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Home > 4 Things To Remember About Defeating Ransomware

Trust No One: The Role of Zero Trust in Defending Against Ransomware

Although ransomware has been around for more than a decade, it has spread, morphed and expanded rapidly. Government agencies, universities, public schools, hospitals, global enterprises and small and midsized businesses have all encountered ransomware — and often been negatively impacted by it due to their lack of security expertise and resources.

Cybersecurity analysts at market research firm Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) paint a stark picture: “Statistically, it is more likely than not that your organization will be met with a ransomware attack in the next 12 months, as attacks are becoming more and more common.” According to its research (published Jan. 29, 2021), ESG further noted that 70% of respondents to a recent survey indicated that their organizations experienced at least one ransomware attack in the prior year.

The insidious, far-reaching and fast-moving nature of ransomware attacks makes one thing clear: Organizations must regard ransomware defense as everyone’s business and not just the purview of a dedicated but often overworked and under-resourced information security team. That kind of defense requires a commitment by everyone to adopt a Zero Trust framework, where the validity and authorization of identities, devices and privileges are no longer assumed.

Not only that, Zero Trust demands an innovative, modernized and adaptable platform for deployment, management, monitoring, defense and remediation. The historical hodgepodge of point products used to prevent a ransomware attack is no longer a suitable methodology, and Zero Trust now plays a central, indispensable role in ransomware defense.

Preventing Lateral Incursions
A major benefit of adopting a Zero Trust solution is that it thwarts a key attack technique: lateral movement throughout an organization’s maze of interconnected devices, networks, applications, credentials and databases. Ransomware can be reliably and consistently stopped only by blocking this stealth osmosis across the organization’s infrastructure and architecture, even if the perimeter has been breached by an attacker’s initial entry through a number of potential vulnerable vectors.

This prevention must take place automatically, without having to rely exclusively on manual monitoring and after-the-fact reaction. Remember the all-important issue of dwell time: Many cyber threats such as ransomware are residing within an organization for weeks or even months before they are detected.

Only through real-time enforcement of Zero Trust processes, practices and tools at the device and user identity levels can organizations properly detect, defend against and mitigate the impact of ransomware before data is locked up and held for ransom.

CrowdStrike Zero Trust Solutions
For years, CrowdStrike has been a leading player in ransomware detection and prevention. CrowdStrike solutions have spotted the presence of numerous ransomware threats using Zero Trust tools as part of their Falcon platform. 

At the heart of CrowdStrike’s Zero Trust solution is the concept of frictionless operation compatible with NIST SP 800-207, the industry’s de facto standard. CrowdStrike designed its  Zero Trust solution from the start to be easily and automatically deployed and run as part of a comprehensive security framework that, while protecting against threats like ransomware, also limits operational friction on the daily activities of users, IT and security teams.

CrowdStrike’s Zero Trust solution is also engineered to detect and mitigate how ransomware moves throughout a typical organization, regardless of whether an attack was initiated at an endpoint, on the network edge, through an internet-connected device, at a cloud gateway or in a traditional on-premises data center.

The CrowdStrike Zero Trust solution offers powerful, unique benefits to organizations and is:

  • The first Zero Trust solution to stop lateral movement for on-premises, hybrid cloud and SaaS deployments
  • The best Zero Trust solution to stop ransomware at both code execution and identity — this is crucial because 80% of breaches use identity-based attacks
  • The only cloud-native Zero Trust solution to protect Active Directory, which is typically the weakest link in an organization’s cyber defense
  • The most cost-effective solution, utilizing pre-integrated partner technologies to ensure organizations can leverage existing infrastructure for a complete Zero Trust solution

CrowdStrike’s approach to Zero Trust stands out because it is a platform-based, cloud-native, flexible solution that covers the full range of ransomware defense in a holistic manner, rather than a loose confederation of point products. The CrowdStrike approach is more flexible, more scalable, more cost efficient — and most important, more reliable as a ransomware defense than any other vendor’s.