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Focus On Prevention To Solidify Your Ransomware Protection Strategy

  Shawn Murphy     Dec 21, 2023

shutterstock_2240851553There used to be a single test to determine the effectiveness of your data backup strategy. It centered around successfully restoring your data from a backup, and you would rest easy knowing that you would, in theory, recover from a data loss event. It was really that simple.

The simplicity of these dated digital environments has given way to today's complex and time-sensitive landscape. With digital transformation accelerating, data now spans from data centers to the computing edge, supporting mission-critical applications built on intricate layers. Business processes today crucially rely on IT, making any disruption not just inconvenient, but costly. As the Coveware Quarterly Report highlights, business interruption costs form the bulk of losses in ransomware attacks.


The New Reality Of Ransomware Costs And A Heightened Focus On Prevention

Reflecting this reality, the manufacturing sector often shows a greater willingness to pay ransoms compared to other industries, primarily due to the high costs associated with downtime. Ransomware ganges capitalize on this and frequently demand exorbitant ransoms, sometimes exceeding $1 million from these targets. These perpetrators truly understand the critical impact of operational disruptions in this sector.

Today's businesses can't afford the downtime associated with recovery from such attacks as the cost of being offline can be astronomical. The simple need for uninterrupted operation is a vital truth in today’s digital era. Implementing a secure backup strategy is still important. In fact, our team has identified common mistakes that cybersecurity professionals continue to make with their backup systems. But IT security leaders must shift away from the reactive mindset of detect and respond, and turn their focus to full-on prevention.

Ransomware Attacks Are Performed In Stages

Infiltrating your network is only the first step of a multi-pronged ransomware attack. Attackers often spend extensive periods, ranging from weeks to months to years, covertly studying targeted systems. This period of surveillance is aimed at not only locating your data but also understanding its protective measures. As a security leader, this must be unnerving knowing there are unidentified eyeballs surveying your practice. During this hidden phase, attackers meticulously plan their strategy, which may involve compromising backups by deletion, corruption, or alteration, followed by targeting the virtual infrastructure to disable servers. Once these boxes are checked, the process of encrypting the data stores begins.

This multi-stage strategy is referred to as the cyber kill chain, a model used to describe the stages of a cyberattack, from initial reconnaissance to the final execution of the ransomware. This more calculated approach to attacks signifies the evolving sophistication of ransomware operations. Although recent ransomware reports suggest a slowdown in ransomware proliferation in 2022, this trend is misleading. The decrease partly stems from attackers becoming more selective, focusing on targets capable of yielding substantial ransoms. The shift from high-volume to more calculated, strategic ransomware campaigns mark a significant change in the tactics of modern cybercriminals.


Companies Turning To AI For Combatting Ransomware

Security leaders must consider the escalating complexity of threats as the primary challenge in thwarting ransomware attacks. Thankfully, WEI has long recognized the adoption of advanced technologies, particularly those powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), and Deep Learning (DL) as a top priority for evolving enterprise security strategies. The unique ability of AI to detect ransomware at each stage of the cyber kill chain is essential for protecting the expansive and complex networks of modern enterprises. WEI operates in lockstep with industry leaders to ensure customers are receiving an advanced and custom-tailored security product that is infused with AI capabilities to bolster ransomware defenses. Four key benefits to this next-gen approach include:


  • Efficiently handling vast amounts of event data produced by contemporary, digital-first organizations.
  • Detecting anomalous and high-risk activities that often resemble legitimate operations.
  • Providing complete coverage across all cyber kill chain stages to assemble a comprehensive overview.
  • Seamlessly integrating with traditional security measures in a unified cybersecurity platform, enhancing simplicity and operational speed.

The sooner cyber analysts can identify a ransomware attack, the sooner eradication measures are deployed. AI can correlate data from various sources to provide a holistic view of the security landscape, which is vital to detect multi-vector ransomware attacks. Once detected, AI-driven tools automate responses to detected threats, significantly reducing the time between detection and response. In the case of ransomware, this rapid response is crucial to prevent the spread of the attack and limit damage.

Talk To WEI About Your Ransomware Prevention Strategy

A longtime partner of the industry’s top cybersecurity leaders, the seasoned experts at WEI know firsthand that AI-driven security products stand as a formidable line of defense in the ongoing battle against ransomware. By harnessing the power of advanced AI and ML technologies, automation offers unparalleled threat detection, predictive analytics, and rapid response capabilities. WEI can effectively guide organizations with the proven tools needed to not only identify and mitigate ransomware threats swiftly, but to also adapt and stay ahead of evolving cyber threats.

Further fortify their defenses, minimize vulnerabilities, and ensure a more secure and resilient digital environment against the ever-present threat of ransomware. Contact WEI today to learn how and where to start strengthening your ransomware prevention strategy.

Tags  ransomware security solutions security cybersecurity Enterprise Cybersecurity ransomware protection

Shawn Murphy

Written by Shawn Murphy

Shawn has over a decade of experience in cybersecurity ranging from incident response and threat hunting to threat intelligence and automation. He is passionate about applying analytics and automation to modernize security operations. Shawn holds numerous industry certifications in incident handling, detection engineering and automation, and has experience deploying, tuning, and managing a wide array of products (e.g., EDR, SIEM, NTA, ASM, SOAR). As a cybersecurity solutions architect at WEI, Shawn consults on Security Operations Center (SOC) projects that involve simplifying security architecture while improving outcomes.

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