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Feb 4, 2024

The Growing Threat of Ransomware Calls for More Resilient Security


A constantly evolving threat landscape forces cybersecurity experts to always be on the lookout for new attacks. At the same time, certain types of cyber-attacks have proven so successful that threat actors continue to employ them without hesitation. Ransomware is one of them. The growing threat of ransomware calls for more resilient security policies and technical solutions.

Resilient security is best understood as an organization’s ability to prepare for, withstand, and recover from cyber attacks. A resilient security strategy seeks to proactively identify and mitigate vulnerabilities. It seeks to detect threats as early as possible and respond to them swiftly. Finally, resilient security should minimize the negative impacts of any attack.

Ransomware Is Growing

How serious is the ransomware issue? According to the Q3 (2023) Ransomware Report from Corvus, “global ransomware frequency continues to climb.” Reported attacks rose 11.22% in Q3 2023 compared to the same quarter in 2022. Year-on-year, Corvus observed a 95.41% increase.

Though numbers for Q4 2023 are not yet in, Corvus stated in its Q3 report an expectation that attack velocity would increase during the last three months of the year. They associated it with normal seasonal increases. So what does all this mean for organizations and their cybersecurity postures? It means that more resilient security isn’t an option. It is mission critical.

A Threat to Be Taken Seriously

Ransomware remains a persistent threat that every organization should take seriously. Operating under the assumption that one’s organization isn’t valuable enough to attack is to invite threat actors to give it a shot. Not taking steps to prevent ransomware attacks only increases the likelihood that they will occur.

Hillstone Networks believes in being proactive about ransomware. We start with prevention before moving on to detection and response, followed by recovery. In a perfect world, every ransomware attack is stopped dead in its tracks. But when that isn’t the case, organizations need to be prepared for quick recovery.

Preventing Successful Intrusion

Preventing threat actors from launching ransomware attacks is impossible. But organizations can prevent successful intrusion by employing the right strategies supported by comprehensive policies. Prevention generally involves the following:

  • Access Control – Through zero trust network access and enforcing strong password policies, an organization makes it much more difficult for threat actors to get through with malware.
  • Email Security – Given that email is a fairly common ransomware entry point, implementing robust filtering can block intrusion attempts from ever reaching inboxes.
  • Network Segmentation – Network segmentation can prevent an attack from completely locking down an organization’s entire infrastructure. If a threat does get through, network segmentation can minimize the damage.

All prevention strategies are underscored by robust training. Personnel should routinely be trained in how to recognize the social engineering techniques commonly deployed by threat actors to carry out ransomware attacks.

Responding to Identified Threats

Hillstone Networks recommends robust detection and response strategies to further enhance prevention efforts. As an example, continually monitoring networks and cloud environments for suspicious activity can alert security experts to ransomware attacks in its earliest stages.

Meanwhile, threat intelligence keeps the security team up to date on the latest ransomware attacks. The most up-to-date information keeps them informed as to what they should be looking for. The information can be coupled with regular penetration testing to understand how threat actors might get in.

When Attacks Do Succeed

Ransomware attacks sometimes succeed despite the most robust security strategies. Yet a successful attack does not have to be answered with ransom payment. Organizations can prepare for successful attacks through strategies built around supporting data backups and disaster recovery.

The threat of ransomware attacks appears to be a permanent part of the cybersecurity landscape, at least for now. Organizations should take the threat seriously. We certainly do at Hillstone Networks. We can help your organization prepare through network detection and response, zero trust network access, and micro-segmentation. To learn more, contact us at your earliest convenience. We are here to help your organization keep all cyber threats at bay.