Ransomware: How it Works and How to remove it

In the last couple of years, there has been an increase in ransomware attacks resulting in severe crippling of businesses and, in some cases, the collapse of businesses. Picture this: About 37% of small companies that were hit by ransomware had fewer than 100 employees. Ransomware attacks are designed such that they can lay dormant on your system/device until the device is at its most vulnerable and only then executes an attack. Let’s learn a bit more about them and what are the causes of ransomware infection. What Is Ransomware and Causes of Ransomware Infection? In simple words, ransomware is malware that encrypts the victim’s information and then holds that information at ransom. When hackers inject malware code into a device, the data on the device gets encrypted and deny access to the original owner of the data. To gain access back and decrypt the data, the hackers demand ransom and thus the word ransomware. What are the causes of Ransomware Infection and Ransomware Statistics While there are several causes of ransomware infection, the most common and the most effective is a ‘Phishing emails attack,’ at 54%. Phishing email attacks are among the most common ways hackers install ransomware on your device. There are various types of phishing attacks, like whaling, vishing, and smishing. While they are meant for different devices – the interconnected systems can spread the infection from one device to another. The other causes of ransomware infections include: Ransomware Attack Examples Some of the prominent ransomware attack examples include: Ransomware Distribution Techniques Ransomware usually gets installed on your device discretely when you click a link or download an attachment with malicious code designed to get secretly installed into a device. There are several ways the bad actors distribute ransomware, including prominent ones. How ransomware works? A ransomware attack starts when a malware code in your device encrypts your data. As mentioned earlier, a malicious ransomware code can lay dormant on your device, and you will not know about it till it starts encrypting your data and denying access to the critical data. And once your device is infected with ransomware, it proceeds in seven stages. Ransomware Protection Prevention is always better than cure – the saying is true when it comes to protecting your organization. Here are six ways to protect your organization from ransomware.  Steps to Ransomware Removal Detected a ransomware infection in your network? Follow these five steps to mitigate an active ransomware infection:   The Business Impact of Ransomware When we talk about the business impact of ransomware, its financial impact is one aspect. So, what are the impacts of ransomware on a business? There are five ways a ransomware infection sabotages your business. Ace Data’s Data Protection Solutions Ransomware attacks are on the rise, and they are here to stay. With each attack becoming more sophisticated, it is up to organizations to protect and secure their data. Ace Data, with its comprehensive cybersecurity solutions, protect your data wherever your data resides – in the cloud or hybrid environment or on the premises. With a vision and mission to empower our clients’ data lifecycle through end-to-end services and robust cloud delivery models and to deliver complete peace of mind to every customer, Ace Data offers data protection solutions like cloud backup solutions, managed backup services, Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service, Archival-as-a-Service, and Backup & Data Assessment.

Ransomware: How it Works and How to remove it Read More »

