Adaptive Segmentationmicro-segmentation September 8, 2021

9 Reasons to Use Illumio to Fight Ransomware

Nathanael Iversen, Chief Evangelist

The growing threat of ransomware has put organizations at high risk and on high alert. But according to Gartner research, more than 90 percent of damage from ransomware attacks is preventable.

To prevent this damage, organizations need to stop ransomware from moving laterally through the network. And that's where Illumio helps.

If you can’t see and identify easy-to-exploit vulnerabilities, then you won’t know the right pathways to block.

With Illumio's real-time visibility and simple controls, you can rapidly reduce your biggest sources of ransomware risk, such as unused RDP and SMB ports.

In this post, we explain how Illumio provides unprecedented capabilities for protecting your organization from ransomware.

The Top 9 Reasons to Use Illumio to Fight Ransomware

When you deploy Illumio to fight ransomware, you will:

1. Build Real-Time, Enterprise-Wide Visibility in as Little as an Hour

Legacy tools like network and virtual firewalls do not map the maze of communications going into and out of applications. As such, most organizations don’t have a comprehensive understanding of where they’re at risk, leaving them more vulnerable to ransomware attacks.

Illumio can map all communications between applications and devices — across any cloud, data center, container, or endpoint — in as little as an hour. This real-time visibility gives you a clear understanding of how an attack could spread, which applications are most at risk, and what you must do to contain any ransomware attack you experience.

2. Create a Single Source of Truth for Communications Data

Legacy tools do not create an accurate catalogue of the communications going into and out of your environment, and they separate application monitoring from policy creation and enforcement. This creates a scattered picture of your environment, as well as silos between your people, making it more difficult and time intensive to turn visibility into action if you experience a ransomware attack.

Illumio creates a single source of truth for all the communications data generated by your environment, and combines this data with policy creation and enforcement within one platform. Illumio then provides tailor-made views of this data for your Network Ops, Security Ops, DevOps, and DevSecOps teams, driving their collaboration, and seamlessly feeds this data into your SIEM or SOAR to aid incident investigations.

3. Identify, Prioritize and Manage Your Biggest Ransomware Risks

Legacy tools struggle to identify the biggest sources of ransomware risk, including:

  • Which of your legacy systems are still active and listening.
  • Which commonly-breached protocols are unprotected, widely exposed or available to people and destinations they shouldn't be.

With Illumio, you can proactively block common ransomware paths through protocols such as RDP and SMB — eliminating a significant percentage of your biggest sources of ransomware risk.

Illumio can identify your most vulnerable applications and workloads, close the high-risk ports that you aren’t using, and continuously monitor communications coming into and out of the remaining sources of risk that you must keep open.

4. Build Security Beyond the Breach to Contain Lateral Spread

Recent attacks prove that traditional network perimeter defenses such as firewalls won’t stop breaches. Strengthening internal security and controlling the ports and protocols used by ransomware is the only way to prevent the compromise of countless systems.

Illumio extends ransomware defense past the perimeter, and builds security after the breach. With Illumio, you can prevent attackers from spreading past their initial intrusion point, contain the attack, and limit how many of your systems are compromised — reducing the attacker’s leverage, reducing your chances of having to pay, and diminishing the attack’s overall impact.

5. Accelerate Incident Detection by Forcing Attackers to Show Their Hand

In an open enterprise environment, attackers can move undetected between systems, silently pull down additional tools from the internet to expand their attack, and build a huge — but hidden — foothold across their victim’s environment. A sophisticated attacker can compromise an entire enterprise before they announce themselves by sending a ransom note.

By preventing lateral spread and blocking unwanted outbound connections, Illumio forces attackers to work harder and make more movements through the network looking for open pathways. This significantly increases the likelihood of detection.

The ability to control risky ports and isolate critical systems makes it much easier to notice early movements during an incident and take rapid action to stop malware or a hacker from expanding through the network.

6. Create a Containment Switch to Stop Ransomware Attacks ASAP

Ransomware can move quickly. If an attacker breaches an open environment, they can compromise all of their target’s systems within just a few minutes. Historically, organizations have had to simply pull the plug on their systems to stop an in-progress attack, leading to days of downtime as they reboot their operations.

Illumio gives you a more elegant emergency containment switch. As soon as an attack is detected, Illumio can immediately launch a highly restrictive set of policies that sever as much network communication as possible. By doing so, you can further contain the attack and protect high-value assets that haven’t been compromised, and buy time for investigation and response.

7. Write Policies to Improve Your Fundamental Ransomware Security Posture

The most effective ransomware defenses are put in place before an incident happens. While it’s necessary to prepare contingency plans to rapidly detect and respond to emergencies, ultimately, it is best to create a secure, functioning environment where ransomware cannot create an emergency in the first place.

Illumio can improve your ransomware security posture beyond emergency readiness. With Illumio, you can make sure that ransomware cannot spread in your environment at any time by rapidly creating and applying security policies that separate your environments, ringfence your high value assets, and segment your users, endpoints, and identities.

8. Automatically Maintain Security Policies as Your Environment Evolves

Historically, policies have been managed by attaching rules to IP addresses. But environments are changing faster than ever, IP addresses have become very fluid, and most organizations struggle to keep their firewall rules up to date. The result: organizations create unsecured systems every time they evolve their environment.

Illumio applies “natural language” policies based on labels, not IP addresses. Assigning labels to workloads using easy-to-understand organizational terms, such as the “web server” in the “CRM application,” makes it simple to describe and enforce policies across dynamic environments.

With Illumio, you can write a simple rule — for example, that ordering systems can talk to payment systems — and Illumio will automatically update firewall policies as those systems naturally change, keeping your systems safe without hands-on work.

9. Deploy Zero Trust Across Your Enterprise in Months — Not Years

Illumio was named a leader in Zero Trust by Forrester, giving customers a "holistic Zero Trust offering."

A few of our existing customers have:

  • Brought 11,000 systems under full Zero Trust policy within three months.
  • Secured 40,000 systems under full DevOps automation (including policy generation and enforcement).
  • Secured 145,000 systems at a global enterprise.
  • Isolated $1 trillion per day of financial transactions at a single bank.
     

See Your Risks and Contain Ransomware: Try Illumio Today

Ransomware is not going away, and a breach can never be fully prevented. But with Illumio, you will gain the visibility you need to map your environment, identify your risks, and contain breaches before they turn into high-impact events.

Take the next step to bring Illumio to your ransomware defense.

Adaptive Segmentationmicro-segmentation
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