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Ransomware Containment

Contain Ransomware at Its Source With Zero Trust Segmentation

It’s a fact that today’s complex connectivity across hybrid, multi-cloud environments is increasing the attack surface. And as a result, organizations face an unprecedented threat from ransomware attacks — which can not only disrupt operations and incur great financial loss but also jeopardize reputation and ultimately customer trust.  

As the cyber threat landscape evolves, it's not a question of if your organization will be targeted by ransomware but rather when. It’s essential for organizations to proactively prepare for ransomware attacks with Zero Trust Segmentation.  

In this blog post, learn why the ransomware threat is so critical and how to achieve ransomware containment with Zero Trust Segmentation.  

Get a quick summary in this video:

Ransomware risk continues to rise

The statistics paint a stark picture of the ransomware landscape. In the last two years alone, a staggering 76 percent of organizations have been victims of ransomware attacks, resulting in an average recovery cost of $5.2 million.  

What's also alarming is the increasing sophistication of cybercriminals. Now empowered with AI tools, attackers are enhancing their capabilities through automation and targeting social engineering and adaptive malware. These increasingly complex tactics, techniques, and procedures allow them to navigate through traditional perimeter defenses and evade endpoint detection more easily than ever, remaining undetected within networks for extended periods.  

Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) is also a growing business model used by cybercriminals to distribute and profit from ransomware attacks. RaaS has contributed to the proliferation of ransomware attacks by lowering the barrier to entry for cybercriminals. This has allowed attackers with limited technical expertise to participate in ransomware campaigns, resulting in a larger pool of potential attackers and an increase in the number of attacks each year.  

Zero Trust: The foundation of ransomware resilience

The main goal of any ransomware attack is to disrupt operations until the victim pays a ransom. By building cyber resilience, organizations can ensure they’ll be able to maintain operations during an attack.  

The best way to achieve cyber resilience is through Zero Trust – a globally validated strategy based on the mantra "never trust, always verify." In fact, Forrester research has found that Zero Trust adoption has now reached mainstream, and organizations across every industry, geography, and size are actively implementing Zero Trust strategies.

Zero Trust Segmentation (ZTS) is at the core of any Zero Trust architecture. ZTS is an essential component of Zero Trust – you can’t achieve Zero Trust without it.  

ZTS provides organizations with a consistent approach to microsegmention across hybrid, multi-cloud environments, enabling organizations to see and reduce risk across cloud, endpoint, and data center environments. ZTS is easy and simple in comparison to attempting segmentation with static, legacy firewalls.

The Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation Platform stops the spread of ransomware attacks across hybrid, multi-cloud environments.

4 ways Zero Trust Segmentation secures against ransomware attacks

As daunting as ransomware seems today, IT and security teams can ensure that threats, even if they breach the perimeter, are compromised in their ability to spread to other devices – by leveraging the Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation Platform.

Illumio mitigates the impact of ransomware threats by containing them at their source. Unlike traditional approaches that focus solely on perimeter defense, Illumio's platform prevents attackers from laterally moving within your network, whether it's cloud, on-premises, or hybrid environments.

Here are the four ways Zero Trust Segmentation ensures ransomware attacks don’t impact your organization’s operations or critical assets:

1. Get end-to-end traffic visibility  

By providing real-time visibility and actionable insights into security risks and dependencies, the Illumio platform empowers organizations to visualize risks within their IT architecture, including all connected devices, applications, users, and their interactions within the network. This comprehensive visibility enables security teams to monitor, analyze, and respond to threats more effectively, gaining insights into attack vectors and potential vulnerabilities.  

By having a holistic view of their network, security teams have more key intelligence to create a containment strategy that aligns with their organization's unique needs, whether it be an internal security plan that follows a security framework like NIST SP 800-207 Zero Trust Architecture or helping organizations comply with regulatory requirements and data protection standards.

Map assets and identify potential risks with Zero Trust Segmentation to reduce the attack surface.
Map assets and identify potential risks with Zero Trust Segmentation to reduce the attack surface.
2. Stop lateral movement

If one thing is true about all cyberattacks, it’s that they like to move – and ransomware is no different. One of the keys to securing against ransomware is to stop it from spreading throughout the network. This is achieved by limiting lateral movement, and the best way to stop lateral movement is with breach containment technologies like Zero Trust Segmentation.

By isolating the initial infected resource, Illumio doesn’t allow ransomware to move further into the environment, halting its spread and minimizing damage. This approach ensures the first infected resource into the only affected resource, significantly reducing the impact of ransomware attacks. Lateral movement often precedes data exfiltration, so preventing an attack's ability to move can mitigate these risks, reducing the potential for data loss, system disruptions, and financial losses associated with downtime.

3. Continuously improve security

The core principle behind a containment approach is to give attackers nowhere to go and nothing to exploit within your environment. By doing so, you compel them to abandon their efforts and move on from your organization in search of targets they perceive to be easier or less well-defended.  

Attackers often operate with limited time, resources, and patience, so if they encounter significant barriers or delays due to containment measures, they may move on —safeguarding your critical resources in the end.  

By identifying where critical assets reside in your network, including the paths available for attackers to reach them, the intelligence provided by Illumio can inform security teams to block specific access and pathways that are ripe for exploitation. Illumio’s host-based segmentation approach allows you to secure all of these unused and high-risk ports and protocols, rapidly and at scale—which dramatically reduces the ransomware attack surface.

4. Respond and recover quickly

Cyber resilience with containment techniques doesn't end with proactive defense; it extends to recovery as well. Zero Trust Segmentation equips organizations with the tools needed to recover quickly from ransomware incidents.  

Containment plays a crucial role in incident response by isolating compromised systems, conducting forensic analysis, and mitigating the spread of threats. It allows security teams to contain and investigate security incidents effectively, identify root causes, and implement remediation measures promptly.  

By minimizing downtime and data loss in remediation efforts, the Illumio platform enables organizations to bounce back stronger and more resilient, minimizing the financial and reputational impacts of ransomware attacks and ensuring business continuity.  

For example, Illumio helped a global law firm quickly mitigate an active ransomware attack by stopping lateral movement, protecting their data center operations and client data.

Zero Trust Segmentation makes responding to breaches and restoring environments quick and secure.
Zero Trust Segmentation makes responding to breaches and restoring environments quick and secure.

Stop the spread of ransomware today with Zero Trust Segmentation

The time for action against ransomware attacks is now.  

Protect your resources, secure your operations, and uphold customer trust by leveraging the power of Zero Trust Segmentation.  

Get in touch today to learn how Illumio Zero Trust Segmentation can make your organization resilient against ransomware.

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Assume Breach.
Minimize Impact.
Increase Resilience.

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