Ransomware Attack

8 Ways To Prevent Ransomware Attack from Damaging Businesses

Ransomware Attack have compromised many organizations’ data by preventing access to encrypted critical business information, which directly impacts the business and its brand credibility. Chances are that you may have heard of at least one organization that has suffered a ransomware attack. It could be your local police department, a hospital, or even someone in your family. Such cases are all over the news. There are several types of ransomware, including Wannacry, Petya, Locky, EternalBlue, LataRebo Locker, TeslaCrypt, and Bad Rabbit, among others. Wannacry was a major ransomware infection that hit a large part of the world two years back, the impact of which is still left after two years. The ransomware attacks claimed over 200,000 victims in over 150 countries. Many of the victims were locked out of their files with a ransom demanding their release. Needless to say, it was a disaster for the affected businesses. The attack is a demonstration of how malicious ransomware can be. It has put a billion-dollar dent in many economies all over the world. Protecting yourself against ransomware attacks is therefore becoming all the more important. Needless to say, it was a disaster for the affected businesses. The attack is a demonstration of how malicious ransomware can be. It has put a billion-dollar dent in many economies all over the world. Protecting yourself against ransomware attacks is therefore becoming all the more important. Ransomware variants of the kind of Samsam and Sodinokibi have targeted many businesses with ransomware attacks, using a wide range of brute force tactics to break into networks and multiple devices across the entire organization, placing personal and business data in jeopardy before the attackers issuing high-value ransom. While backup and restoration services are essential elements to safeguard your endpoint security, it is just one of several safeguards within a multi-faceted approach needed to effectively mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack. Recovering from backup copies can help reduce the extent of damage to business users by saving sensitive files. Using a robust Cloud Backup service can be an additional safeguard over routine on-premise backup. Cloud storage services will enable protection against a situation of a ransomware attack on the entire network. Ransomware attacks are costly & therefore ransomware protection is critical. The type of Ransomware attacks can vary in size, but it’s becoming increasingly common for hackers to demand payment worth thousands of dollars to restore access to the network. And the reason these cyber criminals can demand this much money from victims is to regain access to data. If you have not suffered a ransomware attack, then you are either extremely lucky or have put some measures in place to protect your files. Once your computer gets infected with ransomware, and you don’t have a backup, you can only hope the cyber criminals make some kind of mistake. Otherwise, you will be left with the option of paying whatever ransom they demand or losing your files forever. If there is a situation where the entire corporate network is locked with a malware attack, it means the organization can’t do business. They could end up losing large amounts of revenue for each day, perhaps even every hour, the network is unavailable. For context, it’s estimated that the NotPetya ransomware attack cost shipping firm Maersk losses amounting to millions of dollars. If an organization chooses not to pay the ransomware demand, it will find itself losing revenue for a period that could last weeks, perhaps months. They’ll also likely find themselves paying a large sum of money for a security company to come in and restore access to the devices by ransomware decryption. In many cases, this might even cost more than the ransom payment. Still, at least in this instance, the payment is going to a legitimate business rather than funding the cybercriminals. Since cybercriminals are motivated by money, many ransomware attacks target big businesses and corporate networks.  After all, they have the most to lose if their data is encrypted. A good number of major organizations suffered at least one ransomware attack in the last year. The main reason big businesses are the targets of these malicious attacks is that they are ‘profitable’ victims. Government agencies or hospitals need to immediately access their files and are more likely to succumb to ransom demands. Other organizations, such as law firms, may want to keep news about a possible breach to themselves since they have sensitive data and may look to settle the issue with the attackers. Additionally, big firms are targeted because they can be easily infected. This is because most of the employees working outside their IT departments don’t take cybersecurity seriously. Most assume cybersecurity is being handled by the company and therefore feel no need to be proactive in managing their own cyberdefense networks. Such employees end up downloading risky email attachments or visiting suspicious sites, exposing the business to ransomware attacks. There are a variety of ways in which ransomware can get into your computer. The most common is through downloading a spam email attachment (phishing scam). The attachments are disguised as trustworthy, but once downloaded, they can take over your computer. Some ransomware has built-in social engineering that tricks you into allowing administrative access to the perpetrators. Another way that ransomware can gain entry into your computer is by clicking on ‘malverts,’ which are fake ads generated by hackers. Other Ransomware, such as NotPetya, is super aggressive and can enter your computer by exploiting a security hole without necessarily tricking you into clicking anything. Once Ransomware has gained access to your system, it typically encrypts some or all the files in your computer, making them inaccessible. Once your files have been decrypted, they can only be opened by a mathematical key only possessed by the cybercriminal. The attackers then contact you, informing you that your files have been encrypted and can only be accessed if you pay a certain amount of money. In most cases, they demand payment in cryptocurrency as they are

8 Ways To Prevent Ransomware Attack from Damaging Businesses Read More »


How Ransomware Affects Law Firms?

