Stop Ransomware in South Florida — Ransomware on a Rampage Targeting Businesses
Ransomware is an ever-changing type of malware that encrypts files on devices and makes them unusable. After infecting files with ransomware, the attackers demand ransom in exchange for decryption or threaten to leak sensitive data into the dark web.
Ransomware has continued to be at the forefront of cybersecurity with increasingly high payout demand.
To address these ever-evolving threats, businesses need to understand the trajectory of ransomware and boost their defenses to protect their data, funds, and customer trust.
The Uphill Battle: How to Fight Ransomware in South Florida
When seeking protection against ransomware, many businesses focus on reacting or recovering data and systems from catastrophic events. While important, it’s critical for an organization to focus on solutions that prevent attackers from ever disrupting business operations.
Businesses should seek proactive cybersecurity solutions to protect their data from ransomware attacks. However, remote working makes the implementation of prevention-first measures difficult because employees are working off the business protection system.
Attackers understand the difficulty of securing a remote system and use it as an opportunity to target businesses during the digital transformation period. Your business needs to focus on proactive cybersecurity solutions not only for endpoints but also on the cloud workload and identity services.
Proactive Cybersecurity Measures to Stop Ransomware
The best approach to ransomware is to prevent the attack before it happens. Businesses can take several measures to stop ransomware attacks. You can:
1. Execute Penetration Testing to Detect Vulnerability to Ransomware Attack
Penetration testing is integral for the health and security of your business because it reveals unknown vulnerabilities.
Penetration testing will test your computer system, network, and software application to identify vulnerabilities that cybercriminals could exploit. Your business will benefit from routine penetration testing in several ways. You can:
- Prioritize risks and build a reliable defense. Penetration testing evaluates your business’s internal and external security in full. You can prioritize the associated risk and help you understand the security level you require to protect data against ransomware. Implementing remediation strategies, anticipating risk, and fixing vulnerability allow your business to create effective protection against ransomware.
- Reach security maturity because penetrating testing is real hacking that white hackers do to better your security. Pen testing simulates a true attack and infiltrates your system if there’s any vulnerability. A regular repeat of the process helps your business develop a comprehensive cybersecurity plan against malware.
- Confirm you comply with industry regulations and standards. Non-compliance attracts heavy fines.
- Reduce exposure to ransomware. Routine penetration tests proactively seek areas of great weakness in your IT system and flag them for remediation before attackers find them.
At Palindrome Consulting, we’ve highly skilled technicians and a line-up of sophisticated tools to detect your company’s internal and external vulnerabilities that attackers may exploit. We’ll advise you about the types of penetration tests that suit your business.
2. Run Regular Software Updates to Ensure You Have the Latest Patch Available
Software and operating systems always have vulnerabilities. Updates seal these security holes that attackers might use to infiltrate your system.
Updating your software and the operating system ensures you have the latest security patch that gives attackers a difficult time to target you. Hackers usually take advantage of the vulnerability by writing code in the form of ransomware to exploit the security gap.
More importantly, updates fix bugs that attackers could otherwise use to access your system remotely without your knowledge. You’ll prevent hackers from running anything on your computer without your permission.
At Palindrome Consulting, our technicians will ensure your system is up-to-date to protect you from the tirelessly-working cybercriminal that target businesses with ransomware.
3. Offer End-User Training About Cybersecurity and Ransomware
Employees are the first line of defense against ransomware attacks in any business. You need to educate all of your workers about various types of ransomware attacks regardless of their job role.
Conduct awareness on the evolving cybersecurity threats and how to protect against such threats. The training will help minimize human error in ransomware attacks, since most attacks happen through phishing emails.
Ensure that your employee knows that hackers most often enter the network through malicious email or enticing emails that appear harmless. You can tell them to:
- Avoid clicking links or attachments, zipped files, and executable files from emails they don’t recognize.
- Never disclose sensitive personal information using email.
- Notify your IT team by email that they aren’t sure it’s legitimate before engaging.
- Notify your IT team when they receive suspicious emails to caution the rest of the team on the same message.
You can also describe the consequences of a ransomware attack and insist on the need to be cautious.
