It seems like every new day brings with it a new ransomware news item – new attacks, methods, horror stories, and data being leaked.
Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and they've become a major issue for organizations across industries. A recent report estimated that by 2031, ransomware attacks would cost the world over $260 billion.
A new whitepaper from XDR provider Cynet demonstrates how the company's platform can help organizations mitigate the impact of ransomware (download here).
Today, attackers have shown themselves to be less interested in ignoring the most vulnerable sectors, such as health care providers and hospitals. With a parallel increase in the number of variants – Wastedlocker, FTCode, Tycooon, TrickBot, REvil, and many others – it's becoming harder to defend against the growing threat of ransomware.
Ransomware operates by using a variety of infection and encryption techniques to steal or barricade companies' files behind hard paywalls. Even though many of the most common techniques have become public and organizations can defend against them, new, unknown methods can arrive without notice.
SMEs are at risk
The whitepaper by Cynet explains how the XDR platform works to protect users from ransomware attacks. It also notes that small and medium enterprises, especially, face similar risks to large corporations, but with a much leaner budget and fewer resources. Moreover, an industry-wide skills shortage means they may not always be able to fill necessary positions to keep themselves defended.
According to the whitepaper, the first step to defend against ransomware is to prevent it from infecting an environment in the first place. That's not always possible, and if ransomware does manage to breach an endpoint, it's critical to have a full view of the environment and be able to detect the infection and kill all related ransomware processes.
Moreover, it's crucial to isolate infected machines. In short, the optimal response is prevention, rapid detection, containment, and removal.
Consolidating defenses in a single, unified platform
Cynet breaks down how its platform relies on a variety of prevention, detection, and remediation layers that protect its customers from ransomware attacks.
The company's approach attempts to match and adapt to the complexities of dealing with ransomware:
- Detection is difficult since attackers are constantly changing the techniques attackers use to deploy ransomware.
- Speed is of the essence when dealing with ransomware, since it will always move to lock machines and files, complicating the remediation process.
- Because ransomware doesn't immediately strike, and can remain hidden for long periods, defenses need full visibility across their environment to root out any traces of it.
Cynet is constantly fielding calls to assist with ransomware attacks, and it has developed a strong toolkit of incident response tools. However, many companies only learn about the impact of ransomware and the importance of preemptive defenses after they've been infected.
Prevention and detection
Cynet's solution starts with multiple preventions and detection techniques, including common next-generation antivirus (NGAV), and adds in real-time memory protection to detect ransomware behaviors from unknown variants, critical component filtering to prevent ransomware from harvesting credentials and spreading, real-time file filtering to prevent ransomware from altering existing files and deception technology to lure ransomware into accessing decoy hosts and files.
Investigation and Remediation
While most ransomware protection solution providers focus almost exclusively on prevention and detection, Cynet also places considerable emphasis on quickly and thoroughly responding to ransomware attacks post-detection.
Importantly, Cynet emphasizes that the prevention and detection of an attack instance are critical, but only the first step. Companies must assume that the malicious artifact identified is only the tip of an iceberg.
Cynet automatically triggers an automated investigation following each endpoint, user, or network alert, to disclose its root cause and scope and apply required remediation actions across the environment. Because Cynet is an XDR solution, it can apply a very broad range of remediation actions directly from its platform across endpoints, networks, users, and files.
They also provide automated remediation playbooks, which are very valuable for stringing multiple remediation actions together to respond to ransomware threats.
After speaking with several representatives from companies that have had to dig themselves out of a widespread ransomware infection, you definitely do not want to be in that situation. Every single one wished they had better protections in place so they could have avoided the excruciating experience.
Having a broad arsenal of prevention, detection, and response tools are critical to prevent your company from becoming the next ransomware victim.