How to Protect Your Business from the Growing Threat of Ransomware?

Guide on how to protect & prevent business from growing threat of ransomware with top steps and tips to keep all data safe against attacks

By Claudio Pires
Updated on July 13, 2023
How to Protect Your Business from the Growing Threat of Ransomware?

Protecting your business from the growing threats of ransomware has become a part of strategic planning. Ransomware attacks are increasing, and sometimes they are entirely unavoidable. Ransomware groups have recently targeted big companies, merchants, and even governments. Learn in this guide how to protect & prevent your business from the growing threat of ransomware with top steps and tips to keep all data safe against attacks.

The blog is about some tips and tricks you must incorporate into your security posture and be conscious about.

What is ransomware?

If you are unsure about the term ‘ransomware,’ let me explain it as the malicious software that takes away what you value most. These malware are designed to encrypt your files and lock your system, rendering it locked unless a ransom is paid.

These ransomware are well-designed and based on robust encryption algorithms that are difficult to break. You will require a decryption key from the attacker to get your data back. With this in mind, it is always the best idea to plan and employ the best techniques for the security of your business.

Some essential to consider to mitigate the risk of ransomware

Although there is a crucial need to have an upright security posture to cater to cyber threats. There are some precautions every type of business must consider: Learn in this guide how to protect & prevent your business from the growing threat of ransomware with top steps and tips to keep all data safe against attacks.

Back-ups are important: Protect Business Against Ransomware Threat

You must back up your data. This keeps you functional if you meet any contingencies. Keeping your data in cloud storage and offline storage is the key. It is also important to note that sometimes cloud storage gets compromised. So it is always best to follow the 3,2,1 strategy while backing up essentials. So a good deal on how to protect against ransomware adding security tactics.

Invest in update and patch management

Your software, operating systems, and applications must be up to date. There’s no point in keeping outdated applications or devices. Regular patches make you less vulnerable to ransomware.

Try network segmentation

Keep your critical networking activities separated from common ones. Make segments to isolate others from potential attacks.

Try network segmentation Protect Business Threat Ransomware

Go for E-mail and Web filtering 

Employees might unknowingly download through non-trusted links, which might lead to ransomware attacks. To prevent these issues apply the multi-login or two-factor authentication, deploy email and web filters to block malicious attachments, phishing emails, and suspicious websites.

Conduct training and employee education: Protect Business Against Ransomware Threat

Cyber risks are rising day-by-day. It is essential to educate our teams about the danger of ransomware. They must be trained to recognize suspicious emails, calls, and other activities. They must know about the importance of password, encryption protocols, and privacy management.

Look for Firewall and Intrusion Detection Systems

Enabling firewalls and IDS can help monitor network traffic and unauthorized access attempts. As a result, a good way on how to protect against ransomware adding security tactics.

Use end-point security

Using reputable anti-virus and anti-malware software in your system can help you mitigate the risk of ransomware. Regular scanning helps to detect real-time malware and keep your system protected.

Use end-point security Protect Business Threat Ransomware

Making an Incident Response Plan: Protect Business Against Ransomware Threat

Choose your network security experts to design an incident plan, which should include the steps that would be taken to isolate the infected device or network and how the recovery will be initiated.

Consider cyber insurance

You can also obtain cyber insurance that will provide financial protection in case of any ransomware attack. Your insurance professionals will be able to guide you about the available options.

Recent ransomware attacks

According to Unit 42  Incident Response team 50% of ransomware are caused by a common culprit:attack surface exposure. In addition, part on the security tactics on how to protect against ransomware.

Ransomware has evolved beyond its original purpose of encrypting files and demanding Bitcoin. The introduction of new forms of harassment and multiple extortion strategies renders conventional recommendations regarding backup maintenance inadequate. 

For instance, the Unit 42 Incident Response team observed 

  • data theft in approximately 70% of ransomware cases that involved negotiations (a significant increase from around 40% in mid-2021).

Let’s have a look at some of the recently seen ransomware attacks: Security tactics, steps, and tips on how to prevent and protect against ransomware.

Clop Ransomware Gang: Protect Business Threat

The Clop Ransomware gang has been utilizing the MOVEit vulnerability to exploit and gain entry into an expanding array of organizations, including several federal agencies in the United States. The cybercriminal group has been steadily disclosing the names of these affected entities since Wednesday, June 13.

Clop Ransomware Gang Steps tips Prevent

As of the time of this publication, Clop has disclosed a total of 64 organizations on their data leak website, with nearly every major industry experiencing the impact. An increasing number of victims have verified the security breaches.

On Wednesday, June 14, the deadline imposed by the Clop ransomware group for victims targeted in a large-scale breach of Progress Software’s MOVEit Transfer tool passed. Failure to comply or engage in negotiations would lead to their exposure on the group’s blog, as per the threat issued by the attackers.

Big Head Ransomware

There is an emerging ransomware called Big Head that is being spread through a malvertising campaign disguised as fake Microsoft Windows updates and Word installers.

Fortinet FortiGuard Labs discovered various versions of Big Head ransomware last month, which were designed to encrypt files on victims’ computers and demand a cryptocurrency payment in return.

