Keeping Yourself Safe From Ransomware
Ransomware has grown in staggering popularity over the past several years. That’s because it promises immense financial gains for malicious actors while requiring little expertise to properly leverage. That’s bad news for the business world, small and big alike. A successful ransomware attack can be incredibly costly, if not overwhelming.
Ransomware infects a target system or network and finds information to encrypt. That information cannot be accessed, essentially “held for ransom” unless the demand is paid. It’s paid with regular currency and other times with cryptocurrency. Doesn’t sound fun, does it?
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to prevent ransomware attacks.
Understanding ransomware is a key part of protecting your data from them. According to Fireye, there are traditionally two ways ransomware intrudes in a system:
Malicious actors conduct ransomware attacks once they’ve gained access to a network or system. The type of attack varies, but there are common symptoms. Typically, manual attacks will launch encryptors at targeted parts of a system or the entirety of one.
Actors take advantage of exploitable software processes or loopholes to implement ransomware, traditionally through management software that distributes tokens for automated payloads to be delivered.
Both methods are dangerous and result in equally disastrous results if implemented successfully. The question is, what can your organization do to prepare and prevent ransomware attacks?
- Reducing Communication – Like most malware, ransomware needs to propagate within networks to be effective. Restricting the level of communication between system endpoints greatly reduces the impact of a ransomware attack.
- Firewalls – For proper policing of inbound/outbound connections and to reduce “conversations” with endpoints, smart firewalls are recommended to properly manage company intranet.
- Introduce 2FA – Two factor or multi-factor authentication greatly reduces ransomware impact by requiring each device to have multiple login requirements.
- Segmentation – Segmenting the company network into various LANS prevents access to sensitive and privileged material by disallowing certain systems from communicating with administrative ones.
The idea behind these strategies is to strengthen your current securities while protecting sensitive components of your network through things like segmentation and multi-factor authentication. Ransomware works to encrypt targeted aspects of a system in as many areas as possible, just as malware does. But, by layering your defenses and in introducing numerous data protection methods, you can reduce the overall impact ransomware has, if not outright prevent it.
Establishing guidelines and instructing staff on the best way to identify ransomware events will also create a secure, reliable network environment. Ultimately, it comes down to good awareness and scrutiny.
If you’d like to learn more about ransomware and ransomware protection policies, contact us at Bytagig.