Ransomware has been making news, whether right or wrong, depending on which side of the security angle you are – attacker or defender. Ransomware has become a business model for attackers, with ransomware-as-a-service becoming commonly available. And for defenders, it has added to their woes. Cited as one of the most devastating forms of cybercrimes, ransomware attacks leave the victims in the most pathetic state – an organization can ever imagine. Ransomware Attacks: Why Hackers Love Law Firms? There are numerous reasons why hackers love law firms and target them. Law professionals are there to protect the general public from any mishap, and when they fall into a honeytrap set by hackers and are forced to dance to their tunes – it is a double bonanza for threat actors. All said and done, here are a few reasons hackers love and target law firms. Why Hackers Target Law Firms? 1.   Huge quantities of valuable and sensitive data:  The amount of data law firms collect, store, and deal with is huge. And most of it is critically sensitive data like PIIs related to their clients, employees, and partners. But that is not all; law firms also collect confidential corporate information, trade secrets, and intellectual property, among other things. 2.   Cybersecurity is not a priority for law firms Especially for small and medium-sized law firms, Cybersecurity is not a priority. That’s the sad truth. While your firm may have gone digital, cybersecurity is an afterthought. Trust us when we say it is not the lack of security concern; it is not a priority now. Ironical, isn’t it? This is when there has been a significant rise in cyberattacks, especially phishing and ransomware attacks. With cybersecurity not being a priority, your firm leaves numerous loopholes in its security architecture, thus increasing the attack surfaces for hackers. 3.   Unsecured websites When you enter an unsecured website, you get a warning from your antivirus or firewall saying – the website you are entering is unsafe – your immediate reaction is to shut it. Unsecured websites give easy access to hackers to infiltrate and steal the information that passes through the website. Additionally, an unsecured website can make your customers wary of doing business with you. 4.   Untrained employees  It has already been established humans are the weakest link in the cybersecurity chain. How can you strengthen this link? Through training and educating them on phishing emails and what can be repercussions of opening such emails. Think about this, the chances of untrained employees opening phishing emails increase by 70%, and this is a huge number for hackers to leverage the loophole. 5.   Lack of Incident Response Plans The criticality of incident response plans has been discussed repeatedly, yet numerous law firms don’t have IRPs set in place. If you think having Incident Response Plan in place is expensive, consider the expense and time consumption of a data breach. Vectors of Malware – The Malicious Code Carriers Some of the common vectors that carry or deploy malicious codes include: Exploiting your vulnerabilities Attackers are always on the lookout for vulnerabilities in your system, and any unpatched vulnerability is their entry ticket to your system. A report by Secureworks titled 2022 State of the Threat – revealed the exploitation of vulnerabilities was one of the common ransomware vectors in 2022. Vulnerabilities can be in terms of outdated software that has not been updated. There can be misconfiguration in the code that lets hackers enter your system. Once there, they deploy ransomware code. Security weaknesses should be treated with utmost urgency to avoid ransomware attacks. Phishing Can we say anything more about Phishing that has not been said earlier? Automated mass emailers, messages, or voice messages are all it takes to deploy a phishing attack. Hackers here rely on human error and gain unauthorized access to your system. Once inside, they deploy a ransomware code. Employees’ training and continuous monitoring for security weaknesses can help avoid ransomware attacks. Compromised credentials The second choice of weapon for hackers is compromised credentials, aka stolen or leaked credentials. Stolen credentials imply direct and authentic access to the system or sensitive data. How do you avoid attacks in such scenarios? Though there is no guarantee that your credentials will never leak, you can control the damage. Train your employees and yourself to update your credentials every now and then. Opt for longer and more complex passwords – which at a glance may pass off as gibberish but means something to you. Distributed Denial of Service or DDOS This is one of the standard cybercrimes hackers have indulged in for a long time. The attack is deployed by flooding a server with internet traffic to prevent users from assessing any online services connected to the server. It is challenging to protect against DDoS attacks because the entire idea is to overwhelm the victim. However, continuous monitoring of the internet traffic can help mitigate the threat. Social engineering This attack is a prime example of how hackers take advantage of human vulnerabilities to gain access to the system and deploy ransomware code. With legitimate credentials, it is a bit harder to protect against social engineering attacks; however, close monitoring of any suspicious activities can help mitigate the threat. Employees’ training can also help in preventing social engineering attacks. Pop-ups We have all seen them from time to time on our laptops, desktops, and other devices. While the pop-ups are legitimate advertisements, they can be injected with malicious code, and you may not know about them. It is difficult to protect against malicious pop-ups, but employee training and restricting pop-ups can help mitigate the threat. Remote Desktop Protocol It is generally used by IT teams to troubleshoot the problem remotely. But with vulnerabilities in your system, hackers can also access and control your devices as per their will. The best way to mitigate this threat is by restricting user access to RDP. How Ransomware Affects Law Firms? Law firms need

How Ransomware Affects Law Firms? Read More »

