What is Ransomware Attack?
Over the past few years, ransomware attack has turned out to be one of the biggest and fastest growing problems on the web. It’s a kind of malicious software or malware which encrypt files, data or documents on PCs. It blocks access to it and grants permission to the encrypted files and PCs only when paying the ransom to the attacker. It’s similar to the malicious program that’s similar to a computer virus. It is especially designed to scan your external hard drives and starts encrypting data and documents as many as it can so that you can’t access them. It locks you out of your computer entirely in order to prevent access to all of those important documents, files, images, accounting files, etc.
Unlike malware, ransomware does not steal critical data or files. Rather, it holds it locked up by encrypting files and then showing a ransom note on the victim’s screen. It demands some ransom payments for the cyber-extortion and warns destruction of data or files otherwise.
It can be really a problem for organizations of all sizes and industries if any important documents or files get suddenly encrypted and inaccessible. Like a lot of other malwares, Ransomware can arrive as an email attachment. When somebody opens the attachment or clicks on the link attached in an email, which causes the program to run. Since the sender of the malware is someone already from the receiver’s address book, the receiver usually opens the attachments or click links out of curiosity. WannaCry ransomware then encrypts all the documents and files on the computer so the user cannot open them.
What You Need to Know About Ransomware Attack?
Today, every business is easily vulnerable to cyber attacks, and ransomware is one of the major challenges that any company confronts. Wrangling against ransomware isn’t the only responsibility of a single product owner or platform within the business; and even the cyber security experts cannot alone fight security threats by themselves. Successfully keeping at bay ransomware attacks needs a deep cultural transformation— and to drive that change, business owners need to understand a few points about ransomware. For a company owner, affecting this cultural change relies on understanding how ransomware works, who the targets of ransomware attacks are and how to handle its effects.
Open Work Culture in the Organization
A Ransomware attack is meant for the business user and not the entire organization. The actual targets of Ransomware attacks are the IT users, and if the target is within an organization, the ultimate victim is then the organization. Locking down the ransomware infected system and the data it contains, the user will tend to pay the ransom when they panic about the attack and believe they will be blamed for the data breach. It’s important for the company owners to encourage a work culture of frankness and explicate that employees are allowed to make mistakes, but they should not hide it. Rather, they should share issues to colleagues, management or the IT Team if anything goes wrong.
Good Backup Plans
Ransomware attacks turn to be useless of the asset have no unique value. Organization’s important files and data can be easily copied or cloned. Therefore, if you always possess a copy or the facility to create another copy, then there’s no meaning in paying a ransom to have the original released. Similarly, having a reliable backup plan and the approach to save and access the data through multiple devices should have a limited impact on the target.
According to the psychology of most employees, hackers are likely to be successful with ransomware attacks when they succeed to convince their employees that they are isolated. It is important to develop a work culture where employees, irrespective of position, aren’t laden with the job to protect all the systems. If someone in the organization is attacked and once the ransom is paid to the hacker, he understands how the organization and its employee reacts to the ransomware which will help them broaden their attack the next time and reap a bigger payout. But, if you are in an open-plan office and a ransomware screen turns up, you are extremely likely to share it with your colleagues before doing something yourself. However, if you are not friendly with your co-workers, or work from your home office, you are probably to take matters into your own hands. Therefore, the risk of ransomware attacks can be significantly reduced by encouraging a corporate culture that cuts down the feelings of real or supposed isolation.
Alternative Security Plan
Generally, best practices are essential for the organization and can develop an effective defence against cybercrime and more particularly, ransomware. An efficient action plan should be clearly prepared well ahead of any data breach. It’s important for organizations to understand that developing alternative plans is a safe idea to avert hackers from learning their typical operating processes and holding them hostage. If you have only one response plan without the means to diverge from it, your hacker will quickly understand what it is and overcome it easily. Organizations must foster their IT team to design multiple means of defence against ransomware. Security should be a 24/7 effort, just like physical security.
How to Prevent Ransomware Attack?
There is no single solution to the ransomware attack problem. However, organizations that are most successful at handling the risk have abolished odds of becoming ransom prisoners, and make the most of the features that data and IT systems offer. Over the time, organizations have realized that much can be done to protect their employees from becoming targets and also, prevent themselves from becoming victims at the organizational level.
Ransomware encrypts data on a server, mobile device, or workstation, and demands a ransom payment through a cryptocurrency like Bitcoin. But not all ransomware attacks are financially motivated—some is principally aimed to set off an operational interruption on a network. There have been several real-life ransomware examples.
