In recent years, ransomware attacks have become one of the biggest cyber threats for organizations of all sizes, causing significant financial losses and disrupting business operations. To combat this growing threat, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have recently released a joint advisory, #StopRansomware: Royalransomware, aimed at raising awareness and providing guidance to organizations on how to protect themselves against ransomware attacks.
The advisory focuses on RoyalRansomware, a type of ransomware that has been responsible for a series of attacks on organizations across various industries. According to the advisory, the RoyalRansomware group uses several tactics to gain access to a victim’s network, including exploiting known vulnerabilities in software, conducting brute-force attacks on Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) credentials, and using spear-phishing emails to trick employees into downloading and executing malware.
Once the attackers have gained access to the network, they use various techniques to encrypt the victim’s files and demand payment in exchange for the decryption key. The advisory warns that paying the ransom does not guarantee that the attackers will provide the decryption key, and may actually encourage them to continue their criminal activities.
To prevent becoming a victim of ransomware, the advisory provides several recommendations for organizations to implement. First and foremost, organizations should prioritize implementing and maintaining robust cybersecurity measures, including strong passwords, multi-factor authentication, and regular software updates and patches.
Additionally, the advisory recommends that organizations back up their data regularly and store the backups offline or in a separate, secure network. This will allow organizations to recover their data in the event of a ransomware attack without having to pay the ransom.
Another important recommendation is to train employees on how to recognize and respond to phishing emails and other social engineering tactics used by attackers to gain access to a network. By educating employees on how to identify and report suspicious emails, organizations can reduce the likelihood of a successful attack.
Finally, the advisory recommends that organizations develop and test incident response plans to ensure that they are prepared to respond quickly and effectively in the event of a ransomware attack. This includes identifying the key personnel who will be responsible for responding to the attack, as well as establishing communication channels and procedures for working with law enforcement and other relevant stakeholders.
The #StopRansomware: Royalransomware advisory from the FBI and CISA serves as an important reminder of the growing threat of ransomware and the need for organizations to take proactive steps to protect themselves. By implementing robust cybersecurity measures, backing up data, training employees, and developing and testing incident response plans, organizations can significantly reduce their risk of falling victim to a ransomware attack.
CISA encourages network defenders to review the CSA and to apply the included mitigations. See StopRansomware.gov for additional guidance on ransomware protection, detection, and response.
If you have any questions or are concerned about your organization's cybersecurity, call us at (949) 474-7774. We'll be happy to help.
For more HIPAA information, download our ebook - The Ultimate HIPAA Compliance Handbook.
The HIPAA Security Rule requires implementing a security awareness and training program for all members of its workforce (including management). Have your team sign up for weekly HIPAA Security Reminder to help stay compliant.