A ransomware response and prevention checklist for 2023 will help organizations empower to prevent the attackers from gaining a foothold. Utilize the lists to address the high-priority threat to avoid the loss of businesses.
The best way to combat ransomware attacks is by pre-emptive awareness to prevent it, and if it still occurs, a quick response to avoid severe damage to businesses. Creating a prevention strategy from a ransomware checklist can help organizations avoid severe threats.
Ransomware Prevention Checklist
Update Antivirus and Firewalls
Organizations install antivirus and firewalls regularly, but these firewalls become ineffective without regular updating. Security leaders must ensure that firewall and antivirus software are updated and have the latest configuration and operating system to deal with evolving ransomware.
Since next-generation firewalls (NGFW) are advanced threat prevention tools, they have a consolidated management schematic program that reduces security complexities in software and minimizes overall security expenses.
Email Filtering System
Businesses and security leaders must invest in an email filtering tool that secures all received and sent emails. While giant email platforms like Google and Outlook offer in-built spam filtering solutions, they are less prone to email threats or ransomware. However, companies installing business-driven email filtering tools can help them to detect and mitigate all potentially malicious content.
Security leaders must look for an API-integrated email security solution that detects anomalies and offers defensive capabilities to remove ransomware. There is advanced email security software that identifies messages and prevents such emails from appearing in inboxes in the future.
Install endpoint protection solution with built-in Anti-Ransomware protection mechanism. The solutions have the potential to protect against a variety of complex threats, including evolving ransomware. Endpoint security suit allows centralized management of digital assets through a single management platform.
Two-factor or multifactor authentication asks users to provide multiple pieces of evidence to an authentication mechanism. This prevention and responsive aspect complicates system access for cybercriminals attempting ransomware. Companies must apply two or multifactor authentication into every system, device, and network and allow access to authorized employees.
Organizations that cannot create a data backup often open entries for ransomware attacks. If needed, they must build a robust data backup strategy and invest in advanced software with extensive storage capabilities. Utilizing the 3-2-1 principle may help teams to store data in three separate locations to avoid ransomware attacks. Restoring data backups is cost-effective, less complex, and comprehensive and keeps all data information safe under stringent access control regulations.
Patch management reduces vulnerabilities in software and applications susceptible to ransomware attacks. Patching is one of the vital mitigation techniques to minimize an organization’s risk of encountering ransomware. IT and security team experts should ensure all software is patched and updated. Ignoring it can allow cybercriminals to exploit vulnerabilities, leading to more ransomware attacks.
Limit Data Access
Providing data access to every employee may lead to severe attacks on business assets and networks, and data breaches can happen regularly. Companies need to limit data access to a certain level of employees to avoid the danger of ransomware attacks.
Maintaining data access management best practices will help leaders to keep up with preventive measures such as implementing MFA, passwords, and biometric locks to eradicate different kinds of ransomware attacks. Also, providing access privileges to C-suit positions to access data and putting permissions across organizations to access can lead organizations to reduce or stop ransomware attacks.
Data access control models vary. So, organizations can commonly use the following:
- Discretionary access control: The control allows leaders to decide whom to provide access to. Discretionary access control (DAC) may be combined with role-based access control (RBAC) in different cases.
- Role-based access control (RBAC): The access control gives access permissions based on the parameters of necessity for access by employees. Leaders give permissions based on prescribed roles and business needs.
- Mandatory access control (MAC): The access control involves a central security authority. It distributes access to resources upon specific categorizations. In this system, an employee may be unable to modify a file or resource, despite being the file owner. For instance, Government organizations handle sensitive information using MAC systems. Also, giant data-based companies use MAC systems to avoid ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks often happen when employees open an unauthorized link from emails. Links appear similar to organizational email. Such links scan critical data and turn it into ransom, hitting the system. Cases like these mandate organizations to emphasize educating employees on the ransomware attack types and their severity.
Security leaders must educate employees about ransomware’s do’s and don’ts and cover the possibilities and reasons for attacks, their impact, and the result. Offering standard information and security training about phishing and social engineering is necessary for employees to understand. It is also imperative to ensure that employees catering to cybersecurity best practices know the signals of criminals exploiting to breach with ransomware.
Embrace Zero Trust
Enabling multifactor authentication (MFA) frequently through a one-time password helps leaders limit system access. Implementing MFA with zero trust security removes trust as a default condition for employees and devices, thus adding another level of security to prevent ransomware.
More about Ransomware Prevention Tips
The ransomware response and prevention checklist for businesses also emphasizes deploying deception technology. The technology tools can help in protecting systems and devices from ransomware threats.
Deception technologies replicate servers, applications, and data, distracting hackers and threat actors when sending ransom links.
Another advantage of deception technology is that it enables organizations to discover ransomware attackers trying to enter the systems. The tools detect them faster. Implementing the technology in the right course can less damage organizations.
Actively Prevent a Ransomware Incident
Ransomware attacks take advantage of organizational competency. Securing critical data and preventing business systems from attacks requires a multi-pronged approach and control. While investing in a robust security program will not mitigate every attack attempt, every layer of security will add and increases the likelihood of fewer targets.
Businesses must take steps today to ensure they have the right security compliance management software to prepare for a potential ransomware attack.