Prevention is always better than cure, and everybody knows— no security system is perfect. So it pays to plan for the worst by making a recovery plan. Here is a list of best practices to prevent ransomware attacks—
Employee Training for Security Awareness
Ransomware can get into your network through a number of different ways, but one of the most likely is through a phishing attack. If an employee accidentally clicks on the link they shouldn’t or opens the incorrect email attachment, ransomware may achieve a grip on their systems and quickly expand across your network. Start a suitable security awareness training program and lower the risk of employee error causing the ransomware virus. Employee training is very important to protect your organization from ransomware attacks.
It’s also essential to implement Standard IT security measures. Make sure that your devices and systems are regularly updated with the latest security patches, and the technologies to detect ransomware and other malware to avert malicious software from affecting systems.
Real-Time Traffic Monitoring
It is important to block initial outbound attempts to connect to the attacker’s server or device. It will help you to avoid the ransomware attack before it gets down the ground. On encountering any dubious traffic in either direction, it should be automatically flagged and generate alerts for further enquiry.
Regular Vulnerability Assessment
Generally, cyber crimes will always follow the path of least opposition and thus, ransomware attacks usually develop recognized vulnerabilities in popular software. That’s why it is important to have a security system that is regularly updated with the latest exposures in terms of vulnerabilities, and this data needs to be cross-checked with your network or server to make sure you are not providing an easy route in.
For higher protection, it is important to have a system that can instantly recognize the signs of a ransomware attack whether it’s sending data via a covert channel, communication with a known bad actor, or disabling firewalls or antivirus software. Suspicious updates to policies, update failures and unscheduled scans can also all be forewarning signals. Detect them in time and you will be able to cure the infected computers or network before the ransomware expands.
File Integrity Monitoring
If you install file integrity monitoring on business-critical data, then you will get regular alerts automatically in case any critical file is altered or accessed. It will help you to identify a ransomware attack much more quickly and proceed to reduce its impact. It will let you know who has accessed the file and what are they accessing.
Steady Threat Intelligence
It is essential to monitor your network in real-time to get a clear picture of your security system, but every monitoring tool is only as decent as the information it has. The latest threat intelligence is crucial if you expect to detain ransomware attacks quickly and prevent them from expanding. You also need to have security software with an insight into the latest kinds of activity, actions and behaviours common to progressive malware. Machine learning and artificial intelligence are now being integrated into numerous latest network security technologies to be your second set of eyes.
Reliable Backup and Recovery
Although you take every possible preventative measure to try and put a stop to ransomware from gaining entry and to quickly find out attacks, there may still be times when your defences come to a sticky end. The only best way to defend against ransomware attacks and lower the potential effect on your business is to continue a regular, safe backup system together with a clear disaster recovery plan that lets you retrieve a recent backup right away when you need to.
As ransomware attacks continue to grow more highly developed and we see a growth in ransomware, it is very important that security experts are well-aware of the risks it puts forward. Take the appropriate steps to prevent, find out and recoup from ransomware and you can significantly lower its potential impact on your business.
Ransomware Attack— Don’t Get Hit Again!
Protecting your organization from malware attack is a never-ending struggle. Ransomware is only the newest in the line of tools and techniques employed by hackers to damage and attack an organization’s sensitive data for profit. In order to ensure that your data and files are safe, you need to fortify your defences on all fronts, embracing threats both inside and outside your organization. This means using a holistic and layered security strategy where a robustly protected edge together with strong internal defences, a strong screening process, and employee security awareness trainings.
In today’s modern cyber security environment, it is logically not possible to completely protect yourself from all vectors of attack with the help of single anti-malware software. You need to make use of different tools and methods in order to assure that your data and your business infrastructure are completely secure. Ransomware attack is a very real threat. Its quick growth is being driven by the low-risk to attackers and higher financial returns. It has become a successful business model that’s progressively more popular and money-making for cyber attackers and hackers who extort ransom payments from both organizations and individuals.
Since cyber attackers have successfully tested attacks that comprise self-replicating abilities, there can be more such frequent attempts in the future. This means that more businesses and individuals alike will still remain at risk of increasing cyber threats. Ransomware creators will not only invent more highly developed techniques, but they will also target well-established companies which will be more ready to pay for the ransom.
The more extensive the cyber attack is, the bigger will be the potential return on investment for malicious attackers. And if they anyhow make a way to gather some confidential data in the process that gives them extra power in their extortion cyber attempts. It is very important for organizations of all sizes and industries to invest in a cyber security and update their employees to protect their online privacy.
How to plan ahead with Backup Everything?
Back it up! All of your organization’s critical files and data need to be backed up. This is not as simple as it sounds because hardware connected to your computer or server at the time of a ransomware attack will also be damaged. You can rely on avant-garde cloud technologies that will keep your data safe in any situation.
Backup Everything offers cloud storage and backup services, and keep all your data not only safe and secure, but also easily accessible— anywhere, anytime! Backup your business with the cloud and keep your data safe.
It’s the time to stay ahead of the game and make your organization stand out from the crowd. Let’s start now and be SAFE, not SORRY!