By |Published On: January 27th, 2023|11 min read|Categories: Ransomware|

Enterprise Ransomware Protection: Why It Matters

Falling victim to a ransomware attack can be one of the most damaging types of cybercrime any business can face. And this is a threat every company will have to deal with sooner or later.

Current data from Statista shows that as of 2023, more than 72 percent of businesses worldwide have fallen victim to ransomware attacks, highlighting a significant increase on previous years. The majority of organizations hit by such attacks are paying out in order to restore access to systems or avoid the public release of confidential data.

But it’s not only the frequency of ransomware attacks that is on the rise – it’s also the cost. BlackFog’s State of Ransomware in 2023 study found the average payout for a ransomware incident in the US currently stands at $740,144, a rise of 126 percent from the first quarter of the year. And this doesn’t take into account the huge range of other expenses associated with these attacks, from lost business to rebuilding systems to the potential for financial penalties.

That’s why it’s essential that any business’ cyber security strategy has a specific focus on detecting and blocking ransomware efforts. Indeed, having enterprise ransomware protection tools is particularly important in an era where this often goes hand-in-hand with data exfiltration and extortion efforts that can be especially harmful.

The Case for Enterprise Ransomware Protection

Tackling ransomware should be a top priority for any chief information security officer. As one of the fastest-growing and potentially harmful types of data security threat, it’s important to make the case for this and highlight to board members the importance of focusing on this area of data protection.

What Is Enterprise Ransomware Protection?

A strong enterprise ransomware defense strategy is a must-have for any business looking to protect itself from the threats posed by these types of attacks. A good solution will be a multifaceted tool encompassing a range of features and techniques that are specifically designed to tackle the challenges of ransomware.

Among the elements of these solutions that help detect and block ransomware activities before they have a chance to do damage are:

Data backups – A comprehensive system for protecting and isolating mission-critical data in the event primary databases are wiped or encrypted is a must.

Malware protection software – Anti ransomware software that can identify threats as they arrive on the network and shut them down at the source is always your first line of defense.

Antimalware software – Tools to identify ransomware software as it arrives on the network and shut it down at the source are always your first line of defense.

Employee training – Human error remains a leading cause of ransomware infections, so firms should plan quality training sessions that are repeated frequently.

Anti data exfiltration (ADX) – A critical component in guarding against double extortion ransomware, this allows firms to spot any attempts to steal data and remove it from the network.

A key factor of enterprise ransomware protection is that it must take a defense in depth approach. It’s not enough merely to have perimeter protection with the aim of stopping malware from entering your network in the first place. While this is always a key aim, 100 percent protection is impossible. Therefore, tools to identify and tackle ransomware once it has already penetrated your perimeter are vital components of an all-round protection plan.

Why Do You Need Dedicated Ransomware Protection?

Dedicated protections against ransomware are vital because this has now become one of the most lucrative avenues for cybercriminals to exploit. In many cases, companies may feel they have no choice but to give in to ransom demands in order to avoid even costlier consequences further down the line.

Often, by the time a business has become aware it has fallen victim to ransomware, it is too late. This can be especially the case if hackers have successfully exfiltrated data from the network and are threatening to release it publicly or to competitors. By this time, there will be nothing firms can do to contain the damage, so steps to prevent this happening in the first place are vital.

What’s more, having a strong solution to guard against ransomware is also critical if you’re looking to protect yourself with ransomware insurance. As the number of claims made for ransomware losses has skyrocketed in recent years, providers of cyber insurance have become much more discerning about the circumstances in which they’ll provide support. 

In many cases, firms that haven’t taken steps to implement advanced enterprise ransomware prevention measures will therefore find these remedies unavailable, as insurance partners may deem their efforts negligent and refuse to pay out.

Are You Prepared for the Changing Ransomware Threat?

One of the major issues facing enterprises is that the nature of ransomware is changing, as criminals adapt their tactics to increase their chances of successfully extracting a payment.

