Since companies adapt to remote or hybrid work models, it is not important to have a strong cybersecurity program to better protect against company systems and employees from ransomware attacks and other cyber attacks. Ransomware attacks have proved a particular risk in recent years, with attacks such as colonial pipelines and Countless attacks on healthcare agencies Showing the serious impact of cyber attacks outside of financial risk, Affects daily life and business operations.
Ransomware and other cyber attacks are constantly evolving. Invaders are constantly finding new ways to infiltrate the environment while trying to stay afloat. Cyber attacks can target many different points in an organization’s ecosystem, including firewall configuration, patch management, network segmentation, and defense technology. The following five strategies can help companies reduce cyber risks and respond to threats quickly and efficiently:
1. Strengthen asset inventory
You can’t defend or see what you don’t know. Having an efficient resource management program can significantly increase visibility and provide detailed information about the system quickly in the event of a cyber attack. The type of system or device of the organization, operating system and software used should be recorded. To be more grainy and aggressive, consider documenting what ports and service systems use for business functions, and use this as a baseline for future firewall rules and network exceptions. Having a strong program is important for every organization, but it is even more important in remote work environments.
2. Conduct safety awareness training
A comprehensive and effective safety awareness program for employees greatly benefits the organization. An efficient security awareness program enables people to be an important line of defense by extending visibility and cyber threat detection outside of protective technology applied to the environment. A strong security awareness training program Allows employees to assist in identifying network inconsistencies, suspicious emails and other potential threats.
3. Evaluate antivirus and endpoint detection and response programs
Traditionally, antivirus programs have helped detect malicious activity. However, the problem with traditional antivirus approaches to modern day cybersecurity is that attackers regularly update their code to obscure and bypass signature-based antivirus products. Using an endpoint detection and response (EDR) product, organizations create an efficient response to detect malicious programs and activities based on network incompatibility rather than just signatures. If purchasing and implementing an EDR solution is not effective, consider additional layers of protection around antivirus software. Ultimately, the goal is to increase visibility and the ability to warn of suspicious activity.
4. Monitor and identify new processes
In addition to having an inventory of assets, an organization should document legitimate system processes and software. After gaining access to an environment, ransomware downloads and implements its installer to infect the victim. Ensuring visibility in your environment can help IT and data protection teams identify programs or processes with behaviors that deviate from the norm. Instead, it allows operations and incident response teams to respond quickly to those inconsistencies.
An example is Microsoft Windows Appler, which generates messages and alerts about inconsistencies such as when an attacker tries to install an executable outside of a familiar baseline. By creating a baseline rule, AppLocker will create an 8003 warning message that can be collected and parsed using a security incident and event management (SIEM) product or log aggregator and monitored by IT or data protection teams.
5. Network incompatibility detection
Ransomware runs side-by-side across the network while infecting the system. This can be done quickly when flagging or network incompatibilities such as authentication on multiple systems within minutes. It is not uncommon for system or domain administrators to connect to multiple systems quickly and over a wide range of internal networks. To distinguish between legitimate and potentially malicious activity, network administrators must first document legitimate network connections and known behaviors. It supports inconsistency detection by establishing outbound and inbound connections from the organization’s servers. Once a valid network connection is documented and a baseline is created, you can use protective technology and surveillance programs to warn of deviations. Then, create alerts in firewall and SIEM solutions to quickly detect and respond to network inconsistencies.
As cybercriminals improve, cyber security programs need to be developed to detect and prevent malicious behavior. By implementing the best practices and strategies outlined above, companies can dramatically reduce their exposure to ransomware and other cyber attacks.