How to avoid ransomware

Ransomware has emerged as one of the most potent and dangerous cyber threats facing businesses today. From shutting down critical utilities and essential healthcare services to interrupting supply chains and crippling Fortune 500 companies, ransomware is wreaking havoc and running up costs for businesses large and small.

Since ransomware prevention efforts will never be 100% effective, CISOs and security teams everywhere are seeking strategies for how to avoid ransomware and how to minimize the damage of a successful attack. Security hygiene and continuous monitoring are critical, helping to identify potential vulnerabilities and address them before hackers can exploit them.

BitSight offers an industry-leading Security Ratings platform that shows organizations how to avoid ransomware. By delivering clear visibility into the attack surface, BitSight enables security teams to prevent more attacks from landing within an IT environment, and to mitigate the attacks that successfully get past perimeter defenses.

Best practices for stopping ransomware

To combat the rise in ransomware attacks, organizations must take specific steps to protect themselves against this pernicious threat.

Establish email security protocols

Ransomware attacks often begin as a seemingly benign link or attachment to an email. Organizations must adopt security awareness programs that train employees on how to avoid ransomware emails and report suspicious email activity. IT security teams need to implement email security protocols such as DKIM, SPF, and DMARC to reduce spoofing and to authenticate the origin of email messages.

Monitor third-party vendors

Even when organizations have top-notch security controls in place, they can easily fall prey to a ransomware attack when security practices of a connected vendor aren’t sufficient. Establishing a process to continuously monitor the security postures of third-party vendors ensures an organization can identify security gaps and recommend remediation strategies effectively.

Track security ratings

Monitoring the security ratings of an organization and its vendors can help identify vulnerabilities that hackers may be able to exploit. BitSight’s research team analyzed hundreds of ransomware events from November 2018 to better understand the relative probability that an organization would experience a ransomware breach. These studies have proven to be a good indicator on for how to avoid ransomware as companies with a low rating are 6.4 times more likely to be a victim than a highly rated company.

Avoid peer-to-peer file sharing on networks

Because common ransomware attacks are often prevalent on peer-to-peer file sharing websites, IT teams should monitor and prevent employees from downloading unauthorized files and engaging in file sharing activities.

Increase patching cadence

Poor patching cadence is one of the most concerning risk vectors for organizations. BitSight’s research has uncovered that patching cadence is a strong overall indicator of security program performance. The more time that passes between availability and implementation, the lower the security performance of the organization. In fact, poor patching performance correlated to a nearly sevenfold increase in ransomware risk for companies with a C grade or lower in BitSight’s study. To mitigate the risk of poor patching cadence, organizations are encouraged to conduct monthly patches, with the exception of zero-day/out-of-band patches which should be applied ASAP.

When adopting plans for how to avoid ransomware, BitSight offers a wealth of tools and capabilities for mitigating the risk of ransomware.

Ransomware Trends eBook

Check out our ebook to learn about the latest ransomware events — and how to protect your organization from falling victim to an attack.

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Learn how to avoid ransomware with BitSight

BitSight is the world’s most widely adopted security ratings solution, providing data-driven, dynamic measurements of an organization’s security performance. BitSight enables security performance management and third-party risk management that can help security teams minimize the chances of a successful ransomware attack on their organization.

BitSight Security Ratings

All BitSight solutions are built on BitSight Security Ratings, which are independently verified to correlate with data breach risk. These daily cybersecurity ratings, ranging from 250 to 900, are based on objective, verifiable information drawn from over 120 sources and evaluating data across 23 different categories. These include evidence of compromised and exposed systems, critical vulnerabilities, patching rates, software security, user behavior, and other key issues. Organizations with higher security ratings are far less likely to be a victim of ransomware than organizations with lower ratings.

BitSight for Security Performance Management

With this BitSight solution, security and risk leaders can measure the performance of their cybersecurity programs to align investments and actions with the highest measurable impact over time. When determining how to avoid ransomware, BitSight for Security Performance Management offers insight into the organization’s control of peer-to-peer file sharing, patching cadence, security hygiene, and other security protocols that can help to mitigate the risk of ransomware.

BitSight for Third-Party Risk Management

This BitSight solution immediately exposes risk within the supply chain, helping to identify risky issues that could enable a successful ransomware attack originating within a vendor’s network. The insight BitSight offers into vendors’ security performance enables organizations to act swiftly to help vendors address their security issues and to put controls in place to protect the organization.

Continuous Monitoring eBook

Continuous monitoring represents a shift in vendor risk management that has brought TPRM leaders new power when handling their cybersecurity programs.

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Why choose BitSight to avoid ransomware?

BitSight offers the most widely adopted Security Ratings solution and is trusted by many of the world’s largest organizations to monitor security posture. BitSight Security Ratings improves security risk assessments, streamlines cloud security posture management, and helps security teams understand how to avoid ransomware.

Unprecedented visibility

BitSight Security Ratings collect data from over 120 sources to provide you with unprecedented visibility into key risk vectors, many of which are completely unique to BitSight.

An engaged community

The BitSight platform is home to the most robust community of cyber risk professionals, providing the context you need to have confidence in your security programs and interactions with third parties.

Greater prioritization

BitSight security ratings incorporate only the most critical risk vectors to provide a larger view of your attack surface and a more accurate picture of your security performance.

Get a complete view of your organization’s attack surface — both on-premise and in the cloud and discover where your organization's cyber risk is.

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