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, COO at NeuShield

So, you did everything right but now you got hit with ransomware?

Introduction

With the proliferation of ransomware comes an increase in the sophistication of these attacks. It is easy to believe that if you do everything right then you will not get hit. But this is a common misconception. Even individuals and corporations that do everything right can still get breached.

But how can this be? How can a company get hit with ransomware when they do everything right? The simple answer is that there is always a way for an advanced attacker to get into any network if they are persistent enough. The attacker can send thousands or millions of attacks and only need to be successful once. Whereas a corporation must be successful every time without fail. One failed detection or missed attack is enough to let an attacker in. What is needed for enterprises is instant recovery.

Layered Defenses

There are many different layers of defense that an organization needs to have in place to help secure their assets. These things include secure authentication and access controls, endpoint security, endpoint detection and response, forensic tools, security operations center, system hardening, network monitoring and alerting, network filtering, email filtering tools, system backup and recovery tools, physical access controls, employee training, just to name a few things.

This list of things that need to be done to fully protect an environment can be daunting. Furthermore, not all companies have the expertise or the ability to fully enable all these layers. For instance, a corporation could have policies around system hardening but need to loosen the rules for some systems because they conflict with their finance software, thus leaving the corporation at risk. Other corporations may not have time or money to enable all these layers of security.

However, what is painful is that even corporations that have all these layers of protection enabled are still getting hit with ransomware. But why is that?

Understanding An Attack

Adversaries understand how security products work and build attacks that these products cannot detect, called Fully UnDetectable (FUD). These adversaries use several different techniques to ensure their malicious programs are FUD. They use cryptors to encrypt their malware, they scan their malware with antivirus programs using hidden services that work like VirusTotal, they use fileless techniques, zero-day exploits, social engineering, and other methods to increase the chance of a successful attack.

Attackers have also increased the number of attacks. The sheer volume of malware makes this problem worse. Some experts estimate that there are more than 1 million new unique malware files released each day, which breaks down to around 12 per second. With the increase in malware also comes an increase in virus definition size and makes it harder to create products to detect all these threats.

However, most high-profile attacks are targeted. A targeted threat is where an attacker designs a threat specifically for a victim. Typically, this requires the attacker to research all they can about the intended victim before launching the attack. These attacks can be quite difficult to defend against because the attacker has gone to a lot of effort to build the attack. The attacker tries to ensure the attack will be successful before carrying it out. Thus, these groups also tend to be highly funded. The motivation of these attackers may not always be for monetary gain. Their goal could also be to steal data or just to cause damage by disrupting operations or destroying infrastructure.

There isn’t a single silver bullet to properly protect an organization from ransomware and other attacks. Businesses need to have a recovery strategy in place for the eventuality of an attack. So, what can be done to protect your corporation from ransomware?

Backup & Restore

Data backup is an important protective layer, enabling companies to recover data in the event of a lost computer or hardware failure. However, data backup doesn’t offer a quick result and, depending upon when the backup was last completed, it may not have the latest version of a file. Also, we see that hackers can and do target backups.

If your target is a round hole and your solution is a square peg, you aren’t going to be successful. Data backup was never designed to protect against cyberattacks like ransomware. It was created to restore data when a computer is lost or stolen, data is corrupted, or a hard drive fails. Backup is not the place to put your sole confidence in. What is needed is technology that will directly protect your data and enable rapid recovery for business continuity.

Instant Recovery

To get back up and running quickly and undo the damage, data must first be protected on all devices. To accomplish this requires enabling mechanisms like boot, disk, file, and cloud drive protections, as well as file and operating system restore.

NeuShield offers effective approach to data protection and rapid recovery by essentially creating a thin mirror image of the data within an undetectable overlay that acts as armor. With this approach, the attacker only gets access to change data within the overlay. The original data is preserved and protected. Then, with the click of a button, the overlay can be wiped clean, reverting the system and data back to the original pre-attack state, essentially rendering ransomware threats impotent.

This technology works in conjunction with other security tools so that if a hacker gets through anti-malware defenses, the organization’s data and systems can be recovered immediately. This is not a replacement for other defensive cybersecurity solutions but an addition to a multilayered security stack.

This method of recovering files is also useful for performance. It is significantly faster to delete a file than to copy or restore a file, which is what a backup does. Because of this NeuShield Data Sentinel can recover data almost instantly, regardless of how much data is being protected.

No matter how many layers of protection you are using NeuShield can help recover your endpoints instantly when an attack is discovered.

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