Ransomware threats are increasingly challenging for global organizations with the shift to remote and hybrid work. This business shift brought with it new ransomware attack methods, significant financial and economic damage, and diverse responses from affected organizations. Ransomware attacks can be viewed as lessons informing future security plans to mitigate risk. As companies continue to evolve their operational strategies, their security posture must also evolve to stay ahead of threats.
Companies no longer have the visibility and control they once did inside their perimeter as they continue to support remote and hybrid work. Threat operators are profiting from the related vulnerabilities for three distinct reasons:
Control and Visibility Have Changed: Most enterprise-level companies allow employees to work remotely from anywhere. The employees anticipate that unmanaged, personal devices connected to networks outside the traditional perimeter will provide seamless access to all resources. Companies have reduced visibility and control over business-connected endpoints making it challenging to understand the risks posed by users and the devices they’re working from.
Mobile Devices Makes Phishing Easier for Threat Operators: Threat operators are constantly searching for discreet entrances to companies’ infrastructure. Someone can acquire authorized access while going undetected by compromising an employee’s credentials. They primarily use employees’ mobile devices to phish for credentials. Employees can be targeted through various apps including SMS, social media platforms, and third-party messaging apps because smartphones and tablets are consistently used for both work and personal reasons. Phones and tablets are prime targets for socially engineered phishing campaigns because of the simplified user interfaces that conceal any signs of phishing.
VPNs Allows Lateral Movement: Companies depend on VPNs to provide remote access to resources for their employees; however, the strategy has numerous security flaws. A VPN provides unlimited access to everyone who connects, allowing anyone to freely access any app in their infrastructure through lateral movement. VPNs don’t assess the context surrounding users’ or devices’ connections. To detect anomalous activities that indicate a compromised account or device, context is essential.
Three Ways to Protect Against Ransomware
Ransomware attacks are leaving anytime soon, and threat actors have turned their operations into an enterprise, producing scalable, repeatable, and profitable campaigns. Even though there isn’t a solution to ransomware-proof companies, there are numerous ways to mitigate the risk.
- Protecting Managed and Unmanaged Users – Visibility into the risk level of devices and users is the first step to mitigating against ransomware to ensure they aren’t compromised. The security of an entire system can be negatively impacted by one compromised user or device. Because of hybrid work, companies are sometimes forced to implement a bring-your-own-device (BYOD) model, meaning that unmanaged personal devices have access to sensitive data. It’s crucial that companies have proper data controls in place because these devices tend to be less secure than managed devices.
- Implement Granular and Dynamic Access Controls – Companies need to abandon the all-or-nothing approach of VPNs. It’s important to understand the context in which users are accessing their corporate apps and data especially with users logging in from anywhere. Companies provide the right level of access to specific apps and only to the users who need it by using the Zero Trust principle.
- Modernize On-Premises Applications – Software that’s hosted in a data center and accessible from the internet is still being used by numerous companies. Updating software with cloud access policies that cloak the apps, hiding them from the public internet, but allowing authorized users access to them from anywhere is an effective approach. This provides granular access controls and extends the SAAS apps’ strong authentication security benefits ensuring no unauthorized users can locate and access their infrastructures.
With more global companies shifting to remote and hybrid working, it’s critical that organizations remain vigilant on the current threat landscape and only allow authorized users to have access to data network infrastructure. At SpearTip, our certified engineers understand the importance of maintaining a mature security posture that meets individual organizational needs. Our engineers at our Security Operations Center work 24/7/365 in a continuous investigative cycle ready to respond to events at a moment’s notice to mitigate ransomware threats. Our ShadowSpear Platform integrates with major cloud platforms allowing advanced insight into cloud tenants ensuring our platform protects the tenant from unauthorized access and detects advanced ransomware threats targeting cloud workloads. Additionally, our platform integrates with IT and security technology partners allowing the correlation of events from firewalls and network devices on a single pane of glass.
If your company is experiencing a breach, call our Security Operations Centers at 833.997.7327 to speak directly with an engineer.