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Home > 4 Things To Remember About Defeating Ransomware

Why Ransomware Today Begins and Ends at the Endpoint

In today’s modern enterprise, the endpoint has emerged as a central focal point of risk.  Everything now flows through the endpoint: Users and identities are authenticated via the endpoint; cloud workloads, critical business applications and files are accessed through the endpoint; and every type of enterprise data flows through the endpoint. 

As remote work environments rapidly become the norm for businesses globally, the endpoint gets further entrenched as the central gateway to companies’ most critical assets and sensitive data.

At the same time, the move to a distributed workforce has made securing the endpoint increasingly difficult. With employees operating from various locations and across disparate networks, maintaining visibility and security of every endpoint has become more complex. 

The successful compromise of just one endpoint can put an organization in jeopardy and provide the perfect perch for adversaries to launch and coordinate their attacks.

Today, another organization succumbs to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds — and vulnerable endpoints are regularly the source of compromise. With ransomware attacks, the initial objective is frequently to gain access to an endpoint and move laterally into the critical applications and cloud workloads that the endpoint can access. Once the attackers control enough of the underlying data and infrastructure, they execute the ransomware payload and lock the entire organization out of the systems and applications that are most critical to the business to maximize the potential damages and, thus, their payout. 

Modern Endpoint Security Adds Layers of Ransomware Protection
According to our 2021 CrowdStrike Global Security Attitude Survey, 66% of respondents’ organizations suffered at least one ransomware attack in the past 12 months. With so many endpoints looming as potential points of entry, organizations need a new strategy — and modernized, flexible tools — to protect those endpoints against ransomware. Several vital concepts are at the heart of creating, deploying and optimizing a comprehensive, end-to-end anti-ransomware framework for your endpoints, such as visibility, automation, intelligence and scalability.

Modern endpoint security offers advanced protection without the bloatware and processing lag time of legacy antivirus and on-premises solutions. By deploying modern endpoint security, security teams naturally move toward a true defense-in-depth strategy equipped with the visibility and tools they need to:

  1. Continuously update and adapt security defenses against rapidly evolving tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs).
  2. Detect lateral threat movement and ransomware indicators of compromise (IOCs) faster.
  3. Hunt and investigate incidents more easily with advanced correlation and telemetry.
  4. Minimize the scope of successful ransomware with seamless response automation.
  5. Recover from ransomware attacks without on-premises visits or installations. 

Before an incident even occurs — or before an organization realizes it has occurred — there must be proper attention to the steps of preparation and prevention. In order to fully prepare endpoints and all other parts of the IT infrastructure against ransomware, steps such as maturity assessments, tabletop exercises and attack simulations should be part of the mix. In the prevention phase, organizations need to put in place tools such as threat intelligence, a Zero Trust framework, cloud workload protection, vulnerability management and security posture management.

Ideally, these steps will go a long way toward limiting the likelihood of an attack. But if and when an attack does take hold, the detection and mitigation phases are vitally important. To properly detect ransomware attempts at the endpoint, endpoint detection and response (EDR) and extended detection and response (XDR) tools must be deployed, along with application monitoring, identity threat detection and active threat hunting. Mitigating the impact of an attack includes incident response, file integrating monitoring and attack forensics.

Finally, after an incident has occurred, organizations must have plans and tools in place for the recovery and optimization phases. Endpoint and system recovery tools help minimize the damage and restore files, applications and systems to their most recent “safe” state, while ongoing endpoint security posture is improved by enhancing the legacy framework with new cybersecurity strategies and tactics, including strategic advisory services from a trusted expert. 

CrowdStrike: Modern Ransomware Protection
The CrowdStrike Falcon® platform detects and stops ransomware before it detonates and disrupts business. Purpose-built in the cloud to harness the power of data, CrowdStrike detects ransomware behaviors in real time, automatically terminating malicious processes before ransomware can encrypt files, while providing elite threat hunters with the needed visibility to identify and stop the most sophisticated attacks. 

The Falcon platform is powered by the CrowdStrike Security Cloud — the world’s largest unified, threat-centric data fabric that correlates trillions of security events per day with indicators of attack and CrowdStrike’s industry-leading threat intelligence to identify in real time how adversaries are targeting endpoints. This enables CrowdStrike to automatically stop threats in real time and then push this proactive protection across the entire customer base.

CrowdStrike’s Falcon platform provides organizations with an array of solutions to address technologies, services and actions at every step of the way for ransomware defense. The real beauty of the Falcon platform is the tight integration and coordination for all tools and services, to ensure both “security in depth” and the efficiency necessary to avoid overpaying on a disparate collection of siloed solutions for individual threats.