Tips to protect from ransomware attacks – National

Cybercriminals have infiltrated a lucrative tactic, holding the digital files of important businesses hostage until a hefty fee is paid, often in hard-to-trace virtual currency.


The federal government said in the first six months of this year, more than half of Canadian victims ransomware are key infrastructure providers, including the energy, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.

As of March 2020, nearly a quarter of Canada’s small businesses have experienced some type of hostile cybersecurity, federal officials say.

The digital dilemma has prompted several cabinet ministers to plead with Canadian institutions to take protective steps this week.

Dwayne Robinson, global director of incident response at CyberClan, which provides security services to small and medium-sized organizations, said many breaches are simply opportunistic attacks that take advantage of vulnerabilities. network hole.

Robinson said during a recent webinar on ransomware in Canada.

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There are some basic things companies can do to dramatically improve their security, he said. “And that’s kind of frustrating because we keep seeing the same thing over and over again.”

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The Canadian Cybersecurity Center, a federal agency, has developed detailed guidance on preventing and protecting against ransomware attacks. Here are some key recommendations:

Training – Provide security awareness training to employees to ensure they don’t click on phishing emails or open infected downloads.

Plan – Draft a plan for how your organization will monitor, detect, and respond to a ransomware attack. Test your response plan through exercises.

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Cyberinsurance – The average cost of recovering from ransomware worldwide more than doubled last year to $2.3 million. Review policies and see if coverage is helpful.

Evaluation – Private experts can evaluate an organization’s computer systems and recommend preventive measures against a ransomware attack.

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The federal government offers programs aimed at operators of critical infrastructure in the energy and utilities, finance, food, government, healthcare, information and communications technology sectors. , production, safety, transportation and water.

The Public Safety Agency of Canada, in partnership with the Cyberspace Center, has developed the Canada Cybersecurity Tool to provide critical infrastructure organizations with an easy means of security assessment. their network in less than an hour.

It was first made available to institutions in the healthcare sector in the summer of 2020 and is now available to all critical infrastructure sectors. The Public Safety Administration says it has carried out 132 assessments to date.

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The department also offers the Canada Cyber ​​Resilience Assessment, an onsite survey-based exercise that can take up to a day and a half to complete. The Public Safety Foundation says 110 assessments have been carried out in various critical infrastructure areas since 2013.

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Use security tools – Install anti-malware and anti-virus software on your device to detect suspicious activity and secure the network with a firewall. Use strong passwords or passphrases to prevent what are known as “brute force” attacks from rolling through the multitude of password possibilities.

System Updates – Use regular updates and patches to fix bugs and vulnerabilities in software, firmware, and operating systems.

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Segmented Network – Dividing a network into several smaller shards can prevent ransomware from spreading throughout the network.

Adhere to the “least privilege” principle – Only allow employees access to the functions and privileges necessary to complete their duties.

Random Testing – Requires testers to attempt to breach the system’s security using techniques that hackers can use. The Bank of Canada, like many financial institutions, has long emphasized protecting internal systems, including network penetration tests.

Data Backup – It is essential for an organization to have copies of data and systems in the event of a failure. Make sure backups are stored offline, as cybercriminals can infect backups if they are connected to a network.

“Make sure your organization has multiple backups stored offline, and conduct regular backups, to ensure data is as close to real-time as possible,” said Network Center.

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“Testing your backups is also an important element of your backup and recovery process. To ensure an extra layer of protection, you should encrypt your backups. Having a secondary backup in the cloud is also a recommended approach to enhance your recovery.”

© 2021 Canadian Press

https://globalnews.ca/news/8433105/tips-protect-ransomware-attacks/ Tips to protect from ransomware attacks – National

Aila Slisco

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