How to Strengthen Your Ransomware Prevention Plan

Ransomware is still one of the most significant malware attack vectors today. Many employees still fall victim to malware ransomware, as email remains the main method of communication among businesses. How can organizations strengthen their ransomware prevention plans with such a significant challenge to stop these attacks? This article will discuss how to start a ransomware protection plan, strengthen an existing one, and the consequences of not having protective measures. 

How Does Guardian Digital EnGarde Cloud Email Security Protect Against Ransomware Attacks?

Proper preparation can dramatically reduce the impact and cost of an attack. An organization can minimize its vulnerability to email threats by adopting stronger practices, including:

Protect Email With Sender Authentication

One of the most prominent email threats CEOs face today is impersonation attacks. Cyber attackers can create specially crafted emails that exploit inherent vulnerabilities in email system construction to act as though they are the CEO or another person of interest in your company, potentially tricking receivers into believing the email was sent from the CEO when it was not.

To tackle this problem, SPF, DKIM, and DMARC were created as email security programs. While it's not a panacea, implementing these protocols together will help with the following:

  • Prevent unauthorized servers from sending emails using your domain name, reducing the risk of email impersonation attacks.
  • Verify that the content of your emails has not been tampered with during transit, ensuring the integrity of your emails and protecting against email tampering attacks.
  • Create policies that instruct recipient mail systems like Google and Microsoft on handling emails sent by unauthorized servers. This helps prevent malicious emails from reaching your recipients' inboxes and reduces the risk of email spoofing attacks.

When properly configured, these methods can help mitigate the impact of someone abusing a domain name or damaging the sender's reputation with a partner or customer. Such email security programs can also help improve email deliverability to the recipient's inbox and prevent email fraud by verifying the sender's identity and ensuring the message was not tampered with in transit.

These are very technical procedures, but working with Guardian Digital to implement these methods will help to protect your company's email communications and safeguard your organization's sensitive information.

Prevention with Zero-Trust Is Key

Email security protects an organization's attack surface from cyber threats to gaZero Trust Overviewin unauthorized access to the network. Statistics show that over 90% of cyberattacks begin with phishing campaigns, and 30% of phishing emails are opened. According to the 2022 DBIR, "locking down your external-facing infrastructure, especially RDP and Emails, can go a long way toward protecting your organization against ransomware."

Zero-trust strategies help protect against data breach of large scale both in a company's and customers' information, insecure email sharing, and misconfigured or exposed cloud services that expose intellectual property and misconfigured email sharing. This trend will only grow as cloud computing and integrations become more common, particularly since more data is stored on the cloud than on consumer devices or private servers.

Implementing a Zero Trust strategy to your email security program will increase anti-phishing capabilities. A zero-trust policy in email security can help protect internal and external networks. It also improves compliance and deliverability.

Ransomware insurance is another option to consider because predicting an attack isn't always possible, and damages can be lasting and severe. This cyber insurance covers financial losses such as ransom fees or business interruption costs due to a malware ransomware attack. Ransomware insurance can be difficult and expensive for small businesses that cannot show that they have a strong ransomware and data security plan. Cyber insurance providers may terminate a policy if a company cannot show that they have a solid ransomware prevention program.

Invest in Fully-Managed Email Security Services

Businesses must have access to the latest cyber security tools to ensure advanced threat protection. It is crucial to have a fully managed email security system to guard against specific threats to each business. The system provides the expertise and support required to protect sensitive data and other assets in the modern digital threat environment. Your solution should include multiple layers of security that can detect and block threats in real-time and then build upon each other to offer greater protection.

Effective Prevention Requires Simulations and Threat Intelligence

Simulations and threat intelligence are crucial components of an effectivemail protectione ransomware prevention strategy. Simulations for ransomware protection involve creating realistic scenarios that simulate a ransomware attack and testing an organization's response. These simulations, also known as sandboxing malware, can help organizations identify weaknesses in their security defenses and improve their response to an actual attack. Simulations can also be used to train employees on recognizing and responding to ransomware attacks, which can be critical in preventing the spread of malware.

Threat intelligence involves gathering information on the latest ransomware threats, including the tactics, techniques, and procedures threat actors use. This information can inform an organization's cyber security tools and strategies and help them prepare for potential ransomware attacks. Threat intelligence can also help organizations identify vulnerabilities in their systems and applications that ransomware could exploit.

What Is The Cost of Ransomware?

According to the 2022 DBIR, about two-thirds of breaches involved phishing, stolen credentials, or ransomware. Ransomware was involved in 25% of all email security breaches. Most attacks begin with a phishing attack and then use methods from ransomware attacks to extort and exploit businesses.

In February 2022, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) reported being aware of ransomware attacks against 14-16 U.S. critical infrastructure sectors. The assets, systems, and networks of these infrastructures are considered vital to the nation's security, and the incapacitation or destruction of any of these sectors would have a debilitating effect on national security, economic security, public health, and safety. 

The rise in ransomware variants can be attributed to several factors, such as the increasing availability of ransomware as a service (RaaS) on the dark web, which allows cybercriminals with little or no experience to launch ransomware attacks. Another factor is the development of new techniques and tools by cybercriminals, including Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence, to create more sophisticated and targeted attacks.

Additionally, the shift to remote work has created new I.T. vulnerabilities, which cybercriminals exploit with ransomware attacks. Furthermore, using cryptocurrency for ransom payments has made it easier for cybercriminals to remain anonymous and evade law enforcement.

Russian Ransomware Attack Targets Royal Mail

In January, ransomware linked with Russian criminals caused severe disruption to Royal Mail's overseas delivery. The organization advised customers to send international parcels or letters once tRoyal Mail news headlinehe problem is resolved. According to a source, Lockbit was the ransomware used in this attack.

BBC received a ransom note from the cybercriminals to Royal Mail, stating, "Your data have been stolen and encrypted." Although the ransom demand is likely to reach millions, sources close to the investigation claim that there are "workarounds" to restart the system. This attack was particularly concerning because Royal Mail is considered a "critical national infrastructure," which is crucial to the U.K.'s economy and does not affect just one company or its customers but also its communications and businesses for citizens both at home and abroad.

The Royal Mail spokeswoman declined to confirm whether the attack was ransomware but reiterated to customers that disruptions in delivery are possible. According to the company, delays could occur for customers who have already sent items overseas before the incident.

A spokesperson for the National Crime Agency stated that it was aware of an incident impacting Royal Mail and was working with the National Cyber Security Centre to assess its impact.

Keep Learning About Ransomware Prevention

Regarding ransomware, prevention is better than remediation, and implementing the email protection required to prevent these attacks is necessary for businesses. Failure to adopt best cybersecurity practices can result in severe and lasting damages or permanent closure.

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