Why Ransomware Should Be at the Top of Every Manufacturers’ Threat List (and What You Can Do to Stop It)

AUGUST 8TH, 2023

Cybersecurity company Dragos just released a report that shows ransomware attacks targeting industrial organizations have doubled since the second quarter of 2022. 

That aligns with Sophos’ The State of Ransomware in Manufacturing and Production 2023 report, which found that 56 percent of manufacturing organizations were hit by ransomware in the last year

Even worse, only 27 percent of the victims in the Sophos study were able to stop the attacks before their data was encrypted. That tells you your adversaries are getting smarter. The causes behind these attacks are varied, from compromised credentials to exploited vulnerabilities to malicious emails.

Another metric that stands out in the Sophos study is that of all the industries in the survey, manufacturing has the lowest data recovery rate. Even worse, 20 percent of the ransomware victims in the study paid a ransom of $1 million or more

Make Data Resilience Your Mantra

The takeaway is that your manufacturing business is squarely in the crosshairs as a target for cybercriminals as they plot new ways to access your networks and ransom your data. If you’re an IT leader responsible for your company’s data, these metrics should provide plenty of motivation for you to take your organization’s data resilience to the next level. Here are some steps you should take.

Strengthen Your Defenses

Data resilience starts with prevention. That’s why Arcserve Unified Data Protection (UDP) and Arcserve appliances feature Sophos Intercept X Advanced for Server. This cutting-edge cybersecurity solution uses a deep learning neural network to detect known and unknown malware—without relying on signatures. 

You can quickly respond to and remove threats with CryptoGuard, included with Intercept X Advanced, which constantly monitors file writes for encrypted files. If CryptoGuard detects actions that behave like ransomware, it will restore the impacted files and stop the detected running processes. WipeGuard similarly works to protect your master boot record from malicious encryption.

The bottom line is that you must ensure your data is protected from your endpoints to your data center to the cloud.

Limit Unauthorized Access

According to the 2023 Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 74 percent of breaches involved the human element, including social engineering attacks, errors, or misuse. That tells you that more must be done to keep unauthorized users out. Identity and access management (IAM) is an excellent place to start, including employing multi-factor authentication (MFA) to confirm that the user is who they say they are. 

That brings us to the principle of least access. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) defines it as “a security architecture should be designed so that each entity is granted the minimum system resources and authorizations that the entity needs to perform its function.” This approach adds another level of security to your data resilience efforts by limiting access as much as possible.

Finally, employing a zero-trust strategy, defined by TechTarget as “a cybersecurity approach that denies access to an enterprise’s digital resources by default and grants authenticated users and devices tailored, siloed access to only the applications, data, services and systems they need to do their jobs.” Statista found that only 41 percent of respondents to a global survey said they have plans to adopt a zero-trust strategy or are in the early phases of doing so. If your company isn’t included in that number, we highly recommend that you consider moving to a zero-trust security strategy.

Make Sure Your Backups Are Immutable

No matter how many measures you take to prevent ransomware from getting to your data, hackers always seem to find a way in. After all, Statista also says that in 2022 there were nearly 500 million ransomware attacks worldwide. That’s an amazing number. And all it takes is a single click on a malicious link or the download of an infected PDF for ransomware to evade your defenses and encrypt your data. 

That’s where immutable backups make all the difference in the world. And it’s why we are strong proponents of the 3-2-1-1 backup strategyWhen your data is backed up in immutable storage, it is saved in a write-once-read-many-times (WORM) format that is written once and can never be altered or deleted by unauthorized users—even admins. That means ransomware can’t touch them.

Products like Arcserve UDP ensure your backups are immutable, whether stored locally, offsite, or in the cloud, thanks to the solution’s support for Amazon S3 Object Lock. 

Get Help Building Better Defenses

Immutability delivers the ultimate in data resilience. But deploying effective defenses and ensuring your data is always backed up, protected, and available can waste valuable IT time better spent on operations and innovation.

Get expert help implementing the right solution for your specific needs by talking to an Arcserve technology partner. Find one here. To learn more about Arcserve products, contact us.

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