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Why being agile matters when it comes to a ransomware attack


Steve Usher, Security Services Manager, Brookcourt Solutions, offers his expert insights.

Over the course of the last few years, we have witnessed too many high-profile companies being featured in the media who have fallen victim to ransomware demands. In that moment, as a business leader, what are your first thoughts? Imagine for that moment what it might be like, if your organisation was hit by an attack – would you be ready?
Ransomware attacks are one of the most significant and rapidly evolving threats in the cybersecurity landscape. The damage a ransomware attack can cause to a business doesn’t bear thinking about. The financial loss, data loss and operational disruption will all take a toll on the overall reputation of an organisation.

For senior management, understanding how and why ransomware attacks happen is incredibly complex, especially without knowledge of vulnerabilities, code or a clear view of the methods, motivations and current activities of cybercriminals.

In a recent example, a senior security analyst joined top executives from a Fortune 500 company. He joined the meeting cold, not knowing what to expect, and was able to eloquently conduct a live review of threat intelligence, using the latest technology. The client struggled to comprehend the level of detail and how exposed the business actually was, leading to a greater understanding and hence the security posture was elevated.

The threat of ransomware is constantly evolving and we need to always remain ‘threat aware’. It’s a game of cat and mouse where we may often only learn from being exposed. However, our true strength comes from how we recover with agility. We need to educate business leaders to understand the threat will always be there. There is no escape; regularly reviewing your security posture and investing in your cyber security is paramount to protect your business, stakeholders and your data.

Here’s the five-point plan for better resilience:

1. Rapid Response: Time is of the essence in mitigating the impact of a ransomware attack – helping businesses understand the key next steps to identify and contain the attack, minimise its spread and prevent further damage. Delayed response can lead to increased data loss, extended downtime and higher financial costs for the affected organisation

2. Adaptive Solutions: Ransomware attacks constantly evolve, with new variants and techniques emerging regularly. Being ready to adapt tools, techniques and approaches to counter an evolving threat is paramount, having access to the latest threat intelligence, developing new detection and prevention mechanisms to help business with effective solutions to combat the specific ransomware strain they are facing

3. Collaboration and Information Sharing: Through active collaboration and information sharing with relevant stakeholders, including customers, industry peers, law enforcement agencies, we can foster a collaborative environment, pool resources, share insights and collectively respond to ransomware attacks more effectively

4. Incident Management and Recovery: Helping business to adopt a well-defined incident management process in place to handle ransomware attacks. This includes coordinating with customers, providing guidance on containment, facilitating communication and helping organisations return to normal operations as quickly as possible, as well as ensuring regular backups, including tests are put in place as part of on-going process

5. Continuous Improvement: By analysing attack patterns, post-incident reviews and lessons learned from every ransomware incident, we can refine better solutions for businesses to update their procedures and enhance their overall cyber resilience against future attacks.