How to Protect Your Clients from Ransomware – 7 Actionable Steps

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Acer, the sixth-largest PC vendor, figures in the list of one of the biggest electronics firms. Still, it couldn’t stop becoming a victim of a malicious REvil ransomware attack. In fact, the ransom demanded was a whopping $50,000,000!

If hackers can exploit Acer, small and mid-sized firms need to be even more cautious.

Data breaches won’t vanish soon. Bad actors will keep taking advantage of the innate faults in IT systems.

As the ransomware threat increases, you must take action. But before that, you must also know what makes them so effective.

Why Is Ransomware So Successful?

Ransomware is often successful due to many reasons.

  • Firstly, an absence of awareness about security hazards among most people makes the malware spread quickly.
  • Many businesses don’t invest in strong defences that block these attacks. They only realize its need when it’s too late.
  • Firms keep working with obsolete hardware and software. They finally pay a high cost for it when

What Steps Can Be Taken to Prevent the Ransomware Attacks?

These attacks spread fast across the network, rendering systems useless. In 2021 they occurred once every 11 seconds?!

Here’s how to guard your client’s system against them.

1. Use a Web Application Firewall (WAF)

A WAF can detect and patch flaws fast in servers and web apps.

By speedily blocking malign actors from finding these flaws, it gives some buffer time to patch them. You can set up the firewall to block traffic from specific IP addresses automatically.

Some WAFs also prevent bot traffic from DDoS attacks prior to them entering the website. Without it, hackers can enter the wider network by using the faults in your client’s web apps.

2. Segment Your Network

When such attacks creeps into a system, it moves laterally towards the target data. Network segmentation hinders it from shifting between other systems.

The basic idea is to divide the IT network into smaller networks. It restricts traffic among various zones. With this, you can better control the flow of data traffic between distinct sections. 31West’s IT help desk support services can help you implement network segmentation efficiently. This can be a robust step in minimizing the damage caused by a ransomware attack. So, if a section gets breached, others aren’t affected.

3. Use Automated Intelligence to Stop Ransomware Attacks

The dynamic threats arising from these attacks demands you to use a security solution that leverages automatic intelligence.

Such a solution watches your client’s setting for abnormal activities. Thus, it’s an ideal way to keep them secured from such attacks.

4. Use Brute Force Attack Protection to Secure Your Credentials

Weak systems on the web like risky RDP servers function as a chief spreader of malware within your client’s network. The attackers rely majorly on brute force attacks on such systems to uncover credentials to common accounts.

After that, nothing can prevent the attacker from getting to the data with ransomware. So, the networks of your client must have robust security measures to detect not only unusual logins but also brute force logins.

A brute force attack login protection stops such attacks before they sacrifice the inner security of your client’s network.

5. Do Not Forget About Data Recovery and Backups

It’s essential to keep an up-to-date backup. If you get hit, you must ensure that you don’t end up restoring the malware with the data.

The logic behind carrying data recovery and backups is simple. If an attack has struck your client’s files, you can quickly restore them from backups.

Backup and recovery thus remove any need to think about paying the ransom. Your backups should have the following traits.

  • They must be carried automatically, once a day.
  • The backups should be kept off-site.
  • They must be separate from your main network.
  • Testing backups regularly is vital.

6. Use Technology like the Zero-Trust Security Model to Prevent Ransomware Attacks

According to Duncan Greatwood, founder of Xage, a zero-trust security firm, zero-trust considers every app and user’s identity as its own individual’ perimeter.’ So, it prevents a hacker from using cyber weaknesses as they access a network segment perimeter.

This model treats anything trying to link to the network as a threat. It recognizes all types of threats to the network as universal.

These assumptions affect the minds of network admins. It compels them to form strict security measures.

7. Update Your Antivirus Solutions

Recently, ransomware like Petya, WannaCry, and Bad Rabbit has shaken firms worldwide. These bad guys will inevitably get replaced with new ones with time.

So, it’s crucial for IT units to always keep their antivirus and system apps updated. It will equip your client well against the old threats.

Furthermore, go the extra mile and ask your client to get custom threat intelligence from anti-ransomware providers. It will help them to remain aware of the new dangers and threats.

What are Your Choices If You are Hit by Ransomware?

Kevin Epstein, the VC of threat operations at Proofpoint, considers the first half an hour post a ransomware attack crucial.

During this time, it’s essential to do the following.

  • Notify the IT unit. Usually, global law enforcement disables the attacks within a day, so don’t even think about paying the ransom.
  • Isolate the affected system. These attacks spread from one system to another. So, ensure that the affected device isn’t linked to the enterprise’s network.
  • Let your system remain switched on. You can wipe away the attack’s proof if you turn it off.
  • Secure your backups. Disconnect backup storage from your network. You can also lock access to backup systems till this issue gets fixed.

Does a VPN Protect Against Ransomware?

VPNs protect users by encrypting their traffic and hiding their IP addresses. But, they give zero security against ransomware.

The malware spreads when people are tricked into downloading something. The main reasons why VPN doesn’t protect against ransomware are:

  • You can download anything with a VPN. It means downloading ransomware as well!
  • VPN allows the user to install anything on their systems. If you install ransomware, a VPN won’t alert you about it.

Conclusion

Ransomware attacks aren’t a fad but are here to stay. You get vaccinated against contracting various diseases and lock your door before heading out in your physical life.

It’s exactly how you must respond to a ransomware attack.



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