Ransomware Grows Smarter
As you are surely aware, ransomware is a sort of virus that encrypts user data or files on a corporate network and demands payment in exchange for the decryption key. We recommend that you familiarise yourself with recent trends in ransomware before diving in headfirst to ransomware defence and recovery techniques.
Unfortunately for cloud service customers, ransomware techniques are continuously developing, making them more difficult to detect. Hackers use more advanced social engineering techniques to gain access to sensitive information.
Here’s a quick rundown of the most common ransomware attacks today:
The attacker’s purpose is to collect a ransom in exchange for decrypting files (the ransom is usually paid in Bitcoin).
Ransomware is no longer just a threat for businesses on their own premises. Even the Office 365 cloud is susceptible to attack. Ransomcloud, a new type of ransomware, encrypts cloud-based emails and demands payment (including Outlook emails).
The most common way to become infected with ransomware is to click on a phishing link and grant authorization to a potentially dangerous software. After you click on an infected link in an email, hackers obtain access to your account.
Ransomware is a sophisticated piece of software. It may appear to be an email from a reputable source, such as tech support, coworkers, or well-known organisations, but it is not.
Attackers put you under pressure to pay the ransom by imposing a time restriction on making a payment, after which your files would be permanently erased.
You will receive your emails back in their original format once you have paid the ransom.
How Dangerous is Ransomware?
Individual users, small businesses, and big enterprises are all targeted by ransomware in the Office 365 cloud. Corporate networks, in particular, are notoriously difficult to defend. A single click from a single employee may be sufficient to cause a widespread infection.
Ransomware attacks accounted for more than 200 million incidents in 2018. Despite the fact that some ransomware attacks cause minimal harm, some are extremely catastrophic. For example, the WannaCry ransomware is estimated to have caused up to $4 billion in damage.
The expense of decrypting the data that has been compromised is increasing. From $6,733 to $12,762, the average ransom demand has more than doubled in 2019 when compared with the prior year.
End users and businesses can be caught off guard and made to pay a ransom as a result of the attack. Does paying the ransom protect you from being a victim of ransomware in the future? No. Trusting ransomware writers is a risky game to play, especially when your data is at risk of being compromised.
Ransomware is not invulnerable to countermeasures. There are precautions you may take to protect your data against ransomware and to restore corrupted files if they are compromised.
Learn more about the ransomware that targets Office 365.
Office 365 Security Best Practices for Ransomware Protection
The following are the Office 365 security best practises for preventing ransomware attacks:
1. Teach your employees how to recognise dangerous links and how to avoid clicking on them.
Ransomware is not a threat to Microsoft Office 365 services, which are highly protected. That is why fraudsters take advantage of human error in order to compromise the Office 365 environment. Their method of gaining access to your Office 365 is through the use of phishing emails and other deceptive messaging.
If you are hit by ransomware, your staff will serve as your second line of defence. We recommend that you use platforms such as KnowBe4 to create awareness inside your organisation, teach your employees, and keep them informed.
2. Make a backup of your Office 365 data.
When your second line of defence fails you, you’ll need to call in reinforcements. If you don’t want to pay a ransom, you can simply recover your data from a backup you’ve previously made. SpinOne and other similar tools allow you to create up to three automated backups per day and an unlimited number of manual backups. Aside from ransomware attacks, this solution will be valuable in the event of data erasure or damage, as well as in the transfer of knowledge.
3. Make use of application whitelisting to grant access to Office 365 to OAuth applications that are used by your employees. Consequently, they will be able to employ editing permission rights to infect your data with ransomware as a result. Some Microsoft Office subscriptions include the ability for administrators to establish allow/block lists for specific programmes. This will prevent potentially harmful programmes from accessing your system if they have not been approved.
4. Make use of anti-ransomware security technologies.
There are two primary sorts of tools that can assist you in your battle against ransomware:
Tools that analyse anomalous behaviour in Office 365 – such as SpinOne – that make use of historical data from earlier strains
Advanced Office 365 Ransomware Protection and Recovery with SpinOne
SpinOne is a ransomware security application for the Microsoft Office 365 platform that enables businesses to face the threat of ransomware front on. We provide the following services:
- Downtime of up to 2 hours is possible.
- A security scanner that is available around the clock
- Termination of the onslaught as soon as possible
- Damaged data from our backup can be recovered in granular detail.
- Safe data storage in the clouds, such as Google Compute Storage, Amazon Web Services, or Microsoft Azure.
- Data encryption is used both in flight and at rest to ensure that your information is protected both in transit and storage.
- Data is kept on file indefinitely.
- Reports are generated on a weekly and monthly basis to keep track of the status of your protected data.
- There are an unlimited number of restore points, allowing you to restore from a variety of different versions.
- Recovery from any point in time is 100 percent accurate when using the same folder hierarchy as before.
- In the event of an attack, you will receive email notifications and full reports.