Ransomware Attacks in Dallas: How to Identify and Stop Them
Today, the internet is filled with different kinds of perils. However, nothing strikes fear in IT security professionals and internet users more than the threat of a ransomware attack. These attacks can cripple network operations and access, tarnish your reputation with employees and customers, and invite further attacks as threat actors view your business as susceptible.
Just recently, 23 cities in Texas were hit by ransomware attacks, with the threat actors demanding $2.5 million to restore encrypted files. Amongst the affected organizations was Fort Worth ISD, where the attackers targeted the district’s entire system. But, these attacks don’t paint the whole picture. According to SonicWall, there were approximately 495 million ransomware attacks in 2021. These reports show just how dire the state of cybersecurity is.
So, how can you identify and stop ransomware attacks?
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How Ransomware Attacks Take Place
While no two ransomware attacks are similar, the manner in which they infiltrate your system is the same:
- An email from a threat actor hits your inbox. It demands your attention since it resembles a notice from a familiar brand or individual.
- Upon downloading a document or clicking on a suggested link, a silent infection begins. The victim’s files are then encrypted.
- The threat actors then demand ransom. The victim is given payment instructions often involving cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. They are also given payment deadlines.
- End result: Your business is faced with locked systems, encrypted files, and/or destruction of your files.
How Can You Prevent Ransomware Attacks?
Here are some cybersecurity best practices that can help you stop ransomware attacks:
1. Email Security
Given that ransomware is often delivered via email, ensuring email security is vital in stopping ransomware. Secure email gateway solutions can filter email communications through attachment sandboxing and URL defenses to determine potential threats and bar them from being delivered to users. As such, these solutions prevent ransomware from reaching endpoint devices and also block users from unintentionally installing ransomware onto their devices.
2. Strong Endpoint Antivirus Security
One of the best ways of stopping ransomware attacks is to have a robust endpoint security solution. By installing these solutions on your devices, you’ll block malware from infecting your system. Additionally, these solutions enable your admin to identify when a device(s) has been compromised and ensure that security updates are installed.
Besides protecting your devices against malicious downloads, these solutions alert users whenever they’re visiting a risky site. That said, whereas these solutions may not be 100% effective since cybercriminals are always creating new pieces of malware to get around security tools, these solutions are a good starting point for stopping ransomware attacks.
3. Data Backup and Recovery
Suppose a ransomware attack becomes successful and your data gets compromised, the best way of protecting your business is to be able to restore your data quickly and minimize downtime. You should ensure that all your data is backed up in several places, including on local disks, the cloud, and the main storage area. By backing up your data, you’ll be able to regain the functionality of your systems in case of loss of any encrypted files.
The best cloud data backup and recovery platforms enable businesses to not only recover data easily and promptly but also ensure that the data can easily integrate with endpoint devices and existing cloud applications. Cloud data backup and recovery is an essential tool for remediation against ransomware.
4. Web Filtering and Isolation Solutions
DNS web filtering solutions can stop users from downloading malicious files and visiting risky websites. As such, they help block viruses that ransomware downloads on the internet – this includes Trojan horses that disguise malware as legitimate business software. DNS filtering solutions also block malicious third-party adverts.
The use of isolation technologies can also be crucial in stopping a ransomware attack. These technologies remove threats completely away from users. They do this by isolating browsing activities on secure servers and sending a safety alert to users. This helps stop ransomware, given that any dangerous software is executed in a secure container and doesn’t affect the users. The key benefit of isolation solutions is that they deliver high-security efficacy with a smooth browsing experience – they don’t affect the user’s experience in any way.
5. Security Awareness Training
Your employees pose the biggest security risk to your organization. In fact, according to a Verizon study, 85% of ransomware attacks are as a result of the human element. It’s no wonder that more and more businesses are building a human firewall by training their employees on cybersecurity best practices.
You may have the best security solutions there are, but if you overlook employee training on cyber awareness, your business won’t be truly secure. Ensure that your employees receive substantial security awareness training on how to identify and report malicious activities, maintain cyber hygiene, and secure their personal devices. The training program should be kept up to date and include any new security protocols that may need to be implemented.
6. Zero Trust Implementation
The zero-trust security approach assumes that anything or anyone who attempts to connect to your network is a potential threat. With zero trust, no one inside or outside the network is trusted until their identification has been verified. It recognizes that both internal and external threats are omnipresent factors.
With this network security approach, every device or individual must undergo identity verification before gaining access to the network. This verification utilizes multi-factor authentication that requires the user to provide at least two credentials before being granted access.
7. Network and Firewall Segmentation
Network segmentation is becoming increasingly vital as cloud adoption increases, more so in hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Through network segmentation, businesses can partition their network based on their needs and grant access based on current status and role. Every network request is reviewed based on the current trust status of the person who made the request. This helps curb the lateral movement of threats within your network.
Ransomware Protection Team in Dallas
Ransomware is an ever-growing threat, and its implications can be devastating. Even so, a proven cybersecurity partner can help you prevent ransomware attacks. This is where Corptek comes in. Contact us today to discuss your security concerns, and we will help you stay ahead of threat actors.
Thanks to our colleagues at GenerationIX in Los Angeles for their help with this article.