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Future Proofing your Business from Ransomware Attacks

A Microsoft cloud expert shares her top 10 suggestions to future proof your business from ransomware attacks.

A vault door closing

Table of Content

    Ransomware attack agents and malicious actors are becoming more and more sophisticated. The ever-evolving threat landscape continues to deliver adversaries with new techniques, revamped tactics, and more advanced attack capabilities.

    Such threats demand comprehensive security solutions that provide a holistic view of the attack across endpoints and domains, prevent and block attacks at all stages, and provide security operations with automated tools to remediate complex threats and attackers in the network. The bottom line – as cybercriminals become more sophisticated, so must your security protocols.

    XDR is the Modern Answer to Ransomware

    Extended detection and response, often abbreviated (XDR), is a SaaS tool that offers holistic, optimized security by integrating security products and data into simplified solutions. As enterprises increasingly encounter an evolving threat landscape and complex security challenges with workforces in multi-cloud, hybrid environments, XDR security presents a more efficient, proactive solution.

    In contrast to systems like endpoint detection and response (EDR), XDR broadens the scope of security, integrating protection across a wider range of products, including an organization’s endpoints, servers, cloud applications, emails, and more. From there, XDR combines prevention, detection, investigation, and response, providing visibility, analytics, correlated incident alerts, and automated responses to improve data security and combat threats.

    Microsoft 365 Defender

    Microsoft 365 Defender is an XDR tool which successfully detects and prevents malicious activity at every major attack stage, demonstrating comprehensive technique-level coverage across endpoints and identities.

    • Microsoft 365 Defender protects against sophisticated attacks with:
      Prevention at the earliest stages of the attack to stop further attacker activity without hindering productivity
    • Diverse signal capture from devices and identities, with device-to-identity and identity-to-device signal correlation
    • Coverage across device assets, including Windows, Linux, Mac, iOS, and Android
    • Pre-ransom and ransom protection for both automated remediation of the persistent threats and complete eviction of the attacker in network

    As Velosio clients move to a hybrid or cloud environment, we recommend a strong baseline level of security with tools such as Microsoft 365 Defender. As a trusted security advisor for clients, we periodically review client security with a threat assessment.

    Microsoft Defender for Office 365 offers attack simulation training for your employees to keep them up to date on threats. This ensures employees can identify phishing emails or malicious email techniques. Did you know there are more than 25 different kinds of malicious email techniques in addition to phishing? Employees must also learn to make it a practice to check website certificates and verify the identity of a website prior to visiting it.

    SIEM is an Additional Layer of Support

    With a data-driven, modern security information and event management (SIEM) solution, your organization can strengthen cybersecurity, drive resilience, and unlock innovation across cloud, multi-cloud and hybrid environments. Combine SIEM and XDR to increase efficiency and effectiveness while securing your digital estate.

    Microsoft’s cloud native SIEM is called Microsoft Sentinel. Rated the top solution on Gartner’s Magic Quadrant and a “Leader” in nine Forrester Wave™ reports, Microsoft Sentinel provides a bird’s-eye view across the enterprise. It aggregates security data from virtually any source and applies AI to separate noise from legitimate events, correlate alerts across complex attack chains, and speeds up threat response with built-in orchestration and automation.

    With Microsoft Sentinel, you can:

    • See and stop threats before they cause harm, with SIEM reinvented for a modern world
    • Put the cloud and large-scale intelligence from decades of Microsoft security experience to work
    • Make your threat detection and response smarter and faster with artificial intelligence (AI)
    • Eliminate security infrastructure setup and maintenance, and elastically scale to meet your security needs—while reducing costs as much as 48 percent compared to traditional SIEMs

    Learn more about Microsoft Sentinel here.

    10 Easy Protection Rules

    Here are 10 easy rules you can apply today to keep your email, accounts, and devices safer and avoid identity theft, both personally and professionally. Share these with your employees, and regularly test their knowledge on safety. Also, share this with your mom, grandmother, and best friend!

    1. Share Your Personal Information in Real Time Only, Preferable in Person or By Phone. Be Careful of What You Share on Social Media

    Share personal info in person or by phone. If you absolutely must email personal information, use Microsoft Outlook’s encryption tools. Protect yourself from social media hackers. Before you post to social media, think about the information that can be harvested from it.

    2. Be Skeptical of Messages With Links, Especially Those Asking for Personal Information

    Find a phone number on the sender’s official website and call them directly to confirm the message is legit. Install a phishing filter for your email client. Use the spam filter on your email account.

    3. Be On Guard Against Message with Attached Files

    Never open unexpected attachments, even if they seem to come from people or organizations you trust. If you’re concerned that the message may be important, call the sender to verify.

    4. Go Password-less and Use an Authenticator App for Stronger Security

    They can’t steal your password if you don’t use one. Turn on password-less for your Microsoft account to sign in with your phone or Windows Hello instead.

    5. If You Must Use Passwords, Make Them Strong and Unique with a Password Manager

    Strong passwords have at least 14 random characters and symbols. Use tools like Microsoft Edge, Bitwarden or Keeper to generate random passwords, remember them, and manage password changes.

    6. Enable the Lock Feature on All Your Mobile Devices

    Require a PIN, fingerprint, or facial recognition to unlock your device.

    7. Install Software Updates Immediately

    Many app and operating system updates are security fixes for currently active issues, so install them promptly.

    8. Ensure All the Apps on Your Device are Legitimate

    Only install apps from the official app store for your device.

    9. Use Windows 11 and Turn on Tamper Protection to Protect Your Security Settings

    Always use the latest version of Windows. Tamper Protection blocks unauthorized changes to your security settings.

    10. Keep Your Browser Updated, Browse in Incognito Mode, and Enable Pop-Up Blocker

    Install browser and operating system updates immediately to maintain the latest security standards.

    Don’t Go it Alone

    Check out the latest news from Microsoft Security.

    Although Velosio is not a security company, it is a Gold Certified Microsoft partner and trusted advisor on security issues for its clients. Let us know if we can partner with you to look at your current security measures and make recommendations. In the meantime, STAY SAFE out there!


    Contributors

    Carolyn Norton

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