Ways to Mitigate Ransomware Threats for Your Hybrid Workforce | SoftwareONE Blog

Ways to

Mitigate Ransomware Threats For Your Hybrid Workforce

Ways to Mitigate Ransomware Threats for Your Hybrid Workforce

To meet employee needs and retain top talent, many companies are planning to maintain hybrid workforce models for the long-term. While attracting and retaining talent is one benefit, organizations also found that hybrid workforce models save money and increase employee productivity. At the same time, the rise in ransomware attacks makes hybrid workforce a data breach risk. In order to maintain a robust security posture, organizations need a way to mitigate ransomware attacks facing their hybrid workforces.

Why Hybrid Workforces Create Ransomware Risks

Moving between home offices and in-person locations means changing how employees connect to corporate networks. In doing so, this creates endpoint security risks that will continue as people combine work-from-anywhere and corporate office connectivity.

Inadequate Cyber Hygiene

When employees connect their devices to public wireless networks, they put their devices at risk. Although they may be using some security tools, like anti-virus, to protect their device, cybercriminals often write malware intended to evade detection. When employees connect to the corporate network - whether remotely or on location - those devices can bring the ransomware with them.

Social Engineering Attacks

With employees in and out of the office, spear phishing attacks are often more successful. Email becomes a primary mode of communication. If employees click on attachments or links in emails that appear to come from company leadership or a credible source, it creates an attack vector, exposing the company to harmful viruses or malware.

How to Prevent Social Engineering Attacks

From phishing to scareware, social engineering attacks wear many hats. Find out more about how to identify key indicators with our latest infographic.

Download

Lack of Traditional Security Perimeter

Related to the public wireless network issue is the lack of a traditional security perimeter. Access becomes more important than ever since companies no longer have the ability to protect networks using only firewalls. As ransomware attacks now include data exfiltration, managing the security perimeter and preventing lateral movement is more difficult for hybrid IT and security teams.

Compromised Endpoints and Business Interruption

The rise in ransomware attacks over the last year is disrupting the cybersecurity insurance business. It’s not just the ransoms driving up the costs of claims. It’s also the business interruption costs. Let’s take a closer look:

Immediate Business Impact

Business interruption arising from a ransomware attack may be a few hours or a few days. For example, the Colonial Pipeline attack led to a week-long fuel shortage across the east coast in mid-2021. On the other hand, attacks against the enterprise may be a few hours or days.

However, the few days or hours of downtime may still lead to large business losses. The longer an organization’s data is encrypted, the longer it takes to get back to business.

Time to Recover

Backup and recovery also reduce the time it takes to fully recover from a ransomware attack. Organizations with robust data backup and recovery are more likely to resume business as usual, reducing the business interruption costs.

However, in order to put a data recovery process in place, companies need a backup solution that works across multiple types of devices, including user devices and servers.

Equally important, they need backup services that enable them to have real-time or near real-time backups. As companies use the cloud to engage in business operations, data changes nearly every second, especially across hybrid workforces. This means that in the event of a ransomware attack, having a data backup from the previous day can lead to significant losses.

3 Ways to Mitigate Ransomware Threats for the Hybrid Workforce

Cybercriminals will continue to target hybrid workforces because they are difficult to secure. However, it’s important to remain vigilant. Here are the top 3 ways to mitigate ransomware threats for the hybrid workforce:

Endpoint Security

Managing and securing endpoints is challenging, especially when employees can work anywhere and want to use their own devices. At a minimum, organizations should put in place anti-virus protections that regularly scan devices using Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) to help predict new malware variants. Taking proactive endpoint security actions can help mitigate risk by reducing the likelihood that a ransomware attack will be successful.

Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR)

EDR tools detect and investigate suspicious behavior across hosts and endpoints, actively responding to advanced malware and cyberattacks. They provide visibility into the scope and impact of incidents, including attacks that may have previously gone undetected. With EDR, organizations respond more rapidly to potential incidents, reducing the likelihood that the attack can spread to other networks and systems.

When deploying EDR, organizations should make sure that their solution includes:

  • Continuous monitoring for abnormal user and device behaviors
  • Automated response capabilities
  • Analysis and forensics with analytics

Endpoint Backup

Ransomware attacks encrypt data across devices, leading to costly business interruption. Robust endpoint backup should be part of a company’s business continuity and disaster recovery planning.

A Robust Endpoint backup plan should include:

  • Single view into all data for rapid retrieval
  • Cloud storage capabilities
  • Restoration across user devices and servers
  • Services to advise on corrective actions and prioritization of activities

For most organizations, endpoint backup can be challenging. Many organizations establish their own backup processes using external hard drives or servers stored offsite. However, when a ransomware attack occurs, these may be impacted by the attack.

Best data backup practices traditionally include:

  • 3 copies of data
  • 2 different media
  • 1 offsite

To mitigate the ransomware risks that a hybrid workforce creates, organizations need to make sure that their “offsite” backup is cloud-based. They may not be able to bring everyone to an off-site physical location easily, and cloud-based data backups can sync across devices no matter where a user is located.

SoftwareONE for Data Backup and Recovery

With SoftwareONE’s Managed Cloud, customers can use our managed backup services to help mitigate business interruption caused by ransomware attacks. We provide a single view into all data, no matter where the organization stores it to improve visibility.

With our solution BackupSimple powered by Metallic, customers gain complete control of their backup and recovery environment. This ensures comprehensive and streamlined data recovery by centralizing all backup needs across Microsoft Azure and AWS through to Microsoft 365. Consolidating backup solutions lowers operational costs by reducing effort, especially across increasingly complex public cloud and hybrid environments.

We also provide backup experts in our support center, giving customers the advisory services they need to recover rapidly. Our experts suggest corrective actions and prioritize implementation of agents to streamline recovery.

Leave Your Ransomware Concerns Behind

Absolutely no one is immune from ransomware attacks, and everyone must learn how to protect against it. Download SoftwareONE’s latest infographic to find out how your organization can take the right precautions.

Downoload now
  • Managed Security, Cybersecurity User Awareness, Managed Backup
  • Endpoint Security, Hybrid

Comment on this article

Leave a comment to let us know what you think about this topic!

Leave a comment

Author

Bala Sathunathan

Bala Sethunathan

Director, Security Practice & CISO

Cybersecurity

Related Articles

Cybersecurity Updates June
  • 14 July 2022
  • Bala Sethunathan
  • Cybersecurity User Awareness, Cyber Threat Bulletin, Cybersecurity
  • Cyber Security, Information Security

Cyber Security Update June 2022

Several breaches at major healthcare providers, Log4J still a risk for some, cybersecurity skills shortage getting worse not better.

Getting Started with a Cyber Security
  • 12 July 2022
  • Joe Morley
  • Managed Security, Cybersecurity User Awareness, Cloud Security, Cybersecurity, Digital Transformation
  • Cyber Threats, Cyber Attack

Getting Started with a Cyber Security: Attack Types & The Attack Cycle

Charities and nonprofits hear about security a lot. Let’s take it back to basics. This first post outlines how attacks happen and the attack cycle.

Cyber Security Update May 2022
  • 23 June 2022
  • Bala Sethunathan
  • Managed Security, Cybersecurity, Cyber Threat Bulletin
  • Data Security, Security, Ransomware

Cyber Security Update May 2022

Scammers are using more ruthless and sophisticated phishing techniques to acquire confidential data. Don’t let the criminals fool you.