Ransomware in Healthcare – Impact & Threats can be Defeated | Ace Data

Explore ransomware risks in healthcare with Ace Data’s insights. Strengthen cybersecurity to protect patient records. OR Healthcare providers are the prime targets for ransomware attacks because of the huge opportunity & high stakes. Threats of Ransomware in Healthcare can be to see when the Doctor is trying to save his life. Before diving deep into ransomware in healthcare, first, let’s understand what is ransomware. What is Ransomware? Ransomware is malware that gets installed on your files and encrypts them. You are then unable to access them, making it difficult for you to do your work. Users are required to pay a fee to get encryption keys and make the files useful for them again. If the victim doesn’t pay the ransom demand in a given target time, they will lose their data. Ransom demands are generally made in the form of cryptocurrency, making it difficult to trace the criminal who is demanding the payment. This makes it easy for the criminal to get away with it. Importance of Data Data is important for all industries. The criticality of data can be judged by the consumer of it. A personal photo means it’s probably the most critical digital asset for them. Financial records, customer information, and customer service consumption patterns are a few of the key things helping everyone deliver better customer service. The increase in dependency on online applications makes it more critical for specific industries, like healthcare, to have a strong cybersecurity strategy. Data is generated and stored only online, unlike industries like manufacturing, where they still keep some data in the form of delivery challans or invoices from the Exit gates. Data in Healthcare For a healthcare organization, digital data is the lifeline. Not only for the company’s own business to survive but also for his patients to survive. They cannot imagine losing data and waiting for a long to get data back to cure their patients. Attackers find this to be critical and want to threaten them more than any other industry. The volume of data is huge in healthcare. Compliance needs them to retain data for a long. This is true for many industries, but it becomes important for healthcare professionals to study old patient records in order to be able to treat patients better next time. A patient’s history and adherence to a treatment line are important for critical patients with reduced immunity and antibiotic resistance. For example, knowing which antibiotic would help better becomes critical for acute diseases. Healthcare providers can’t afford to lose or delay access to their patient data. A cancer research organization, for example, needs to have all the historic information of the patient for patient care and also for the research teams for their research work to find a better way to cure. They need to minimize any risks that hamper data security or cause delays. Hospitals and Clinicians cannot recreate reports every now and then as these are not MS Office data reports. These are real-time patient records stored in the equipment and attached storage. The human body’s organs change conditions quickly, especially during illness and Doctors have to react fast. They cannot rely on their memory so facts and data is very important to them. Healthcare data is very important for various allied industries, both good and bad. Criminals involved in drug trafficking and money laundering utilize these medical records to obtain prescription medications, and bogus medical claims, or acquire them for informing open credit cards and fraudulent loans. Also Read: Ransomware Trends for 2023 Protecting Data in Healthcare To protect healthcare data use safe & secure login mechanisms. Password policy should be very stringent so that users cannot rely on standard and easy-to-remember passwords. Use Multi-Factor authentication mechanisms for all applications including email applications. Most of them offer software-based MFA so there is not too much investment to make here. A malicious attack on your network can be devastating. To avoid this, you can deploy multiple security solutions. One thing you can do is deploy a firewall solution that blocks all traffic by default, then opens specific ports for the services that need to communicate on outside of your network. You also have to be careful about which ports are open to outside connections because hackers often send packets over an open port instead. A lot of threads come in through email. Emails offering lucrative deals are dangerous. Enterprises should deploy email filtering solutions, ensuring such emails get blocked on the server. Businesses should protect themselves against such emails by filtering them out on the server. These solutions can analyze the content of the email and block any spam or malicious emails. Continuous training and learning should be planned for the entire staff. Users should be regularly updated about the latest trends and spread mechanisms. No user should be opening any unknown emails and attachments. Social media applications & all other applications not useful for official work should be blocked from access on the Enterprise network. Security is the one thing that cannot be compromised. It should be a key component of your roadmap. When it comes to security, you need to have a clear idea of what is being used and how it’s being productive. Furthermore, you need to know how quickly upgrades are being implemented. Stay safe by taking data backups. Keep your backups away from your production network, ex. backup to the cloud or move backups to an alternate Data Center. Try and maintain a data backup replication site as well. Backup applications support scan checks on data being backed up & restored so deploy the best solution for your requirement. Check your backup and recovery processes regularly to protect against attacks of ransomware in Healthcare. Also, be sure that there is no time lost when recovery is required.  Contact us to help build a robust data backup strategy so that you can recover Healthcare data quickly in the event of a ransomware attack. Also Read: Best Practices for Healthcare Data Backup &

Ransomware in Healthcare – Impact & Threats can be Defeated | Ace Data Read More »

Ransomware Protection

Ransomware Protection Using Cloud Backup

Ransomware attacks are becoming more prevalent and sophisticated. According to research by Sophos, the average cost of recovering from a ransomware attack has now topped $2 million. The direct and indirect costs of recovery are ten times greater than the ransom payment itself on average. What’s more, only 8% of businesses who pay the ransom retrieve all of their data. The simple solution to this is Ransomware Protection using Cloud Backup and disaster recovery solutions. The best solution to ransomware is to never be at cyber criminals’ mercy in the first place. Stopping every piece of malware from entering your network might be impossible, but protecting your sensitive data isn’t. A regular schedule of cloud backup is the cornerstone of any modern disaster recovery plan. Ideally, it runs in the background on a continuous basis. In the event of a ransomware attack, hardware can be formatted and data restored. Through cloud backup, you can be back to full operating capacity in hours or minutes rather than months. Cloud backup is effective for ransomware protection because it ensures your data is not confined to your premises. An attacker who gains access to your network can’t damage your backup data in any way. Your backups stand behind another layer of security supervised by your cloud backup service provider, ensuring they are always ready for recovery. Even the fallout from physical server malfunctions can be mitigated quickly. Too many organizations are relying on an internal IT team or even individual employees to back up their data. These tedious, time-consuming processes are easily overlooked. Even when data is captured, it may be difficult to identify, locate, and use for disaster recovery. An automated solution simplifies the process. When you partner with the right cloud backup service provider for ransomware protection, complete data recovery is as easy as clicking a button. That helps you get critical services back online fast and frees up resources for the other elements of your disaster recovery plan. The faster your data is restored, the better – and nothing is faster than cloud backup. From your leadership team to your investors and even your customers, crucial stakeholders want to know their mission-critical data is safe. Cloud backup takes the guesswork out of the equation.

