Computers and Technology

5 ways to prevent Ransomware attack

5 ways to prevent Ransomware attack

The threat that was initially feared on Pennsylvania Avenue and later despised on Wall Street is now being discussed on Main Street. Ransomware has become the adversary of the day.

IDC Program Vice President for Cybersecurity Products Frank Dickson

We emphasized the need to provide complete data safeguards to both traditional and mobile endpoints as a facilitator of remote work in the first post of this blog series (Endpoint Security and Remote Work). In this second chapter, we’ll go into greater detail on the significance of endpoint security as one of many crucial components for establishing an organization’s security posture in relation to what is perhaps the most current cybersecurity issue.

Put on the scary music and dim lighting because that’s probably how most cybersecurity experts feel when thinking about ransomware. Ransomware is prevalent and rapidly expanding, much to the dismay of corporate executives, leaders in government and education, and owners of small businesses. As proof, a recent study revealed that in 2021, around half of all state and municipal governments globally fell prey to a ransomware attack.

 There are five essential techniques to assist reduce the risks associated with an attack as businesses think about the evolution of their ransomware defence strategy:

1. Prevent phishing attacks and access to malicious websites

 The difficulty of this issue well exceeds that of just reviewing business email. In fact, because malicious actors are so adept at reading user behavior, most threat campaigns feature both a desktop and mobile phishing component.                                        

 SMS has a 98 percent open rate and a 90 second average response time, to be precise. Similar statistics for email usage translate to a 20% open rate and a 1.5-hour response time, which helps to understand why hackers have switched to smartphones to launch ransomware assaults.

In order to secure every connection to the Internet from any device, Secure Web Gateways (SWG) and Mobile Endpoint Security (MES) solutions must cooperate. SWG and MES both carry out tasks related to evaluating web traffic, although they do it from various platforms and operating systems. While MTD tackles the mobile ecosystem with protections for iOS and Android, SWG focuses on traditional endpoints (Windows, MacOS, etc.) with its data protections. 

2. Prevent privilege escalation and application misconfigurations

The escalation of rights by a user within the business is another red flag of a potential ransomware attack. Hackers will get access to systems and disable security features required to carry out their attack using a user’s credentials that have been compromised. UEBA makes it easy for the IT department to determine when a user’s privileges have been changed (User and Entity Behavior Analytics). Hackers frequently alter or disable security features to gain access more quickly and stay longer inside a company so they can find more important systems and data to include in their attack.

Any UEBA solution must have the capacity to recognise unusual behavior, such as privilege escalation or “impossible travel,” which are early signs of ransomware assaults. For instance, your security staff needs to be aware if a user registers into their SaaS app in Dallas then an hour later in Moscow. You also need to have capabilities to automatically respond, starting with banning access to the user.

3. Prevent lateral movement across applications

 Therefore, in order to stop lateral migration, enterprises should enable segmentation at the application level. Unfortunately, access management can be exceedingly difficult with conventional VPNs. If a hacker where to obtain a login credential and use the VPN to access company resources, they could now access every system accessible through the VPN and broaden the scope of their attack.

The lateral movement is prevented by current cybersecurity solutions like Zero Trust Network Access, which authenticates the user and his or her credentials app by app. 

4. Minimize the risk of unauthorized access to private applications

 Only authorized users should have access to company data using adaptive access policies that are dependent on the context of the users and the devices. 

The process of defining policies presents security teams with one of their most challenging deployment issues. A unified platform that makes it easier to administer DLP policies across private apps, SaaS, and the Internet is essential because it can take months or even years to refine false positives and negatives out of a DLP policy.

5. Detect data exfiltration and alterations

Along with the encryption of the crucial data, data exfiltration has been a current trend in ransomware attacks.  

In order to reduce harmful downloads or alterations of their data, businesses must be able to use the context and content-aware signals of their data.  By reducing the value of the exfiltrated data, enterprise data rights management and data loss prevention (DLP) together can offer this feature, which acts as a crucial toolkit to thwart ransomware attacks.

nevertheless, the ability to offer data protections based on data classification can significantly increase a company’s ability to interact safely while maximising productivity.

The task is substantially more difficult but yet manageable given the reality of remote work and the development of cloud technology.

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