Ransomware, cybercriminals, data-napping…not common words you typically think you’d have to deal with when running a company. However, when your online space is compromised by security attackers, this can jeopardize everything you’ve worked for. Let Permeate, our software services company, explain how we are here to help.
Ransomware is a form of script which can be downloaded into your network via a computer or smartphone. This usually happens when we overlook the IT security risks. Ransomware typically works very quickly. In seconds, the malicious software will take over critical processes on the device and search for files to be encrypted. The ransomware will likely delete any files it cannot encrypt. It will then infect any other hard drives or USB devices connected to the infected host machine. Any new devices or files added to the infected device will also be encrypted after this point. Then, the virus will begin sending out signals to all of the other devices on the network, to attempt to infect them as well. This whole process happens extremely quickly, and in just a few minutes all the devices will display a message that all the files are locked. A payment is required to unlock the computer. We all know the recent Colonial pipeline attack on its IT assets. This is a similar concept.
A typical infection can mostly happen because of weak security across the IT infrastructure, ultimately overlooking security risks.
How can you prevent your company from similar attacks?
Obsolete hardware and software:
Many organizations also rely too heavily on hardware and software which are out of date. Over time, attackers discover security vulnerabilities on an obsolete technology. They also rely heavily on older software versions where no code update has happened in years, meaning they are open to vulnerabilities. New ransomware variants are released regularly. To avoid being victim of the newest release, consistently update security software and operating systems. If not done, it makes the job easy for the cybercriminal to attack your software.
The people within your organization are often your biggest security risk. In recent years there has been a huge growth in Security Awareness Training platforms, which train users about the risks they face using the internet at work and at home. Awareness Training helps to teach users what threats within email look like, and best security practices they should follow to stop ransomware, such as making sure their endpoints are updated with the latest security software. Security Awareness Training solutions typically also provide phishing simulation technologies. This means admins can create customized simulated phishing emails, and send them out to employees to test how effectively they can detect attacks. Phishing simulation is an ideal way to help view your security efficacy across the organization and is a useful tool to help identify users that need more security training to help stop the spread of ransomware.
Web & Email filters: DNS Web filtering solutions stop users from visiting dangerous websites and downloading malicious files. This helps to block viruses that spread ransomware from being downloaded from the internet, including trojan horse viruses that disguise malware as legitimate business software. DNS filters can also block malicious third party adverts. Web filters should be configured to aggressively block threats, and to stop users from visiting dangerous or unknown domains. Utilizing Isolation can also be an important tool to stop ransomware downloads. Isolation technologies completely remove threats away from users by isolating browsing activity in secure servers and displaying a safe render to users. This can help to prevent ransomware as any malicious software is executed in the secure container and does not affect the users themselves. The main benefit of Isolation is that it doesn’t impact the user’s experience whatsoever, delivering high security efficacy with a seamless browsing experience.
Data Backup and Recovery:
If a ransomware attack succeeds and your data is compromised, the best way to protect your organization is to be able to restore the data you need quickly and minimize the downtime. The best way to protect data is to ensure that it is backed up in multiple places, including in your main storage area, on local disks, and in a cloud continuity service. In the event of a ransomware attack, backing up data means you will be able to mitigate the loss of any encrypted files and regain the functionality of systems. The best Cloud Data Backup and Recovery platforms will allow businesses to recover data in the case of a disaster, will be available anytime, and will be easily integrated with existing cloud applications and endpoint devices, with a secure and stable global cloud infrastructure.
VPN services: Conscientious use of public Wi-Fi networks is a sensible protective measure against ransomware. When using a public Wi-Fi network, your computer is more vulnerable to attacks. To stay protected, avoid using public Wi-Fi for sensitive transactions or use a secure VPN service.
At Perma Technologies we can help you implement any of these strategies and you can count on us to enhance your IT security.