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Ransomware Is Keeping Your Data Hostage. What's Your Move?

The most valuable asset to any business is its data. According to Forbes, in 2016 ransomware attacks grew at a blistering pace to 638 million, more than 167 times the number of attacks in 2015. Around 50% of these attacks targeted the US. And we can only expect the trend to continue. On the front lines, Presidio customers have called us in to help recover data after ransomware attacks and avoid bitcoin payments, and to counter attacks on their networks and endpoints. Because of these types of cyber threats, the FBI has urged CEOs to take measures such as implementing security incident response and business continuity plans.

by Joe Leonard, Wednesday, 26 Apr 2017

If and when you are attacked, do you have a response plan in place? Where does an IT leader begin? Here are a few questions to get started:

  • Have you identified your most sensitive data, and do you regularly test to make sure it’s secure?
  • Is the data at risk recoverable in any way? How bulletproof is the backup?
  • Do you know the number of devices and endpoints that are at risk?
  • Have you assessed employee susceptibility to email phishing and malicious website code?
  • Is your business able to function while the attack is being addressed?

Having an incident response plan is a necessity. Ransomware typically comes through the end user, but can quickly make its way to the core of your business. We have seen attackers access shared storage, and delete or manipulate data before holding it for ransom. This is to disrupt the integrity of the data and potentially cripple the business, even if ransom is paid. At times, even when ransom is paid, cyber criminals do not provide the decryption key.

To avoid the crippling effect of ransomware, your incident response plan should have these basic elements:

  • Due diligence, as different threats warrant different responses
  • Defined roles and responsibilities of an incident response team
  • Prioritization of the most sensitive data
  • Mapping of IoT devices and endpoints to contain or identify the source of the breach
  • Configurations that are validated, which will help determine the source of the breach
  • A multilayered security solution
  • 24/7 monitoring, whether in-house or via a managed security provider
  • Back-up and recovery systems in place to help in the recovery phase
  • Regular tests on the system and monitoring of plan execution to validate its effectiveness
  • A business continuity plan

To protect against top threats like ransomware it is well worth the time to evaluate your infrastructure and determine your level of risk, protect your data (whether on the network, on premises or in the cloud), actively implement the right tools, and educate your end users.

Programs like Presidio Next Generation Risk Management address all areas of infrastructure and integrate assessments, governance, compliance, and architecture. Companies can measure their risks and vulnerabilities across the enterprise and view them in a comprehensive dashboard that enables immediate response.

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Presidio is a leading North American IT solutions provider focused on Digital Infrastructure, Business Analytics, Cloud, Security & Emerging solutions. We deliver this technology expertise through a full life cycle model of professional, managed, and support services including strategy, consulting, implementation and design. By taking the time to deeply understand how our clients define success, we help them harness technology advances, simplify IT complexity and optimize their environments today while enabling future applications, user experiences, and revenue models.
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