Big Head Steps tips Prevent Ransomware

Source: TrendMicro

According to the researchers at Fortinet, one variant of Big Head ransomware imitates a Windows Update, suggesting that it may have been distributed disguised as a fake Windows Update. Another variant uses a Microsoft Word icon and was likely distributed as counterfeit software.

The majority of Big Head ransomware samples received so far have originated from the United States, Spain, France, and Turkey.

In a recent analysis of this ransomware, Trend Micro provided insights into its functioning. They highlighted its ability to deploy three encrypted executable files. Security tactics, steps, and tips on how to prevent and protect against ransomware.

Black Byte 2.0 Ransomware

In a recent investigation by Microsoft’s Incident Response team, the relentless and destructive nature of BlackByte 2.0 ransomware attacks was unveiled, showcasing their alarming speed.

The findings highlight that hackers can swiftly execute the entire attack process, from initial access to causing severe damage, within a mere five days. They waste no time infiltrating systems, encrypting vital data, and extorting a ransom for its release.

This compressed timeframe presents a formidable challenge for organizations striving to safeguard themselves against these pernicious operations.

BlackByte ransomware plays a pivotal role in the final phase of the attack, utilizing an 8-digit numerical key to encrypt the data.

To carry out these attacks, hackers employ a potent combination of tools and techniques. The investigation revealed their exploitation of unpatched Microsoft Exchange Servers, which has proven to be an immensely successful approach. So, by capitalizing on this vulnerability, they establish initial access to the targeted networks, setting the stage for their malicious endeavors.

QBot Malware Campaign to Protect Business Threat: Ransomware

According to recent findings from Kaspersky, a new QBot malware campaign is employing compromised business communications to deceive unsuspecting individuals into installing the malware.

This latest wave of activity, which began on April 4, 2023, has primarily targeted several countries, including Germany, Argentina, Italy, Algeria, Spain, the United States, Russia, France, the United Kingdom, and Morocco steps and tips to prevent against ransomware.

QBot Malware Campaign Steps tips Prevent

Source: CyberReasons

QBot, also known as Qakbot or Pinkslipbot, is a banking trojan that has been active since at least 2007. In addition to stealing passwords and cookies from web browsers, it serves as a backdoor to introduce further malicious payloads like Cobalt Strike or ransomware.

The malware is distributed through phishing campaigns and has undergone continuous updates over the years, incorporating techniques such as anti-VM, anti-debugging, and anti-sandbox to avoid detection. In fact, QBot emerged as the most prevalent malware in March 2023, as reported by Check Point.

MSI attacked by Ransomware: Protect Business Threa

Micro-Star International (MSI), the Taiwanese PC company, has officially acknowledged that its systems fell victim to a cyber attack.

After detecting unusual activities on its network, MSI took immediate action by initiating incident response and recovery procedures. Additionally, the company promptly notified law enforcement agencies regarding the incident.

MSI attacked by Ransomware

However, MSI has not provided specific details regarding the timing of the attack or whether any confidential data, such as source code, was stolen during the breach.

BlackCat Malvertisement

Cybercriminals associated with the BlackCat ransomware have been observed utilizing malvertising techniques to distribute deceptive installers of the WinSCP file transfer application.

According to an analysis by Trend Micro researchers published recently, malicious actors employed malvertising by creating counterfeit web pages that mimic legitimate organizations. In this particular case, the distribution method involved a webpage imitating the well-known application WinSCP, which is an open-source Windows application used for file transfer.

Malvertising involves the use of search engine optimization (SEO) poisoning techniques to propagate malware through online advertisements. It typically involves seizing specific keywords, such as “WinSCP Download,” and displaying fraudulent ads on search engine result pages of platforms like Bing and Google. The intention is to redirect unsuspecting users to untrustworthy websites.

Qakbot ransomware: Protect business threat

A Qakbot malware campaign has targeted American companies, resulting in the infiltration of compromised networks with Black Basta ransomware infections.

Qakbot ransomware

Source: Securelist

According to a report by Cybereason researchers Joakim Kandefelt and Danielle Frankel, the Black Basta ransomware gang employed QakBot malware in this recent campaign to establish an initial entry point and subsequently expand its presence within the network of targeted organizations.

Ransomware rising as a big game

The evolving tactics of the cyber criminals will never release your hold. Leveraging sophisticated malware campaigns such as Black Basta and Clop demonstrates the importance of being secure. The consequences of ransomware attacks can be damaging and could affect the business in the long run. 

There is a need to be vigilant, adopt robust cyber security measures and analyze the real-time problems ransomware can create. Finally, it is now the time to be resilient to face the threat.

Author Bio:

Anas Hassan is a Content Marketer at a leading cybersecurity firm PureVPN. He has vast experience in the field of digital transformation industry. When Anas isn’t blogging, he watches the football games.

Claudio Pires

Claudio Pires is the co-founder of Visualmodo, a renowned company in web development and design. With over 15 years of experience, Claudio has honed his skills in content creation, web development support, and senior web designer. A trilingual expert fluent in English, Portuguese, and Spanish, he brings a global perspective to his work. Beyond his professional endeavors, Claudio is an active YouTuber, sharing his insights and expertise with a broader audience. Based in Brazil, Claudio continues to push the boundaries of web design and digital content, making him a pivotal figure in the industry.