Upon scanning the above question, most of the readers would think that the two things don’t add up. Since we’re on holidays, why do we need to worry about a ransomware attack, or any other form of cyber attack for that matter?
Well, the reality is quite the opposite. While you may be having a great time reconnecting with family and friends this holiday season, the cyber criminals out there might take this as the perfect opportunity to strike at your enterprise via a ransomware attack.
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This holiday season is otherwise quite significant because many people would be properly connecting with family and friends for the first time since the pandemic. Most of us would use these holidays as a window to “switch off”, go off-grid and just relax.
While there is nothing wrong with this approach, it is equally important that the employees in general, and IT as well as information security personnel in particular are well prepared for any cyber attack during the upcoming holiday season.
Cybereason Study on the Threat of Ransomware
In order to determine the preparedness of enterprises for cyber attacks during holidays, cyber security company Cybereason conducted a study called “Ransomware Attackers Don’t Take Holidays”.
The findings of this report are based on the opinions of over twelve hundred cyber security professionals. Each of these cyber and information security professionals belonged to mid sized companies, with 700 or more employees.
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The entire sample size for this study belonged to organizations that had been hit by a ransomware attack over the past year. The other qualifying criterion for this survey was that these attacks took place either during the holidays, or the weekends.
Key Points of Cybereason Survey
Here are a few key points from this study that was conducted by Cybereason:-
- 25% of the surveyed organizations did not have any plan in place to deal with a ransomware attack during a holiday, or the weekend.
- 36% of the respondents cited the lack of a contingency plan as the reason behind the success of such ransomware attacks over the holidays.
- A majority 60% of the respondents said they took longer than expected to analyze the true scope of the damage inflicted by the ransomware attack.
- 50% of the respondents said they required longer than the average time to respond to ransomware attacks that took place over the holidays.
- Another 33% said they required a longer time period in order to recover from the attack, resulting in prolonged disruption of operations or downtime.
- 86% of the participants said they had to miss out on their weekend, or holidays as a direct consequence of a ransomware attack.
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The above stats are an eye-opener for every enterprise out there, that this upcoming holiday season will be no exception. On the contrary, we may witness a sharp increase in the number of ransomware attacks during the upcoming holidays.
How these Entities Responded to Ransomware?
Let us also discuss the measures that the surveyed organizations adopted, to prevent the recurrence of such ransomware attacks in the future:
- 68% of the targeted organizations opted to add new cyber security technologies.
- Nearly 51% of the respondents put in place a contingency plan for such attacks.
- 41% organizations ensured the availability of additional staff during such holidays.
What Can You Do to Improve Your Security?
In view of the above circumstances, it would be wise that organizations adopt some prevention and mitigation measures at the earliest, which are listed below.
- Engage a managed cyber security services provider, especially if you lack the in-house expertise in ransomware protection.
- De-activate the maximum possible number of user accounts with privileged access rights, especially the ones with domain level admin access.
- Implement a high quality endpoint detection and response (EDR) solution, which will help in identifying and isolating the root cause of the problem.
- Sensitize your employees about the threat of ransomware, so they practice the security protocols that have been prescribed by the organization.
- Ensure the availability, and accessibility of your key cyber security personnel during the holidays, so they can timely initiate the isolation and restore process if required.
- It is imperative to put your backup and restore plan to the test, by creating mock situations that replicate the attack patterns of ransomware attacks.
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The threat of ransomware attacks is very high right now, and enterprises will have to tackle this issue with proper planning. The cyber miscreants out there have already started identifying “soft targets” that they may try to exploit over this holiday season.
So, the best approaches towards developing ransomware protection are prevention and preparedness. Then comes the equally crucial aspect of mitigating the impact of ransomware, and being able to restore operations successfully via alternate avenues.
Contact dinCloud for cloud solutions that are secure, reliable and also offer robust protection against ransomware as a part of the service.