In previous years, ransomware activity was viewed by many businesses as a nuisance rather than an existential threat to their operations. Perhaps a successful phishing attack had compromised credentials or led to encrypted files being removed from protected folders.

While this malicious activity was able to lock down devices or encrypt data, good forward planning, comprehensive backups and incident response could minimize disruption. However, this is no longer the case.

As well as the fact that many ransomware attempts will now deliberately target backup systems to prevent these recovery efforts, the biggest threat has become double extortion ransomware, in which criminals steal data and threaten to sell or release it unless they get paid.

BlackFog’s report suggests almost nine out of ten ransomware attacks (90 percent) now exfiltrate data, and once it’s gone, meaning your options for responding to an incident are limited. Therefore, a focus on preventing data loss is the keystone of any anti-ransomware strategy in the new, rapidly evolving environment.

How Do You Get Ransomware?

For an enterprise ransomware strategy to be effective, firms must first have a clear idea of how ransomware works, the ways in which it gets into their networks, and how best to respond when it’s uncovered. With the right tools, much of this work can be taken out of the hands of in-house IT staff and left to advanced, artificial intelligence-driven technology.

Who Do Ransomware Groups Target?

A common misconception many firms have is that they are not at risk from ransomware, especially if they believe they are too small or do not hold enough valuable data to make it worthwhile for hackers to target them. But this could not be further from the truth. 

In fact, every business can present a tempting target for criminals and those with supply chain connections to other companies are especially tempting targets.

However, there are a few sectors that attract the particular interest of ransomware groups. Our research reveals that the top five sectors likely to face these cyberthreats are:

  1. Education
  2. Government
  3. Healthcare
  4. Technology
  5. Manufacturing 

Responding to a Ransomware Incident

When it comes to paying a ransom, all major law enforcement agencies advise against this. While it may cause more pain in the short term not to give in, the consequences of handing over money to criminals can be severe. Even in the best-case scenario, there is no guarantee that system access will be restored and any exfiltrated data will be deleted. In fact, it’s far more likely that once you’re marked as being willing to pay up, you’ll simply get targeted again and again.

To avoid this, prevention is better than cure. But while it’s impossible to guarantee 100 per cent protection from intrusion, there are steps you can take to minimize the damage hackers can cause once they’re inside. One of the best approaches is to deploy a comprehensive endpoint security solution that can identify the telltale signs of data exfiltration and block any suspicious traffic from leaving the network.

If ransomware groups can’t steal data, they will be in a much weaker position to make demands of businesses. Therefore, tools that can automate the process of spotting these exfiltration attempts are an invaluable part of any firm’s enterprise ransomware protection solution.

Enterprise Ransomware Protection for Businesses

Developing a comprehensive enterprise ransomware protection strategy that encompasses the most advanced technology and looks after every device and employee on their network is a must if firms are to avoid costly attacks. But what should they be looking for to achieve a strong level of security?

Comparing Enterprise Ransomware Protection Software

There’s no single solution when it comes to defending against ransomware, so when you’re looking for enterprise protection software, you’ll need to make sure your chosen solution is equipped for every eventuality, including the threat posed by data exfiltration.

It pays to secure a solution with advanced technology such as ADX capabilities to ensure you’re getting a complete level of protection across every device. Being able to extend ransomware detection to the edge of the network and stop sensitive data being stolen on any device, including mobiles, is a critical part of keeping your exposure to a minimum.

What Are Cyber Insurance Requirements?

Another factor that needs to be considered is how your chosen anti-ransomware software is viewed by your insurance partner. Today’s ransomware insurance providers have very stringent requirements for what they consider an acceptable level of protection, and if your defenses fall short, you may not receive any reimbursements for expenses, either for direct ransom payments or the many other costs associated with an incident.

Therefore, it pays to speak to your provider before making a final decision to make sure you fully understand what is expected of you and whether or not potential solutions are approved. Choosing a provider like BlackFog that works closely with insurance providers and is recommended by the industry provides peace of mind that, even if the worst should happen, you will be protected from the most serious consequences.

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