Firstly, let’s get to the bottom of ‘what is ransomware’

You might very well be wondering ‘what is ransomware’? Minerva IT Support has partnered with Sophos to provide you with the best defence against ransomware.

A successful, well integrated cyber security strategy entails a strong cyber security network infrastructure along with staff awareness. To find out more about our range of e-learning courses, click here. Minerva’s team of IT specialists are here to ensure your network stays protected.

Ransomware Nightmare – Did You Know?

  • Ransomware continues to plague organisations

  • In a survey conducted in 2020, it was found that over a third of companies across 150 countries were hit by a ransomware attack
  • Ransomware attacks are ever increasing in complexity and cyber criminals are becoming more ‘skilled’ and efficient at exploiting network and system vulnerabilities
  • This leaves many organisations with a significant ‘clean-up’ bill

Who Are Hackers Targeting With Ransomware?

  • Everyone – any individual or organisation. Hackers do not discriminate.
  • No country, sector or vertical segment is safe

What are the Effects of Ransomware Attacks?

The effects are devastating and include:

  • Huge ransomware demands
  • Significant down-time
  • Business disruption
  • Reputational damage
  • Loss of data
  • Risk of private data being sold on the dark web 

How do Ransomware Attacks Get on the Network?

  • Via a file download/email with a malicious link
  • Via remote attack on server
  • Via email with malicious attachment
  • Misconfigured public cloud instances
  • Via a remote desktop protocol

  • Via a supplier who works with our organisation
  • Via a USB/removable media device

How do Ransomware Attacks Work?

Ransomware attackers use a wide range of tactics, techniques, and procedures to penetrate victims’ network. Many are now using multiple methods at a time, leading to greater risks of exploitation.

What do Ransomware Attackers do?

  1. Gain Entry

  • They try to gain entry it by sending a spam or phishing email with a malicious attachment of a web download or document containing exploits
  • They attempt to exploit remote file sharing management features

  1. Seize Opportunities to Exploit system

Attackers will seize an opportunity to exploit system vulnerabilities, often allowing them to bypass security software and gain administrator rights.

  1. Bypassing and Disabling Security Systems

Many attackers will bypass and disable security systems

  1. Deploy Payload by Using an Automated or Manual Exploit

Attackers will delete local back-ups, making recovery very difficult. They will then use this as leverage when asking their victim to pay a ransom.

Many also attempt to sell sensitive company data on the dark web.

  1. Spread Ransomware

Hackers will encrypt the organisations data and files and will spread ransomware, allowing the damage to spread across the network.

  1. Ransom Note

This is when the demands began, hackers will leave a ransom note demanding payment for files to be decrypted.

  1. The Wait

The attackers will wait for victims to contact them via email or a dark web website

How To Stay Protected from Ransomware:

  1. Upgrade your IT security

Your firewall and endpoint security can protect against attacks getting onto the network in the first instance

  1. Lockdown Remote Access and Management

Locking down your organisations remote desktop protocol access, open ports and other management protocols is one of the most effective steps you can take to secure against targeted ransomware attacks.

Best Practices for Firewall and Network Configuration:

Your firewall should be able to be restricted and available to only VPN users.

Minerva is Here to Help

Sophos is the first choice for over 500,000 organisations and millions of customers, in more than 150 countries worldwide. Our partnership with Sophos began over 20 years ago. They continue to dominate the industry and have maintained their reputation for developing high-quality cyber security products and services, powered by the latest technology.

Find out more about Sophos’s suite of security solutions, or to speak to us, please give us a call or leave us an enquiry.