IT Service Providers Thwart Ransomware with SOC-as-a-Service

The public and global businesses alike view ransomware as one of the top cyber threats today. Adversaries are adapting and morphing their harmful techniques to better evade detection and infect a wider set of targets. As a result, ransomware has increased 97% in the past two years, according to Cofense. Ransomware losses in 2019 are estimated at $6.3 billion, covering downtime, lost wages, and customer defections.

Targeted spear-phishing attacks continue to be one of the most common ways to inject malware into a victim’s network and systems. GandCrab, Locky, PureLocker, Ryuk, SamSam, WannaCrypt/WannaCry, and Zeppelin are just a few examples of the most prolific and dangerous ransomware types seen recently and in the news. Hundreds, if not thousands, of variants now exist on the criminal underground thanks to Ransomware-as-a-Service (RaaS). RaaS is skyrocketing because it’s lucrative and doesn’t require advanced skills, according to Forrester Research. Newer ransomware campaigns can include crippling extortion demands that threaten to publicly release sensitive information such as client lawsuit data or patient healthcare procedure results if ransoms go unpaid.

Adversaries are increasingly targeting small and medium businesses (SMBs) who often do not have the staff or skills to defend themselves. Hackers know that 22% of smaller firms do not survive a ransomware attack and therefore might feel more pressure to avoid the downtime by paying a ransom. Small-to-medium-sized businesses without deep cybersecurity staff and expertise are increasingly teaming up with IT Service Providers for holistic cybersecurity coverage. Continuous monitoring, advanced threat detection, and integration with existing security tools and platforms can improve cybersecurity resilience – ensuring you’re prepared to fight ransomware.

How SOC-as-a-Service Accelerates Ransomware Detection

Advanced threats require more advanced technology, greater talent, and more diligent incident management than in years past. Instead of developing a security operations center (SOC) on your own with finite time and funds, SOC-as-a-Service (SOCaaS) enables you to get started quickly with minimal investment. With SOCaaS, you receive the SOC “function” as a service. Not just the software, but also the people in the form of dedicated cybersecurity experts, the proven processes, and the SIEM platform needed to perform the network and endpoint threat monitoring, prevention, detection, and response for your organization.

Attackers are evolving their tradecraft, and so should you. SOCaaS enables IT teams and IT managed service providers (MSPs) and managed security service providers (MSSPs) to more effectively address the evolving threat of ransomware with these best practices:

Achieve comprehensive visibility: Good visibility of an organization’s infrastructure, user behavior, and sensitive data reduces cybersecurity risk and minimizes hacker dwell time. Many enterprises do not have the staff or skills for 24/7 eyes-on-glass monitoring. A single console with all the data and needed reports saves analyst time and increases productivity. SOCaaS increases visibility, filters out false alarms, and uncovers threats lurking in the environment.

Leverage a SIEM platform: A security information and event management (SIEM) platform ingests and correlates network and security logs to identify suspicious activity for additional investigation. When SIEM and user and entity behavior analytics (UEBA) are combined, they baseline standard user behavior and pinpoint anomalous behavior. File integrity monitoring (FIM) is also useful to identify which files have changed, which may signify a loss of data integrity and potential data theft or exfiltration.

Block malicious activity proactively: Modern malware, including ransomware, copies itself with different names and hashes to various folders, so that if the original is identified and removed, the clones remain dormant but ready to attack later. A next-gen SIEM can identify hidden EXE and DLL files that have never executed. As a result, copies of malware and ransomware variants can be removed from the network, preventing re-infection or propagation. Ideally integrated with a SIEM for optimal protection, managed endpoint detection and response (EDR) solutions also block infected workstations to isolate them from the rest of the network until you can remediate then.

Augment traditional security: Legacy perimeter security like firewalls and anti-virus tools are no match against ransomware and well-funded adversaries looking for lucrative financial gain. SMBs are at risk if they have legacy applications or equipment, don’t patch regularly, leave gaps in their data backup plans, or their cybersecurity posture is still evolving. A layered defense is critical to stop multi-pronged threats.

Final Thoughts

No organization or government entity is immune from ransomware. IT service providers can, however, enable small-and-medium-sized businesses to minimize the risk of malware and ransomware. For IT service providers, SOCaaS helps you to remain top-of-mind as a trusted advisor to your clients as they look for cybersecurity expertise. With SOCaaS, you can focus your resources on the fundamentals of managing client networks, reducing their likelihood of advanced attacks, and thwarting true attacks immediately.

The 24/7 SOC is the foundation for comprehensive cybersecurity monitoring. SOCaaS provides many benefits to IT Service Providers, such as optimizing existing staff and capabilities and expanding offerings in a scalable way without the risk of capital investment and hiring hard-to-find security experts. Netsurion’s SOC as a Service offers advanced threat protection such as ransomware mitigation to your clients and helps you scale your business with simplicity and less risk and financial investment.

Blog courtesy of Netsurion, which offers the EventTracker security platform. Read more Netsurion guest blogs here.