4 Cybersecurity Processes That Protect You From Ransomware Attacks

Cyberattacks are steadily rising, from ransomware to DDoS, and some organizations are having to deal with the fact that their cybersecurity postures might not be robust enough to combat such attacks. While using best-of-breed security solutions to cover every security need is a good idea, companies must install the right processes to back them up.

For instance, installing a great SIEM platform won’t have much effect unless a company’s employees understand the importance of good data governance, DevSecOps principles, etc. Here are four security principles every company must have (in addition to the right tools) to combat ransomware attacks.

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A Good Data Backup Process

How often do you back up your data, and where do you store these backups? Typically, data backups are rendered obsolete since companies store them on connected servers or infrastructure. As a result, once an attack occurs, the backup is infected too, invalidating the process.

Store backups in secure, off-site locations so that you can restore older system versions quickly. Good backups also give you the option of walking away from an attack without paying any ransom. After all, you have control over your data, and paying a ransom makes no sense.

Make sure you review your data for potential compromises regularly. The reason is: You might inadvertently transfer vulnerabilities into your backups. For instance, you might restore a backup that has the same vulnerability as your current version. While every backup will have this risk, make sure you review your configurations and systems constantly.

This review process will reduce the risk of transferring a vulnerability into your backups.

Plan For The Worst

In security, assuming the worst is often the best option. Highly robust security philosophies such as Zero Trust (ZT) rely on this principle. ZT assumes everyone is an attacker unless proven innocent and installs credential verification accordingly. The result is a secure system that works well with agile app delivery timelines.

There are a few other ways you can prepare for the worst. The first is to create a contingency plan and schedule dry runs. Have your employees work through a simulated attack. This includes training business-oriented employees too, since attack vectors often originate from those credentials.

Schedule penetration tests regularly to simulate attacks. Assuming the position of the attacker is a good idea since this forces you to think from outside the company’s box. Automating credential validation is also essential since machines dominate the modern development landscape.

For instance, a human being cannot monitor the vast array of cloud infrastructure and microservices accessing your data. Automate these credential requests, and you’ll have the power to shut down access at the click of a button if the worst occurs.

Monitor Employee Access Habits

Employees remain the biggest hurdle to effective cybersecurity. However, this state of conditions is not their fault. Instead, you must review your training protocols and evaluate whether your employees understand the importance of security as an organizational pillar.

Gamifying security training is a great way to enforce continuous education and monitoring. Gamification also removes the hurdles highly technical security jargon places in front of employees, making training more engaging.

In addition to revamping training programs, you must also monitor the way they access information on your network. Phishing remains one of the most prolific attack vectors due to poor data access habits. Malicious actors gain access to sensitive information by impersonating authoritative accounts.

This occurs because employees often provide compromising information by mistake, giving a hacker everything they need to launch a phishing campaign. Robust training and monitoring are the best ways of nipping these issues in the bud.

Monitor App Updates And Configuration

Many attacks occur due to companies neglecting their systems’ configuration. For instance, you might be updating your systems constantly. However, these updates might create potential attack vectors elsewhere.

Given the complex web that exists between a company’s on-premise and cloud systems, asking a security team to manually verify and identify each configuration vulnerability is unrealistic. Instead, automate the process and conduct dry runs to check whether you’ve created any vulnerabilities via updates.

Here too, security training is essential. Most security training focuses on upskilling non-technical employees. However, offering your security teams the opportunity to upskill themselves is critical. Not only will you retain great staff, but you’ll also ensure they’re up-to-date with everything happening in security.

Utilizing a security framework like NIST and MITRE ATT&CK is also a good idea. These frameworks eliminate any uncertainty when installing and monitoring a security posture, giving you more time to analyze any potential issues in your network.

Processes And Tools Are The Keys

Cybersecurity principles rely on a mixture of the right processes and tools. Often, companies focus on tools and neglect the processes that power them. The 4 processes listed in this article will help you install a robust framework at all times, giving you all the protection you need against ransomware.

If you’re unsure of the state of your security program’s existing capabilities, consider carrying out a security architecture review that reviews how your security technology is integrated and tests processes and your people to successfully provide an on-demand exercise for your team.

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