Our security awareness training at Palindrome Consulting offers each of your employees the tools and techniques to easily identify ransomware threats. More importantly, we’ll continuously track compliance and awareness through continuous blind testing.
We’ll help you raise the understanding of potential ransomware risks and teach your company’s employees how to avoid the risks of keeping networks, data, and systems more secure.
4. Install Firewall-based Ransomware Protection
You need a firewall that’s capable of SSL decryption, URL filtering by category, IP reputation filtering, and comparing file fingerprints to protect your system from ransomware.
Not all firewalls can prevent ransomware.
You’ll need firewalls with advanced anti-malware features to protect your business against ransomware. After all, even when using cloud computing as a replica of your physical infrastructure, you can still be a target of a ransomware attack.
You’ll need a qualified technician to properly configure your firewall to work against ransomware. The firewall specialist can set configurations to:
- Not allow uninspected traffic through
- Block unknown files unless they’re from a trusted party
- Reduce the attack surface
- Decrypt all traffic to identify files with ransomware
- Apply for IPS protection
Protection against ransomware with firewalls is among the advanced options and will require skilled talent to configure your firewalls correctly.
Palindrome Consulting has technicians that will advise you on the firewall options that offer ransomware protection. We’ll help you configure your firewall to detect and prevent ransomware from entering or leaving your business’ network in South Florida.
5. Use Data Backup and Disaster Recovery
Cybercriminals are sometimes persistent and can infiltrate even the most secure systems. You can not afford to leave anything to chance and instead have a continuity plan with data backups to overcome a successful ransomware attack.
You have the option of local backup on a separate hard drive. In case of a successful ransomware attack, you can wipe the infected drives and upload the data from backup to ensure business operation continues as usual.
Local backup requires your business to keep recovery points as recent as possible to minimize data loss. The only problem is that keeping a manual data backup up-to-date can be resource-intensive.
What’s more, if ransomware infects the backup copy, the backup becomes useless.
You can take the data backup and recovery process a step further to ensure resilience. With a strategic business continuity plan, you can ensure your workflow and system are backed up and recoverable.
Palindrome Consulting will replicate your business’ production environment on a remote, off-site server to keep the most recent recovery point possible. As a result, your business can quickly spin up the copy in the event of a successful ransomware attack, minimizing downtime.
However, you should use most of your resources in actively preventing an attack rather than backup. While backup and recovery ensure your business continues running as normal, a successful ransomware attack will create an irreversible reputation risk.
Responding to Ransomware Incidents
In the unfateful event that a hacker bypassed your business’ preventive measures and successfully infected your system with ransomware, you should understand how to react. The easy way out is not to pay the ransom.
You need to do everything in your power to avoid paying the ransom. You need to deploy incidence response to help businesses stay afloat. You can respond by:
- Isolating the affected systems as quickly as you can
- Report the attack to relevant authorities to help identify the attacker. Authorities might obtain the decryption key on your behalf.
- Shut down the source of infection by listing all the open files that have been encrypted. If you find a user with access to a large number of open files, there is a high chance it could be the source of infection.
- Secure your backup because attackers are aware you’ll try to use it to restore your system without paying for ransomware. If they locate your backup, they can infect it too or delete the files.
- Disable maintenance tasks so that they can’t interfere with the forensic investigation into the cause of the incident.
- Back up the infected system to allow investigation of the cause of the ransomware attack. Without backing up the infected system and directly restoring the backup, you remove all evidence of the attack.
- Identify the strain of ransomware using ransomware identification tools to try to decrypt your system without paying a ransom.
- Decide if you’ll pay the ransom. Ensure you’ve exhausted all your options before paying for ransomware because ransoms encourage hackers to develop even more sophisticated attacks.
At the moment of notice, our team of incident response specialists will investigate, contain, and restore your business operations from ransomware attacks. More importantly, we’ll analyze the incident, preserve the evidence, execute a post-incident analysis, and recommend data security enhancement moving forward.
Palindrome Consulting Will Help you Stop Ransomware in South Florida
Our cybersecurity specialists will help you protect your system and network against ransomware attacks. For over 20 years, we’ve helped businesses in South Florida stop ransomware, and we can help you too. Contact us today to discover more proactive ransomware solutions for your business.