EY recommends six steps for organisations to reduce impact of ransomware attacks
By Digital News Asia May 22, 2017
- Many companies are complacent and don’t take cybersecurity seriously enough until they experience an incident
- Actions can help protect from further cyber attacks by WannaCry and other ransomware
IN LIGHT of recent cyber attacks focused on global organisations through ransomware, EY is urging organisations worldwide to take immediate action, engage effective response measures to mitigate the effect of these attacks and help protect themselves against future attacks.
“The recent wave of cyber attacks reinforces the need that more needs to be done in cybersecurity. Many companies are complacent and don’t take cybersecurity seriously enough until they experience an incident," Ernst & Young Advisory Services Sdn Bhd partner Jason Yuen said.
“In fact, many organisations do not believe that they are at risk of a serious cyber attack. Today’s cyber criminals are becoming increasingly aggressive and sophisticated. EY is closely monitoring the attacks and we urge everyone to take steps that can help keep critical systems and data safe.”
The risk of being attacked increases exponentially when preventative measures are not taken. Failure to take incident response equally seriously can mean the difference between hours and days versus weeks and months of system compromise and outage.
There are six actions organizations can take now to help protect their systems, their most valuable assets and their customers, while mitigating against potential damage from emerging threats:
- Disconnect infected machines from the network and take all backups offline because they could also become encrypted if left connected to the network.
- Activate your incident response plan and don’t treat the investigation as merely an IT issue or exercise. Ensure there is cross-functional representation in the investigation team, including legal, compliance, information security, business, public relations, human resources and other departments.
- Identify and address vulnerabilities in your connected ecosystem; sufficiently install security updates, malware detection and anti-virus detection to complicate attackers’ efforts to get back in; enhance detection and response capabilities for future attacks; and prepare for eradication events.
- Ensure your systems are patched before powering up PCs. Keep systems up to date with a robust enterprise-level patch and vulnerability management program. This should include a formal, repeatable life cycle to manage vulnerabilities based on risks as they evolve, and a comprehensive asset model that focuses on the exposure of assets to these risks, including any connectivity to other assets.
- Activate business continuity plans. Prepare data based on varying requirements for regulatory reporting, insurance claim and dispute, litigation, threat intelligence and/or customer notification.
- Collect and preserve evidence in a forensically sound manner so that it is conducive to investigation, and reliable and usable in civil or regulatory matters.
Meanwhile, EY's Malaysia fraud investigation and dispute services leader Joyce Lim said that Malware outbreaks require companies to respond in a comprehensive and defensible manner.
"Even after the data is restored, companies sometimes face allegations that sensitive personnel-related or other business information had been compromised in the ransomware attack. Third parties and other stakeholders may require the company to demonstrate forensically that, even if the data was persevered and accessed, it was not stolen. Companies also have to demonstrate the ability to detect and respond to future attacks,” she said.
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