4 Easy Steps in Reducing Ransomware Risks
Ransomware is a severe threat that can lead to financial and personal loss. A ransomware defense strategy is essential to prevent these attacks from happening to your company, organization, or personal computer. Several simple measures can be taken to protect your computer from ransomware attacks. These include network segmentation, maintaining vulnerability patches, and disabling unnecessary services.
Identifying the type of ransomware that has attacked your systems
Identifying the type of ransomware that has attacked your systems is vital to reduce the risk of ransomware. While some types of ransomware are slow to spread, others are fast enough to spread across a network before a system administrator can contain them. Therefore, the first step in a ransomware recovery effort is isolating the infected system from the rest of the network. This will prevent the infection from spreading and stop it from communicating with the attackers.
Ransomware is becoming less prevalent, but still a big concern. Initially, attacks on computers were relatively high, accounting for 60 percent of all malware payloads in the first quarter of 2017. However, these numbers have dwindled since then. Now, ransomware makes up less than five percent of malware payloads.
Ransomware spreads by compromising file servers and networks. The infection starts by infecting a single device and sending a signal to the attacker’s command and control server to generate cryptographic keys. The attacker then demands payment via bitcoin in return for the files. Once the attacker has collected the ransom, the files are encrypted and unreadable.
Implementing network segmentation
Network segmentation can be a very effective tool in reducing ransomware risks. It offers tighter security controls because it restricts network access and allows listings to be applied to certain network parts. This technique also helps limit the damage caused by ransomware because it can prevent a threat from spreading throughout the network.
Implementing network segmentation effectively limits the damage, but it requires significant investment and risk assessment. It also requires a careful analysis of the different types of data and the requirements for access.
Network segmentation can also prevent double blackmail attacks, as it limits the network’s “explosion radius.” This technique works by preventing attackers from moving through a segmented network. The resulting network security measures improve security across the entire organization.
Keeping vulnerabilities patched
One of the best ways to protect your network from ransomware is by updating your security software. Security software will protect your network from ransomware attacks by blocking attacks that target known systems and functions. Other ways to prevent ransomware attacks are to secure domain controllers and disable Microsoft micro-scripts. In addition, installing an intrusion detection system will reduce the risk of being targeted by spoofed emails.
Another simple step in reducing ransomware risks is updating and patching your software. Many modern security tools will automate this process. For example, a good vulnerability management tool will help identify and prioritize vulnerabilities for remediation. It will also help you monitor your security controls to identify any common vulnerabilities across the enterprise.
The most common entry point for ransomware attacks is through Windows machines and commodity systems. Keeping these vulnerable systems updated and patched will prevent most ransomware attacks. Using GPO restrictions, such as blocking executable files from the AppData directory, can also help protect your network from ransomware. Another easy way to protect your network against ransomware is to implement ad-blocking software.
Disabling unnecessary services
To reduce the risk of ransomware infections, disable services that are not necessary. Most ransomware operators utilize well-known vulnerabilities to spread their diseases to as many machines as possible. Therefore, it is crucial to understand your organization’s internet-facing assets and to disable unnecessary services.
Disabling unnecessary services reduces ransomware risks by limiting the number of networks on your computer. You must ensure that the network services on your computer are appropriate for your University’s use. For example, some applications automatically configure network access, even if they don’t require it.