Ransomware attacks have become increasingly common, targeting enterprises of all types and wreaking significant financial losses, reputational damage, and operational disruption. In “The Cost of a Data Breach 2022” report IBM revealed an average ransom payment of $812,360, with the total cost of a ransomware attack coming in at $4.5 million on average.
But even as ransomware attacks get more sophisticated, infecting not only endpoints but also cloud files now, enterprises can take proactive steps to avoid these attacks and minimize their impact. In this post, we share five key ways that organizations can protect themselves from ransomware threats.
1. Embrace Advanced Detection Methods
The first line of defense against ransomware attacks is early detection. Traditional security measures like firewalls and antivirus software are essential but may not be sufficient to detect sophisticated ransomware threats. To stay ahead of attackers, enterprises should adopt advanced detection methods such as
- Insider threat prevention: This method identifies and mitigates risks posed by individuals within the organization who have authorized access to sensitive data and systems. The active threat detection blocks access to internal and external threats, simultaneously preventing both.
- Real-time anomaly detection: This approach involves monitoring user and system behavior for anomalies that may indicate a ransomware attack. For example, sudden file encryption or mass file deletion could be signs of an ongoing attack. By implementing real-time anomaly detection, organizations can quickly identify and mitigate risks.
2. Minimize the Impact of an Attack
Despite the best efforts to prevent ransomware attacks, some may still slip through the cracks. To minimize the impact of an attack, enterprises should:
- Regularly store backups both on-site and off-site and test their restoration process.
- Implement a robust incident response plan that includes roles and responsibilities, communication protocols, and procedures for isolating affected systems and restoring data from backups.
- Regularly train employees on ransomware awareness since human error is often the weakest link in an organization’s security posture.
- Look for a solution that minimizes the blast radius of an attack. Sotero’s platform stops attacks in 2 minutes or less and can tell you exactly which data points have been corrupted.
3. Proactively Defend Against Zero-Day Attacks
Zero-day attacks exploit vulnerabilities in software and hardware that have not yet been discovered by the vendor or the public. To proactively defend against these attacks, organizations should:
- Regularly update and patch software: Organizations should have a process in place to promptly deploy patches and updates when they become available.
- Conduct vulnerability assessments and penetration testing: Regularly assessing the organization’s systems and networks for vulnerabilities can help identify potential security gaps before attackers do and prioritize remediation efforts.
- Truly monitor both signatures and behavior: Although many cybersecurity companies claim to look at both signatures and behavior, in reality, most of them are looking at the signatures or behavior on the network-level. Look for a solution that is able to protect data at its core – at the data level.
4. Implement a Comprehensive Solution
Enterprises should implement a comprehensive security solution with advanced technology that proactively combats ransomware. This may involve a combination of:
- Cloud data protection: Whether you store data in public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, block unprivileged parties and cloud providers from accessing or altering your sensitive data by limiting access to files with role-based access controls (RBAC)
- Data at the edge protection: Place security controls on the data itself rather than on the perimeter like legacy solutions. Traditional data security solutions protect data only when it is stored in a centralized location. Data at rest and in motion is protected by various encryption methods, but as soon as data is accessed it becomes decrypted, and thus insecure.
- Security ecosystem consolidation: Organizations’ security ecosystems have countless point solutions that manage dispersed data because it is no longer stored centrally. Consider a solution that integrates with all applications, data assets, and data stores to put data security controls on the data itself, reducing the need for multiple protection solutions.
5. Prioritize Data Security Investment
Organizations must prioritize investing in data security to effectively combat ransomware threats. This involves allocating resources to:
- Hire and retain skilled cybersecurity professionals to prevent, detect, and respond to ransomware attacks more effectively.
- Invest in advanced security tools to stay ahead of increasingly sophisticated ransomware attacks.
- Conduct regular security audits to identify areas for improvement in the organization’s security posture.
Partner with Sotero
While many security solutions may provide encryption or access control services, Sotero helps you build a cohesive data security approach that goes beyond legacy encryption solutions. Sotero bundles active threat detection with an end-to-end encryption solution. Sotero is the only solution to keep data encrypted throughout its lifecycle, without the need to decrypt data for access or analysis. This technology removes the risk of having to pay ransom for stolen data, instead keeping data protected at all times.
Schedule a demo today to discover how Sotero can help your organization with a defense in depth approach to data protection.