Ransomware is a debilitating problem for security professionals especially based on how fast it changes and spreads. Malware, like Cryptowall, Reveton, Torrentlocker, and Cryptolocker hide in your system for days or months to complete malicious activity and hold you hostage over it. As the name suggests, ransomware’s motive is to encrypt your files to deny you access and gain some leverage over you. The infiltrators demand payment in form of pre-paid cash cards or bitcoins in order to then supply you with a decryption key so you can regain access to your data. Developers of malevolent software like receiving ransom in this form so there isn’t a paper trail that authorities could follow to catch them. Attempting to crack the encryption yourself would take lots of time and resources, and risk permanently damaging the encrypted data.

In this age of complex malicious programs, firewalls are not enough to protect you. They simply cannot keep up with ransomware complexity and need constant monitoring to make sure that they are effective. Unlike traditional viruses, which were easily flushed out, ransomware creeps into your computer and hides so deep in the system that normal scanning often doesn’t detect them. Many malware threats also have the power to change form and avoid detection. Organizations and individuals need to do all they can to stay safe. There are several options that provide the level of security to combat these problems, but AlienVault’s Unified Security Management (USM) allows you to pinpoint attacks in real-time in an attempt to minimize the impact of ransomware to your assets. It helps you to stay protected in several ways;

Enhances network visibility

Deploying an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) at the network layer enables you to know exactly what is lurking in your system. This is a great way of detecting malicious programs in real-time so you can quarantine infected files before they can spread. Good IDS should act fast enough to flag unknown files in the network so you can take appropriate action to help yourself. It is very difficult to remedy an infection with today’s self-propagating malware, making it only practical to utilize both IDS and HIDS (Host based IDS) that will stop infections before they can spread far enough to bring operations to a standstill. USM’s Intrusion Detection Monitors are exactly what you need to screen and flag all unfamiliar files.

Looks out for any changes in critical files and registry

Modern day malware encrypts the bulk of sensitive or personal data, but this doesn’t happen instantly especially with large files. This gives you leeway to catch it before the act is complete so you can take action to keep it from spreading. USM enables this by using File Integrity Monitoring (FIM) which is built into HIDS. You have enough time to take decisive action before malware spreads and encrypts everything. These agents can be easily deployed to several of your assets all at once to simplify detection of threats. Once threats are detected and identified, you can move on to find reliable methods of removing them such as formatting the device and upgrading security to prevent future infections.

Get prompt alerts to changes in critical services

Advanced malware secretly embeds in your system and masks its clandestine activities until all your files are encrypted. The right tools can grant you instant visibility of your valued assets acting as an early warning on looming attacks. Service availability monitoring on the USM platform is the behavioral monitoring feature that allows you to view status of valuable files whenever you like and without much fuss.

Everyone needs to stay a step ahead of ransomware by employing the most advanced approach. This security epidemic has indeed taught the world that sometimes the best defense is ensuring that you never get attacked in the first place. Not only is it impractical to try decrypting files, it is also a bad economic decision. Platforms like USM offer enough tools to keep you and your environment safe from attackers. The threat keeps growing and it could affect anyone but there is a trend of targeted attacks by hackers who want to maximize their odds of getting paid. Organizations such as banks and hospitals often suffer attacks as well as public figures with much to lose if their private information were to get out. Preventing attacks from ever happening or even containing them is the most reliable means of escaping ransomware, and thankfully Windows and Android users have AlienVault to thank for the revolutionary USM platform.