Adaptive Segmentationmicro-segmentation August 23, 2021

Stopping Ransomware: See Your Threats With Illumio

Nathanael Iversen, Chief Evangelist

Ransomware is on the rise.

Thankfully, you don’t have to join these headlines. Gartner estimates that more than 90% of ransomware attacks are preventable — and Illumio can help you do just that.

Illumio offers real-time visibility and simple controls that help contain ransomware before it can spread, all while improving the overall security of your digital infrastructure.

In this article, we’ll explore:

  • Why visibility is the key to stopping ransomware.
  • How Illumio makes it easy to see your vulnerabilities.
  • How Illumio helps you proactively contain incidents before they cause harm.
     

You Can’t Stop What You Can’t See: Why Visibility Is Key

While ransomware requires a comprehensive security effort, visibility is the foundation to ensuring your organization is protected.

If you lack visibility into your environment, then...

  1. You won’t know when you have suffered a ransomware incident.

    Most IT visibility tools do not show you what assets are in your environment, how they are communicating with each other, and how they are reaching out of your network and connecting with the Internet.

    This leaves many organizations blind to the normal flow of communication and data within their environment, and unable to detect the abnormal communication and data flows that indicate they’ve been breached.

  2. You won’t know which of your assets are creating ransomware risk.

    Without a clear picture of their environment, many organizations don’t know how exposed they are to a ransomware attack, how many commonly exploited pathways they operate, and how much hidden technical debt they carry that an attacker could ride into their network.

    Even worse, many organizations can’t identify the existing excess data or communication flows that indicate they are already under attack.

  3. You won’t know how to respond to any ransomware incident you do suffer.

    Without a single source of truth for this data, many organizations create internal friction between the different teams that must collaborate to remediate any ransomware incidents they detect.

    Network Ops, Security Ops, DevOps and DevSecOps often have their own siloed information and struggle to work in unison. At the same time, security and security tools for SOAR and SIEM lack the comprehensive information they need to be effective.

In sum: Without baseline visibility into your environment, you won’t be able to assess your vulnerability to ransomware.

How Illumio Gives You Anti-Ransomware Visibility in 3 Steps

Illumio is a fast, simple and proven security platform. Illumio delivers risk-based visibility across modern, distributed, enterprise-scale environments in minutes. It's easy to continuously monitor and manage your highest sources of risk.

To do so, Illumio follows three steps.

Step 1: Illumio Establishes Enterprise-Wide Visibility in as Little as One Hour

First, Illumio creates a comprehensive picture of your environment.

Illumio finds all of your devices, applications and workloads — including cloud, container, data center and endpoint assets — and automatically maps their internal communications and external interactions with the Internet.

From there, Illumio creates real-time application dependency maps so you can see which assets need to communicate and interact with other assets or the Internet.

By creating this visibility, Illumio quickly shows you how traffic normally flows across your entire enterprise and lets you intuitively spot anomalies that indicate an incident.

Step 2: Illumio Assesses Your Risks and Spots Your Biggest Vulnerabilities

Second, Illumio helps you pinpoint your biggest sources of ransomware risk, including:

  • Pathways that are commonly exploited by ransomware, like RDP and SMB.
  • Applications and systems that are communicating more than they need to or that are unnecessarily interacting with the Internet or command-and-control systems.
  • Technical debt, such as deprecated services that still live in your environment, or legacy unpatched systems that open a door into your network.
  • Data flows that are out of compliance with your existing security policies, such as instances of remote access that aren’t using your jump hosts to connect.

By mapping these sources of risk, Illumio helps you understand your vulnerabilities, and shows you where you can become more resilient and limit your breach exposure.

Step 3: Illumio Creates a Single Source of Truth to Drive Ransomware Detection and Response

Finally, Illumio creates tighter collaboration between your internal teams.

Illumio gives you a single source of truth that makes it easy to objectively rank your biggest sources of risk and prioritize your efforts against ransomware.

From there, Illumio offers tailored views of this data that meet the unique needs of your Network Ops, Security Ops, DevOps and DevSecOps teams. Illumio also feeds accurate, real-time data to your SIEM or SOAR tools to drive incident investigations, and to coordinate an effective, efficient response.

In sum: With Illumio, you will gain the visibility you need to contain to your ransomware incidents before they become headline-making events.

But that’s just the beginning.

Once you create a clear, actionable picture of your environment and begin to use this intelligence to understand your areas of greatest exposure, you will be ready to use the Illumio platform to create a fundamentally stronger security posture that proactively contains incidents.

Going Deeper: Use Visibility to Diagnose, Use Containment to Cure

Ransomware attacks must move and grow to achieve their objectives.

Once an attacker gets a foothold on your network, it must move to compromise as many systems as possible, all while interacting with the Internet to pull down malicious tools or to exfiltrate the data that it’s accessed. The more an attack can spread, the more damage it can cause, and the bigger ransom criminals can demand.

With Illumio, you can contain lateral movement and mitigate the damage from an attack. Illumio helps you:

  • Proactively contain ransomware intrusions by closing risky pathways commonly exploited during an attack, but which you don’t need to keep open.
  • Continuously monitor and manage the vulnerable pathways and other sources of risk in your environment that must remain open to operate.
  • Reduce your attack surface, limit potential intrusion points, and minimize pathways for ransomware to laterally spread after a breach.
  • Create a containment switch that you can flip during an attack to surgically sever unsafe network communications and prevent further spread.

Illumio gives you the visibility you need to see your risks, all while creating a fundamentally more secure environment, resulting in dramatically reduced vulnerability to today’s ransomware attacks.

To start, you just need to take the first step.

Try Illumio Today

Ransomware is not going away. But with the right strategy and technologies, you will gain the visibility you need to map your environment, identify your risks, and detect and contain breaches before they turn into cyber disasters.

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

Adaptive Segmentationmicro-segmentation
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