The Rise of Ransomware 5 Critical Steps for Preventing Ransomware in Financial Services In 2021, the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) received 3,729 complaints identified as ransomware with adjusted losses of over $49.2 million. The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) has observed an increase in ransomware attacks on SEC registrants. It encourages monitoring of cybersecurity alerts published by the Department of Homeland Security Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).
Ransomware groups DarkSide and Ragnar Locker, have posted evidence of successful data breaches from three small banks’ servers and have demanded ransom. If the ransom isn’t paid, they have threatened more exposure of the banks’ data. Banking industry has experienced a 1,318% increase in ransomware attacks in 2021.
Ripped from the headlines 5 Critical Steps for Preventing Ransomware in Financial Services and Mitigation
1. Discover & monitor every asset
Asset discovery featuring automated network scans is an important service. With ongoing scans, you can quickly find and monitor new devices as they join the network and then understand each device’s health.
2. Software patching
A remote monitoring and management (RMM) tool helps with continuous patching, enabling you to automatically deploy updates to endpoints and ensuring your patching never falls behind. You should also be sure that your antivirus and anti-malware solutions are set to update and run regular scans automatically.
3. Regular data backups
Integrated backup and disaster recovery (BDR) solutions provide more streamlined service management with far less chaos. It’s also crucial to secure your backups. Make sure they are not connected to the computers and networks they are backing up or else they could become infected in the event of a ransomware attack.
4. Deploy an endpoint protection tool
Endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions help protect endpoints such as servers, laptops, desktops, mobile devices, and more to quickly identify malicious activity, as well as automatically taking remediation actions such as restoring unsafe files to an acceptable previous state.
5. Enhancing your cybersecurity toolset
When it comes to cybersecurity, there is no such thing as too secure.
Here are a few examples of tools and services you should consider adding to your cybersecurity tech stack:
Risk assessment software: These tools help organizations identify vulnerabilities and prioritize security measures based on risk assessments.
Email monitoring: Email remains a common vector for ransomware attacks, and monitoring email traffic for suspicious activity is essential.
Security information and event management (SIEM): SIEM solutions provide real-time monitoring and analysis of security events, enabling organizations to respond swiftly to threats.
Threat intelligence feeds: Access to threat intelligence can provide valuable insights into emerging threats and help organizations proactively defend against ransomware attacks.
Ransomware attacks are more targeted and sophisticated than ever before. It’s critically important to have a partner who is an extension of your team to help you keep pace with the ever-changing threat landscape and bolster your cybersecurity defenses.
The future of work in the financial services industry is inseparable from the imperative of combating ransomware and ensuring robust cybersecurity. A culture of innovation, driven by a commitment to digital transformation, is vital for staying ahead in this rapidly evolving landscape.
Financial institutions must recognize that cybersecurity investments not only protect against ransomware attacks but also offer significant financial benefits by mitigating the potentially devastating costs of breaches. Expanding the cybersecurity toolset and partnering with experts in the field are essential steps toward safeguarding sensitive data and financial assets in an increasingly digitized world.
In the face of the relentless rise of ransomware attacks, financial organizations must adapt, innovate, and invest to secure their future and protect their clients' interests. The journey to a secure and prosperous future of work in the financial services industry begins with a steadfast commitment to cybersecurity and an unwavering dedication to staying ahead of the threats that lie ahead.