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Despite the best defenses and ransomware prevention efforts, breaches are almost inevitable. As we all know, defenders have to be right 100% of the time, whereas attackers only have to be right once. It’s important to know how to detect and respond quickly to a ransomware attack to limit the damage and get back to business successfully.
Keys for information security teams to focus on here include:
Ransomware attacks can be detected in various ways. Possible scenarios include, but are not limited to:
When ransomware is suspected on a machine, it is critical to the security of the organization that certain verification steps be performed. However, it’s important to proceed with caution because more assets can easily become exposed.
WHAT NOT TO-DO
Never connect to the machine from the network with a privileged account, such as:
Some steps to take to verify whether a machine is corrupted with ransomware include:
Check for the presence of a ransomware note (wallpaper, note on the desktop, note in the directory with encrypted files, etc.). If a ransomware note is present, open it by:
Malware is very harmful mainly because of its ability to spread throughout the network very quickly, causing damage in a very short period. The ransomware response strategy should be to isolate and contain the ransomware before it has a chance to proliferate. This
can dramatically reduce potential damage.
Containment requires detection of all the infected hosts and/or hosts with ransomware-encrypted files. To do this:
Once the ransomware virus is detected and contained, the next step is to eradicate it from the network. Any affected machines should either be replaced or thoroughly cleaned and continuously monitored thereafter. To do this:
Regular backups are critical for recovering from a ransomware attack. As part of the recovery process, a forensic investigation should be conducted to further identify sources of potential vulnerabilities as well as processes and policies that may need
revision to prevent future attacks. To get on the road to recovery, consider:
The U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and the Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC) released a joint guide on defending against and responding to ransomware threats. It provides a ransomware response
checklist that includes steps for:
No information security team wants their organization to fall victim to ransomware. The following serve as guidance for InfoSec teams to help limit the damage.
Businesses can recover well from ransomware or any other type of malicious attack if their technological maturity is matched by a strong cybersecurity posture. Without a fully operational technological skeleton, cybersecurity strategies do not have strong
pillars to stand on. By following these response guidelines, your organization can both limit the damage of a ransomware attack and improve the chances of a fast recovery.
Although reasonable efforts will be made to ensure the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in our blog posts, no liability can be accepted by IANS or our Faculty members for the results of any actions taken by individuals or firms in
connection with such information, opinions, or advice.
May 19, 2022
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