4 min

Layer defences for the best ransomware protection

The best cybersecurity defence strategy is one where there are as many barriers as possible. Even if the hacker breaks through one wall, they will encounter more. Layered defences are the optimal strategy for ransomware protection.

Cyber risks - Zachary Amos - January 06, 2023

The severity of ransomware attacks increases daily with no preference for the monetary value or influence of a person or business. Therefore, cybersecurity infrastructure should have multiple systems for each type of attack. Every cybersecurity threat should also have individualized layered defences curated for ransomware hacking methods.

Creating a layered ransomware defence

The first step in creating layered defence infrastructure for ransomware protection is understanding how the layers function. Each layer protects the innermost data chamber, whether hard drives or cloud storage. Hackers can exfiltrate data from anywhere. Ransomware spreads quickly by nature, meaning more barriers equal more security.

Often, multiple locations hold priceless information for individuals and organizations alike. Creating defences for each level of security will stump hackers as they try to dig into the most secure areas. Each part must have curated strategies for an ideal layered defence to protect against ransomware. These levels include:

  • System level: Since this is the closest cyberattackers can get, the system should be the top priority to protect – it contains the highest-value assets. Internet-based attacks like ransomware can easily slide into poorly configured system security, including outdated antivirus software and insecure browsers.
  • Network level: Evaluate who has internal permissions for manipulating operating systems and network access. A solid firewall and secure routing protocol will analyze incoming access attempts.
  • Application level: Individual applications require special attention. Neglecting updates creates vulnerabilities, which hackers look for on this level. Ensuring proper cybersecurity hygiene and training program use will provide security since many attacks result from human error.
  • Transmission level: Only send data through trusted networks. Data must redirect intuitively to permitted locations if your network spreads across many points.

Teams can also implement other layered security methods like multi-factor authentication (MFA), encryption, and malware programs to thwart hackers. While adding layers, companies can also reduce attack surfaces by consolidating data storage. It’s easier to protect as few points of entry as possible instead of spreading one’s defences too thin.

Understanding the necessity for multiple strategies

Densely packing security protocols with countless layers of defence is one strategy. However, some strategies work more synergistically to protect against ransomware.

Limiting access is one of the most vital forms of defence, but ransomware attackers can manipulate or steal credentials, breaking through even carefully thought-out systems. Because hackers have individual strategies to overcome specific defences like this, multiple layers are a necessity to provide opportunities for offensive cybersecurity remediation.

For example, stolen passwords mean nothing if MFA prevents them from progressing. MFA works effectively alongside a least-privilege environment to ensure every person in every role can perform their tasks with as few permissions as possible.

Frequently, companies administer access with a “just-in-case” mentality, not wanting to provide access and take away permissions when exceptions arise constantly. Though it seems tedious, it is the most secure avenue.

Only administrators need admin privileges – not an employee in an unrelated department. Reducing access points also permits analysts to respond faster to threats since they have fewer entry points to evaluate.

Everyone must increase ransomware training and awareness to solidify the effectiveness of defence strategies. Go back to the basics of knowing what emails not to click and how to recognize spoofed links. Increasing overall knowledge, especially within an organization, can fill in countless gaps in network defences.

Encourage everyone to question every interaction in their digital environment, because a second guess could stop a breach.

Knowing the best defence tactics for 2023

The best way to supplement a layered defence strategy for the new year is to rewire mindsets about cybersecurity strategies. In an ideal world, attacks would never happen; however, it’s becoming highly likely an attack will occur at some point.

Accepting that reality prepares analysts more appropriately because, instead of being entirely defence-focused, they can prioritize proactive, offensive strategies equally. Compromised environments are more likely to recover if teams can react appropriately to breaches.

One practical defensive utility against ransomware is immutable storage. It cannot work alone as a foolproof storage solution but works well with other strategies like detection and minimizing visibility. Immutable storage prevents data storage from being altered and deleted. Therefore, hackers can’t tamper with data and accidental deletion can’t occur.

However, if data becomes corrupted by ransomware and then protected by immutable storage, the problem transfers. Regular data scans can prevent this from happening, but these actions should work in collaboration — as multiple layers of security and protection.

Companies can also invest in white hat hackers to perform penetration testing and other drills. As with immutable storage, a company cannot wholly rely on a white hat hacker to provide impenetrable defences. Their unique skills could find unknown exploits and vulnerabilities teams never knew about, increasing internal knowledge for the future.

Ransomware protection in 2023 must become heftier and more creative. Remaining open-minded to new technologies and testing unknown methods in secure environments could make individuals and companies forerunners in ransomware protection.

With the rise of reimagined ransomware attacks like double-extortion and ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS), complacency and overreliance on outdated methods could prove disastrous for cybersecurity outfits.

Preparing layered defences for the new year

With every newly reimagined strategy comes more protection against cyberattacks. However, hackers become savvier every day with new ways to manipulate technology. What won’t stop are ransomware attacks, but layered defences can keep data safe while adapting to trends.

Every obstacle for a hacker equates to time analysts can use to respond to a present threat. Therefore, layered defence infrastructure is ideal, especially for one of history’s most common cybersecurity threats.

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