In the past few months, we have witnessed a surge in ransomware attacks on industrial systems, causing significant disruption to operations and resulting in large ransom demands. These attacks are not only financially damaging but can also put lives at risk if they affect critical infrastructure, such as power grids or transportation systems.
As a result, it is essential for companies to take mitigation actions to protect themselves against these attacks.
First, it is important to understand the nature of these attacks. Ransomware attacks are a type of malware that encrypts a victim's files or entire system, rendering them inaccessible until a ransom is paid. The attackers often demand payment in cryptocurrency to make it harder to trace the money. The attackers may also threaten to release sensitive data if the ransom is not paid, further adding to the pressure on victims.
Industrial systems are particularly vulnerable to ransomware attacks because they often run on outdated software and are connected to the internet, making them accessible to attackers. These systems also tend to have critical operations, making them more likely to pay the ransom to get their systems back up and running quickly. This has made industrial systems an attractive target for cybercriminals.
So what can companies do to protect themselves against ransomware attacks? There are several mitigation actions that can be taken:
Regular software updates: One of the main reasons why industrial systems
are vulnerable to ransomware attacks is because they often run on outdated software. Companies should ensure that they regularly update their software to the latest versions, which often have improved security features.
Employee education: Employees are often the weakest link in cybersecurity, as they can inadvertently click on a phishing email or download a malicious attachment. Companies should educate their employees on how to recognize and avoid these types of attacks.
Network segmentation: Companies should segment their networks to prevent attackers from moving laterally through their systems. This means that if one part of the network is compromised, the entire network will not be affected.
Backups: Companies should regularly back up their data to an offsite location. This means that if their systems are encrypted by ransomware, they can restore their data from a backup and avoid paying the ransom. It is highly recommended to follow the 3-2-1 backup strategy: 3 copies at 2 locations, 1 offline.
Incident response plan: Companies should have an incident response plan in place in case of a ransomware attack. This should include steps such as isolating the infected systems, notifying law enforcement, and restoring from backups.
Despite these mitigation actions, it is important to recognize that cyber attacks are inevitable. No system can be 100% secure, and attackers are constantly evolving their tactics to bypass security measures. This is where Salvador Technologies comes in.
Salvador Technologies is a cybersecurity company that specializes in cyber attack recovery for ICS and OT.
The innovative solution is designed to quickly recover from ransomware attacks and other types of cyber attacks by restoring systems to their pre-attack state. It includes a plug & play on-prem unit connected to the PC/Server/ HMI, performing backup of the entire disk atomatically and enabling the user to boot from its disk once attacked.
The patented air-gapped technology is designed to enhance resilience and minimize downtime in converged ICS & OT systems.
This means that companies can avoid paying a ransom and practically turns the ransomeware demand to irrelevant.
The solution also includes an agent software and a monitoring system for full visibility of the automated backup process, per endpoint.
Read more here.
The rise in ransomware attacks on industrial systems is a concerning trend that requires mitigation actions. Companies should take steps to optimize their RTO and enhance their cyber resilience, ensuring operational continuity.