Ransomware Protection Using Cloud Backup Read More »

How Data Backup in Healthcare can make or break your response to Ransomware?

Health Records and Histories are critical data for healthcare. So, Hospitals should invest in good data backup in healthcare to prevent ransomware attacks. It’s also crucial to have complete histories of each patient because you never know when something new will come up, but hackers can get access too if there isn’t enough security at your hospitalization center- which means everyone needs a good backup solution to protect a potential data loss or paying ransom for a data loss. So, data backup in Healthcare can make or break your response to Ransomware. Healthcare organizations should always be on top of their game, and one way to ensure that they are ready for any emergency situation is by investing in reliable backup solutions. If you lose data or have an updated plan miss its deadline because something went wrong during the process then there will likely never be another opportunity like this again which means lost revenue from patients who might return back into treatment only after being told everything was okay last time around when it turned out differently now what? What is Ransowmare? Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts your data and demands a ransom for the decryption key. This type of ransomware attack can be devastating for healthcare organizations, as it can lead to disruptions in patient care and loss of confidential data. In most cases, paying ransom does not guarantee full recovery of data. No matter how big or small your healthcare organization is, data backup in healthcare is crucial to your success. In the event of a ransomware attack, having a robust data backup plan can mean the difference between a quick recovery and a long, drawn-out process. An effective strategy for data backup in healthcare is especially important as they may be targeted by ransomware. By having secure backups of your data, you can ensure that you will always have a copy of your data even if your primary system is compromised. Instead of paying a ransom, you can rely on data backups in Healthcare to get your data back. The CyberPeace Institute has released new data on cyberattacks in the healthcare industry. According to the latest figures, 295 cyberattacks are known to have been conducted on the healthcare sector in 18 months between June 2, 2020, and December 3, 2021. The attacks have been occurring at a rate of 3.8 per week and have occurred in 35 countries. 165 attacks were confirmed ransomware attacks and another 98 were suspected of involving ransomware. In a 2021 survey conducted by 597 health delivery organizations (HDOs), 42% had faced two ransomware attacks in the past couple of years. After all, ransomware attacks undermine health care organization’s mission of providing their patients with timely care. Consider the following findings from the Ponemon study: Strategy for Data Backup in Healthcare Do, keep these in mind when planning a strategy for data backup in Healthcare organizations. At a minimum, you should have two copies: one on-site and one off-site. A typical cloud backup strategy helps achieve this. Keep one local copy and at least one cloud copy. You can opt for multiple cloud copies as well to doubly protect yourself. This could include external hard drives, USB flash drives, CDs/DVDs, or even online backup services. Cloud copy goes out of your network so an attack on your network does not touch your backups. Do data backup in Healthcare on a regular basis to ensure that it is working properly. This helps you to be ready with the right procedures at the time of disaster and be more confident about your backups. Make sure that your backups are stored in a secure location that is not accessible to unauthorized individuals. Look for cloud backup in healthcare options that do support multi-factor authentication so that even a password loss does not let someone delete your backups. This includes having the necessary software and hardware required for restoration. A good idea could be to keep the UAT servers ready to be promoted to production in the event of a hardware failure in production.  Look for a service provider/solution which performs regular consistency checks on the data stored so that corrupted backups (if any) are segregated immediately.  Review your storage usage patterns and bandwidth consumption. A sudden increase in data size should be closely monitored to see if encrypted files are getting backed up. A good backup solution should provide a facility to scan through its own processes. Scan the backup packets during backups so that infected data is not backed up. Scan the storage repository for zero-day explosion and monitor it against the latest threats developed post-backups. Ensure that data is scanned during restorations so that an infected packet does not get recovered and re-infect your network. Also Read: Best Practices for Healthcare Data Backup & Recovery By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you have a robust data backup strategy to protect your Healthcare organization from ransomware attacks. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that you have a robust data backup strategy to protect your Healthcare organization from ransomware attacks. Tags : Data Backup in Healthcare  Category: Data Backup, Healthcare, Ransomware

How Data Backup in Healthcare can make or break your response to Ransomware? Read More »