Your best defense against ransomware: Find the early warning signs - Help Net Security

Your best defense against ransomware: Find the early warning signs - Help Net Security

As ransomware continues to prove how devastating it can be, one of the scariest things for security pros is how quickly it can paralyze an organization. Just look at Honda, which was forced to shut down all global operations in June, and Garmin, which had its services knocked offline for days in July.


Ransomware isn’t hard to detect but identifying it when the encryption and exfiltration are rampant is too little too late. However, there are several warning signs that organizations can catch before the real damage is done. In fact, FireEye found that there is usually three days of dwell time between these early warning signs and detonation of ransomware.


So, how does a security team find these weak but important early warning signals? Somewhat surprisingly perhaps, the network provides a unique vantage point to spot the pre-encryption activity of ransomware actors such as those behind Maze.


Here’s a guide, broken down by MITRE category, of the many different warning signs organizations being attacked by Maze ransomware can see and act upon before it’s too late.


Initial access


With Maze actors, there are several initial access vectors, such as phishing attachments and links, external-facing remote access such as Microsoft’s Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP), and access via valid accounts. All of these can be discovered while network threat hunting across traffic. Furthermore, given this represents the actor’s earliest foray into the environment, detecting this initial access is the organization’s best bet to significantly mitigate impact.



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