April 1, 2024

The Rising Tide of Ransomware: Defense Strategies for SecOps

The number of documented ransomware attacks in 2023 reached 4,368, a 55% increase from the previous year and a clearly concerning trend for the cybersecurity community. These nefarious acts compromise the integrity and confidentiality of sensitive data and present substantial financial and operational risks to organizations globally.

With cyber adversaries employing increasingly sophisticated attack methods, Security Operations (SecOps) teams face the daunting task of safeguarding critical assets against this menace.

Leveraging Threat Intelligence Sharing to Combat Ransomware

Ransomware adversaries deploy a myriad of tactics to infiltrate and compromise organizational networks. From phishing emails and social engineering to exploit kits and supply chain attacks, the attack surface is vast and varied.

What is concerning is the enormity of the problem. It is a prolific topic that comes regularly, and organizations should keep this in mind.

So, how can SecOps teams successfully navigate and mitigate these ever-evolving threats?

The first step is to gain insights into ransomware adversaries' tactics, techniques and procedures while bolstering your organization's resilience against attacks. Active participation in Information Sharing and Analysis Centers (ISACs) tailored to an organization's needs can achieve this. These centers play a pivotal role in assisting organizations with safeguarding critical infrastructure by collecting, analyzing, and sharing actionable threat intelligence among their members.

ISACs issue 24/7 threat warnings, provide incident reporting capabilities and empower members with tools for threat mitigation, ultimately enhancing overall resilience.

Another crucial step that enables proactive defense against ransomware is to deploy a purpose-built threat intelligence management platform tailored to your specific organization's specifications, which curates and enriches relevant raw data from hundreds of diverse sources of threat intelligence and provides real-time dashboards and machine-readable threat intelligence to help security teams quickly understand assess, prioritize, and proactively stop threats.

Integrate Ransomware Defense into Overall Risk Management

What should a ransomware prevention strategy look like? Ransomware protection strategies must align with an organization’s overall risk and compliance strategies. It cannot operate successfully in a siloed environment.

You need to know what critical assets and processes keep your business running and who or what protects those assets. Many companies need help identifying the assets they protect. This difficulty arises because vulnerabilities may exist in less obvious areas, such as  back-end ordering systems, rather than in the most apparent ones.

Any part of the business operations could be vulnerable to cybercriminal attacks. Plugging those gaps is essential to prevent business disruption, financial loss, and regulatory censure.

Untangling the Complexity of Complying with Cybersecurity Regulations

Adhering to data protection regulations and those aimed at combating ransomware cyberattacks can be complicated, as laws and regulations can differ from state to state, federal jurisdictions, and internationally.

It is crucial to keep up-to-date with national security compliance regulations. However, it is vital to be aware that more states are creating their own regulations, which adds complexity for companies operating in multiple states, as each state may have distinct requirements, such as those for Texas and California. Although templates may be similar, subtle differences exist.

Additionally, international regulations differ from those in the US. Multinational companies operating abroad may unintentionally violate local laws and vice versa.

Using a platform that can identify and flag relevant regulatory concerns for your business is crucial for navigating the ever-changing landscape of cybercrime regulations. You can seamlessly align with your overall business policies by implementing robust cybersecurity compliance protocols.

Understanding Unique Frameworks and Vulnerabilities

In addition to general regulatory requirements, various sectors have specific frameworks and encounter distinct vulnerabilities. Breaches in these sectors can have profound consequences, extending beyond business operations to impact the public, national security, and financial markets.

Companies, particularly those within sectors with unique requirements, would benefit from adopting a cloud-native security solution. Such solutions offer tailored threat intelligence and can address sectors' unique threats and compliance needs like finance, healthcare, or government. Additionally, they provide scalability, rapid deployment, and integration capabilities, significantly enhancing an organization's resilience against ransomware.

The SecOps team needs the support of the business in adopting the right tools to manage and mitigate cyber threats. Businesses must prioritize security, recognizing its close connection to their operations. While there may not be a direct financial return on investments in security, neglecting it can lead to costly consequences in the event of a security breach. By investing in security measures, businesses can protect themselves and avoid potential financial losses.

Overcoming the Ransomware Challenges Using the Right Tools

A significant challenge faced by SecOps teams revolves around the abundance of false positives generated through automated processes within the security environment. Investigating each one is time-consuming, resource-intensive, and prone to human error.

The solution lies in leveraging tools capable of quickly discerning false positives and filtering out noise, allowing teams to focus efforts on genuine threats. After implementing Anomali solutions such as ThreatStream and the Security Analytics, companies have experienced many notable benefits.

For example, The Bank of Hope could more efficiently manage a substantial analytical workload, leading to savings on headcount while increasing overall capacity. Additionally, the reported false positive rates decreased significantly, reducing analysts' time chasing non-existent problems.

Blackhawk Network echoed similar satisfaction, stating that "Anomali enabled us to spend less time dealing with noise and more time focusing on critical issues."

Federal Systems Integrator (FSI) successfully integrated the ThreatStream solution seamlessly into various other cybersecurity tools in their environment and highlighted the support received from the Anomali team.

Anomali Your Best Defense Against Cyber Threats 

"In the fight against ransomware, the best defense is one built on data and aligned properly to the threats a company faces." — World Economic Forum, 2023

As cybercriminals continuously refine their techniques to exploit vulnerabilities within organizations' systems, they wield many tools to breach defenses. For businesses, regardless of size, safeguarding assets remains an ongoing challenge, demanding a tailored and robust solution.

Such a solution should align with the intricacies of their operations, seamlessly integrate into existing systems, and be scalable to accommodate the expansion of their enterprise and the persistent evolution of threats.

Contact us today to request a demo on how we can help you safeguard your critical infrastructure against ransomware attacks.

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