According to the recently released Chainalysis cryptocurrency crime report update, the only type of attack trending upward is ransomware. Ransomware attackers are constantly finding new ways to attack organizations of all sizes and industries.
How organizations can stop and/or respond to ransomware will vary depending on their specific architecture and environment, but there are some key learnings that can be obtained from a review of recent attack trends.
1. Understand the Threat
The first step is to understand the threat. If your board, leadership team, and strategic customers and partners haven't asked what you're doing to address the current surge in ransomware, they will. You need to be able to answer questions about these attacks, if they pertain to the organization, and what you are doing to mitigate risk.
This requires understanding data about the ransomware campaign, including the adversary utilizing it, their motivations, and the industries they have been known to actively target. There's no shortage of external data sources to tap into, including commercial, open source, government, industry, and existing security vendors. There are also frameworks, like MITRE ATT&CK, that can help you understand the tactics, techniques, and procedures used by ransomware attackers.
In addition to external data, you need an internal understanding of your organization's vulnerabilities and the capabilities you have in place to defend against them. This will help you prioritize the data you collect and operationalize it in preparation for an attack.
2. Use a Platform to Aggregate and Normalize Data
A platform that aggregates and normalizes all of this data and enables you to prioritize it using parameters you set based on your risk profile, security infrastructure, and operational environment will help you confidently address questions about the risk and your ability to mitigate.
There are a number of different platforms available, so it's important to choose one that is right for your organization. When choosing a platform, consider the following factors:
Data sources: The platform should be able to integrate with a wide range of data sources, both internal and external.
Normalization: The platform should be able to normalize the data from different sources so that it can be easily compared and analyzed.
Prioritization: The platform should allow you to prioritize the data based on your organization's specific risk profile, security infrastructure, and operational environment.
Reporting: The platform should generate reports that are easy to understand and actionable.
3. Harden Infrastructure and Communicate to Mitigate Ransomware Risk
Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and sophisticated threat actors are constantly shifting tactics and using multiple attack vectors to infiltrate organizations. Once inside, they can remain below the radar and establish persistence, making it difficult to detect early and understand the scope of the attack.
To mitigate the risk of ransomware attacks, organizations should harden their infrastructure and communicate effectively.
Hardening infrastructure involves taking steps to make it more difficult for attackers to infiltrate and exploit systems. This includes tasks such as:
Patching systems regularly. Software patches fix security vulnerabilities that attackers can exploit. It is important to apply patches promptly to all systems, including servers, workstations, and mobile devices.
Using strong passwords and multi-factor authentication. Strong passwords and multi-factor authentication can help to prevent unauthorized access to systems and accounts.
Segmenting the network. Network segmentation can help to limit the damage caused by a ransomware attack by preventing it from spreading throughout the network.
Implementing security controls. Security controls such as firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and intrusion prevention systems can help to detect and block malicious activity.
Communication is also important in mitigating the risk of ransomware attacks. Organizations should communicate with employees about the threats posed by ransomware and how to identify and report suspicious activity. Organizations should also have a plan in place for communicating with customers and partners in the event of a ransomware attack.
4. Utilize Threat intelligence
Threat intelligence can also be used to improve incident response and mitigate risk. Threat intelligence can help organizations to:
Identify new threats. Threat intelligence can help organizations to identify new ransomware campaigns and tactics.
Understand the scope of an attack. Once an organization has been hit by a ransomware attack, threat intelligence can help them to understand the scope of the attack and identify the systems that have been compromised.
Remediate the attack. Threat intelligence can help organizations to identify and remove malware from their systems.
Ransomware is a serious threat, but organizations can take steps to mitigate the risk. By hardening their infrastructure, communicating effectively, and using threat intelligence, organizations can better protect themselves from ransomware attacks.
Call to Action
Ransomware is a serious threat, but there are steps that organizations can take to mitigate the risk. By understanding the threat, using a platform to aggregate and normalize data, and prioritizing the data based on your organization's specific needs, you can better protect your organization from ransomware attacks.
The security experts at Webcheck Security possess the knowhow and abilities to assist your organization with reducing your risks related to ransomware. Contact us today for a free discussion of how we can best meet your needs!