Ransomware is a type of malicious software or malware. It encrypts a victim's data, after which the attacker demands a ransom. Once the ransom is paid, the attacker sends a decryption key to restore access to the victim's data. The ransom can range from a few hundred dollars to millions of dollars. Typically, payment is demanded in the form of a cryptocurrency, such as bitcoins.
Ransomware is typically distributed through a few main avenues. These include email phishing, malvertising (malicious malvertising), social engineering, and exploit kits. After ransomware is distributed, it encrypts selected files and notifies the victim of the required payment.
Make sure you have an enterprise data backup solution that can scale and won't experience bottlenecks when the time comes. In the event of an attack you can power down the endpoint, reimage it, and reinstall your current backup. You will have all your data and prevent the ransomware from spreading to other systems.
Make a habit of updating your software regularly. Patching commonly exploited third-party software will foil many attacks. If possible, turn on automatic patching.
The weakest link in the security chain is usually human. Educate your users about whom and what to trust. Teach them to not fall for phishing or other schemes.
Take a layered approach, with security infused from the endpoint to email to the DNS layer. Use technologies such as a next-generation firewall or an intrusion prevention system (IPS).
Limit the resources that an attacker can access. By dynamically controlling access to resources based on sensitivity, like confidential or critical data, you help ensure that your entire network is not compromised in a single attack.
Being able to see everything happening across your network and data center can help you uncover attacks that bypass the perimeter. Deploy a demilitarized zone (DMZ) subnetwork or add a layer of security to your local area network (LAN). Leverage security platform to effectively bring all the information together to triage, analyze, and respond quickly.
Most ransomware infections occur through an email attachment or malicious download. Diligently block malicious websites, emails, and attachments through a layered security approach and a company-sanctioned file-sharing program.
Antivirus solutions on your endpoints don't suffice anymore. Set up privileges so they perform tasks such as granting the appropriate network access or user permissions to endpoints. Two-factor authentications will also help.
Know your enemy. Take advantage of threat intelligence from organizations such as Talos to understand the latest security information and become aware of emerging cybersecurity threats.
Incident response teams provide a full suite of proactive and emergency services to help you prepare for, respond to, and recover from a breach.
Ransomware variants of all types are discovered through the powerful research of Talos, our world-class threat intelligence group. To find out more about recent threats head over to the Talos blog.