Have you heard of the recent ransomware attacks that have targeted systems around the U.S. that are affecting state and local governments? The growing number of these type of attacks just shows the importance of cybersecurity. All businesses should make cybersecurity a top priority and take the steps needed to secure themselves from such an attack. Prevention is simply key!
The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), Multi-State Information Sharing and Analysis Center (MS-ISAC), National Governors Association (NGA), and the National Association of State Chief Information Officers (NASCIO) are all involved with supporting and encouraging all levels of government to protect their networks against the threat of a ransomware attack. These recommendations can and should be adopted by financial services firms and businesses of all kinds and sizes. They suggest these 3 steps to prevent ransomware attacks:
- Back-Up Your Systems
This should be done daily. The CISA, MS-ISAC, NGA, and NASCIO also suggests the following: “Immediately and regularly back up all critical agency and system configuration information on a separate device and store the back-ups offline, verifying their integrity and restoration process. If recovering after an attack, restore a stronger system than you lost, fully patched and updated to the latest version”.
Triada’s Notes: We recommend more frequent backups whenever possible. No one wants to lose a days’ worth of work. We typically implement hourly backups. In addition, we recommend testing backups by restoring files or systems at least once a year.
- Reinforce Cybersecurity Awareness and Education
Prevent these attacks by making sure all employees are aware of cybersecurity and go through additional training. This may take refreshing employee training so they can recognize a cyber threat especially with phishing emails or suspicious links. Make sure employees know that any type of suspicion should immediately be reported to the IT staff. Procedures that show step by step on how this should work would be best so that all employees are on the same page.
Triada’s Notes: Annual tests and lectures are not enough. Frequent mini-trainings are more beneficial. Add in internal phish-testing to test your employees against potential fake emails.
- Revisit and Refine Cyber Incident Response Plans
Start by having a clear plan for all parts of the plan whether that’s internal or external assistance. Make sure that all response plans for a cyber incident include how to request external cyber assistance which would be notifying the correct agencies, such as CISA and MS-ISAS, a local FBI Field Office, or Secret Service Field Office.
Triada’s Notes: Similar to backups, incident response plans should be tested at least annually to ensure that the teams know what they are doing when.
After implementing all three steps to prevent ransomware attacks, take a look at the best practices published by each agency for additional information.
- MS-ISAC Security Primer on Ransomware
- CISA Tip Sheet on Ransomware
- NGA Disruption Response Planning Memo
- NASCIO Cyber Disruption Planning Guide
Here at Triada Networks, we know what steps to take to prevent these attacks for your business. We know that cybersecurity can be very complex, so let us simplify the process for you. We have a full suite of security tools designed to help you reduce risk and maintain control. Contact us today for a free security report card and protect yourself and your business from a future attack.