’s no indication that ransomware is stopping. In fact, it’s probably increasing. Why? Let’s be honest: Ransomware is probably the single most efficient attack that hackers have ever created. Anybody can develop ransomware utilizing easily available tools; any cash received is likely in untraceable Bitcoin; and if something goes wrong with decrypting someone’s disk drive, the hacker isn’t impacted.

A business is hit with ransomware every 40 seconds, according to some sources, and 60% of malware issues were ransomware. It strikes all sectors. No industry is safe. And with the increase of RaaS (Ransomware-as-a-Service) it’s going to get worse.

Fortunately: We can fight back. Here’s a 4 step fight plan.

Good Fundamental Hygiene

It begins with training employees ways to handle destructive e-mails. There are falsified messages from service partners. There’s phishing and target spearphishing. Some will survive email spam/malware filters; workers need to be taught not to click links in those messages, or naturally, not to give permission for plugins or apps to be installed.

However, some malware, like ransomware, will get through, typically making use of obsolete software applications or unpatched systems, just like in the Equifax breach. That’s where the next step can be found in:

Guaranteeing that end points are completely patched and completely updated with the current, most safe os, applications, utilities, device drivers, and code libraries. In this way, if there is an attack, the end point is healthy, and has the ability to best battle the infection.

Ransomware isn’t really a technology or security problem. It’s an organization problem. And it’s a lot more than the ransom that is demanded. That’s peanuts compared to loss of efficiency because of downtime, bad public relations, angry clients if service is interfered with, and the expense of rebuilding lost data. (And that assumes that valuable intellectual property or protected financial or consumer health data isn’t really stolen.).

Exactly what else can you do? Backup, backup, backup, and safeguard those backups. If you do not have safe, protected backups, you cannot restore data and core infrastructure in a timely fashion. That includes making day-to-day snapshots of virtual machines, databases, applications, source code, and configuration files.

Businesses need tools to discover, determine, and avoid malware like ransomware from dispersing. This needs continuous visibility and reporting of what’s taking place in the environment – consisting of “zero day” attacks that have not been seen before. Part of that is keeping an eye on end points, from the smart phone to the PC to the server to the cloud, to make sure that endpoints are up-to-date and secure, which no unexpected changes have been made to their underlying configuration. That way, if a machine is contaminated by ransomware or other malware, the breach can be discovered quickly, and the device separated and closed down pending forensics and healing. If an end point is breached, quick containment is critical.

The 4 Tactics.

Excellent user training. Upgrading systems with patches and repairs. Supporting everything as typically as possible. And using monitoring tools to assist both IT and security teams spot problems, and react rapidly to those problems. When it pertains to ransomware, those are the four battle-tested tactics we have to keep our organizations safe.

You can find out more about this in a short 8 minute video, where I speak to numerous industry experts about this concern:

~leaverchuck1


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