In 2019, 23 city governments in Texas experienced a coordinated ransomware attack. Tom Merritt explains how they defended themselves and ways you can protect your own business.
You have heard me talk about ways to fight off ransomware before, but the battles keep coming fast and furious. Recently, some cities in Texas were able to fend off ransomware. How'd they do it? Well, let's break it down into five more ways to fend off ransomware.
SEE: Ransomware: What IT pros need to know (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
- They had an incident response plan. Not only did they have a plan, but they implemented the plan. This is the essential one--have a plan and know how to put it in place.
- They had support. 23 agencies were affected by the attack in Texas, though they didn't have 23 different approaches--they communicated and took on support from 10 government agencies. Part of a good plan is knowing who you can call on for help.
- They didn't pay. Some ransomware purveyors are really good at pricing. They make paying the ransom look easier, and maybe even cheaper, than trying to recover from it yourself. That's relying on the bad guys and not a sustainable situation for anyone.
- They learned and shared their knowledge. The Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR) recommends blocking inbound network traffic from Tor Exit Nodes if you don't need them. The DIR also recommends blocking outbound network traffic to Pastebin as well.
- Follow the other best practices. Educate staff about things like phishing emails, harden your infrastructure, restrict admin rights, and use multi-factor authentication.
Yeah, some of these were greatest hits anti-ransomware tips, but there are a lot more attacks happening so emphasizing these tips can be the difference between having your data or having to pay a few million dollars.
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