With the increasing sophistication and scale of ransomware attacks, hiding your head in the sand and hoping not to be among the victims is, without doubt, a doomed strategy.
Ransomware is now more likely to strike your business than any other form of disaster and could, in fact, be more damaging.
You need to assume that your company will be the victim of multiple attacks and be prepared for them.
Essentially three reasons explain the prosperity of cyber criminality:
In reality, paying the ransom does not guarantee that you will be able to recover your data or that you will not fall victim to the same attack again, especially if you do not do a thorough analysis to determine how the cybercriminals infiltrated the network.
In addition, you will most probably need to reinstall all of your applications if you are not sure you can eradicate the threat. And it is common to see that it will then take several months to get back to normal thus increasing the real cost of the ransom.
In any event, if we are not careful, paying ransoms risks becoming an operating cost just like paying for electricity.
This is somewhat reminiscent of the protection that traditional thugs offering their victims.
Today's ransomware is much more sophisticated than its predecessor.
New versions appear without being detected by the most common traditional antiviruses, since they operate based on the recognition of a static signature.
To counter the threat, you need to know how ransomware can infect your systems. These methods of accessing your systems are known as attack vectors. Here are a few.
According to George Washington, "Preparing for war is the best way to preserve the peace".
So, of course, it is vital to put in place a protection respecting the best practices.
The ideal is to prevent the ransomware attack, as recovery can be arduous, complex, time-consuming and expensive, even if you have clean and recent backups.
But even if you take all the necessary precautions to protect your business, you still risk falling victim to a successful attack.
The specifics to be taken into account in terms of recovery are as follows:
You must therefore have a specific ransomware recovery plan in place and have the practice to enable you to execute it properly.
In the case you are under fire from a successful ransomware attack, the highest priority actions are containment.
This phase is to prepare your business for the ransomware attacks it may experience. It includes, but is not limited to, the application of the best practices mentioned above. It's about establishing and implementing your ransomware prevention checklist.
The way a company detects a ransomware infection can vary depending on the situation, but in most cases an employee is unable to access files or notices that certain services are no longer accessible.
The urgency then is to identify all infected systems and those in imminent danger of being infected.
The analysis phase essentially focuses on two aspects:
The containment phase is an essential element of the response plan. Once a system has been identified as potentially containing ransomware, the computer suspected of being infected should be immediately removed from your networks, and either shut down or ideally put into hibernation to aid in analysis, while minimizing the risk of the ransomware continuing the encryption process.
The eradication phase involves removing the ransomware from infected systems across the enterprise. Depending on the extent of the attack, this operation can take a long time and can affect both user devices and servers that have been affected.
It should be noted that in most cases, reinstallation of the contaminated servers or workstations is required.
Once a business has contained the ransomware and identified the root cause of the infection, there are several considerations that a business should consider when entering the recovery phase.
A post mortem review is an important part of the response plan and should not be overlooked. After any incident, large or small, it is recommended that you meet with relevant stakeholders and discuss what worked well and review what did not.
This type of analysis can help your business improve processes over time and ensure that future incidents are handled more effectively, and therefore minimize the potential impact.
You can't prevent ransomware attempts, but you can greatly reduce your exposure to risk and develop a plan to deal with it.
Contact our IT security experts, they will be able to offer you the best cybersecurity advice and solutions for your business.
The right use of technology addresses business challenges and drives business growth in all areas of an enterprise. We hope this blog will offer insight into developing strategies and tactics to enable you to identify those key drivers of growth and keep pace with and anticipate the rapid technology change of today.