How can NIST Cybersecurity Framework Help Businesses Defend Against Ransomware?

July 26, 2022 0 Comments

Many firms, especially DoD contractors are implementing cybersecurity depending on the NIST cybersecurity architecture, which is now a worldwide acknowledged standard for assisting in detecting and mitigating new and evolving cyber threats. The NIST just issued a new draft on guarding against ransomware, which supplements the CSF. The ransomware profile has been added to the framework to assist firms in determining their readiness to deal with cyber extortion.

What exactly is ransomware?

While ransomware stories are not as prevalent as they were a few years ago, the threat persists. Many ransomware gangs that operated on the dark web have split, but the danger has not gone away. In truth, ransomware has evolved like any other type of cyber threat.

Ransomware assaults were relatively straightforward. Generally, the victim would unknowingly download a harmful file after being attacked by a social engineering fraud. When they opened the file, their whole hard drive was encrypted, and the machine was reset to showcase a ransom notice.

Ransomware assaults are less widespread today than they were several years ago, but those that endure are typically more harmful. The most recent trend is the emergence of double extortion attempts, in which bad actors exfiltrate data before encrypting it. In certain circumstances, the ransom notes not only promise to protect your information encrypted if you do not pay the ransom but also publish it on dark web communities for anyone to see.

Put simply, and these double blackmail schemes are exceedingly risky. Given that almost all firms routinely back up and isolate their critical data, they can generally recover compromised systems swiftly and with minimum long-term harm. The desire to pay the ransom increases dramatically if critical data is also taken.

What are the proposed controls in the NIST cybersecurity guideline?

The common idea is that ransomware can be readily stopped by antivirus software. However, this is not always the case owing to the constant emergence of new versions. Furthermore, these assaults are frequently conducted in tandem with precisely focused social engineering frauds such as business email compromise (BEC) assaults. Many people can circumvent standard security measures, which is why the NIST Cybersecurity Framework suggested controls go far beyond.

Antivirus should be deployed at all moments and automatically updated. Set the program to analyze email links and external media constantly. However, ransomware often exploits weaknesses in obsolete operating systems, so no organization should use the now-unsupported Windows 7. Maintaining all devices and firmware up to date will assist in mitigating the danger.

Because so many individuals work from home and use their personal devices for business, the dangers of ransomware attacks have increased. This is why companies must enact rigorous standards limiting the usage of third-party apps.

To begin with, no critical corporate data should be saved on employee-owned devices. Instead, they should act as access points to enterprise programs and data housed in the cloud instead of on local machines. Supervisors can limit access by employing regular user accounts with no administrative credentials while having a complete view of their data.

Another critical control area addressed by the NIST Cybersecurity Framework is security consciousness training. Ransomware may infect anybody, with distant workers being the most typical victims. As a result, everyone in the organization should undergo frequent awareness training to grasp the hazards and how they spread.

Finally, the most recent literature includes specific measures businesses and DoD companies may take to recuperate from a ransomware assault. This includes incident recovery planning, messaging, backup, and restoration.

The new ransomware model is intended for a broad demographic, including businesses that have previously implemented the NIST Cybersecurity Framework in its entirety. However, implementing the guidelines and policies can be prohibitively expensive for smaller enterprises desiring to do everything in-house. This is why selecting a reliable technology, and security partner is critical for reaching the same protection as large organizations.