How Triofox Protects Your Business with Built-In Ransomware Protection

Ransomware attacks are becoming an increasing threat to businesses, organizations, and municipalities worldwide. If your organization becomes the victim of one of these attacks, you may be forced to pay hundreds of thousands— if not millions— of dollars to regain access to your systems and data.

What is Ransomware – and How Does It Work?

A ransomware attack is a type of extortion initiated over the Internet—a cyberattack for profit. Most ransomware attackers work for criminal organizations or foreign nations that are in it purely for the money. They threaten to hold an infected system and its data hostage until a hefty ransom is paid.

Who Do Attackers Target?

Any type of organization can be the victim of a ransomware attack. Some attackers focus their attention on a single business or government entity. Others cast a wider net, sending ransomware to a large number of targets, assuming that at least a few recipients will click on a link and release the virus onto their computers.

How Does Ransomware Infect Your System?

A ransomware attack is typically triggered by a phishing attempt on an employee somewhere in the targeted organization. When an unsuspecting victim clicks a link in the phishing email and subsequently enters their username and password, the attacker gets access to the user’s system and plants the ransomware. Another common approach is to send the victim an email with an ordinary-looking attachment. When the user opens the attachment, the ransomware infects the host system.

Some ransomware attackers launch their attacks immediately on the initial infection. Others wait patiently for the ransomware to spread across large computer systems. In some cases, a ransomware attack can happen weeks or months after the initial infection.

What Does Ransomware Do to Your System?

Once the cyber extortionist initiates the attack, the ransomware goes to work. The malicious software encrypts data across the infected system so that it cannot be accessed. Some ransomware also encrypts the operating system of the infected computers, rendering them completely unusable. The most sophisticated ransomware is also capable of infecting data backups, making it virtually impossible for the targeted organization to restore data from a previous date. Users at the targeted entity are frozen out of the entire computer system.

The cyber extortionists, who have taken great care to cover their tracks online, then send the victim a ransom notice. This notice may automatically appear on the screens of infected computers or it may arrive in an email message. The message notifies the victim that their computers and data are encrypted and provides information on how to satisfy the attacker’s demands. This typically involves making a payment, usually in Bitcoin, to an untraceable online bank account. Ransom demands range from several thousand dollars to several million. At this point the victim has two choices: they can pay the ransom or take the hit.

What Happens After a Ransomware Attack?

If a company or organization chooses not to pay the ransom, it can attempt to restore affected data from a previous data backup. This may or may not work, depending on whether the ransomware has also frozen the backup. If the entire computer system is locked up, the organization may need to purchase new computers and servers. The cost to proceed without paying the ransom may exceed the price of the ransom itself.

Paying the ransom as demanded isn’t without risk. There is always the chance that the cyber extortionist may take the money and run, leaving the infected systems inoperable. Even if the cyber extortionist provides the key to decrypt the locked data, the victim might still encounter problems. Not all affected data is always recoverable, and some damage to files or systems may be irreparable.

If your organization is attacked, you’ll probably be offline for days or weeks. You’ll also pay the cost of downtime and the expense of bringing the system back online.

Anatomy of a Ransomware Attack?

Most ransomware attacks take place over six distinct stages.

1: Campaign

The initial state of the attack typically involves the distribution of phishing emails. The campaign may target a specific organization or distribute en masse to a large number of potential victims.

2: Infection

After a victim clicks the link in the phishing email, the malicious code is downloaded to the victim’s computer and executed. At this point, the host system is officially infected – although no files have yet been encrypted. If the infection can be identified at this stage, it can be removed before any damage is done.

3: Staging

In this stage, the malicious code establishes a connection to the attacker’s command and control server. The attacker can now send commands to the infected system.

4: Scanning

The attacker now scans the infected system to determine which files to encrypt. This may take hours, days, or even weeks, during which time the malicious software hides undetected on the victim’s system. There is still time, at this stage, for the infection to be detected and deleted without any damage to the host system.

5: Encryption

This is the stage where the damage occurs. At the attacker’s command, the ransomware encrypts all or selected files on the victim’s system.

6: Payday

During this final stage, the victim’s system becomes inoperable and the attacker sends the victim an electronic ransom note. The note demands payment, typically in Bitcoin, to decrypt the affected files and return the infected system to normal.

The Very Real Costs of Ransomware

Ransomware is one of the most serious cybersecurity threats faced by organizations today. The FBI reports that more than 4,000 ransomware attacks take place every day. Ransomware attacks entities of every size, from small businesses to large hospital systems to entire school systems and city governments.

Ransomware attacks are increasingly costly. Sophos’ The State of Ransomware 2020 report details that organizations that choose not to pay the ransom spend just over $732,000 to return their systems to working conditions. Organizations that choose to pay the ransom are out the cost of the ransom and additional remediation costs, for an average of $1.45 million per attack. That’s in addition to the average 19 days of downtime organizations experience after an attack.

Knowing all this, can your company afford to be a victim of ransomware?

How to Detect a Ransomware Infection – Before It’s Activated

The most obvious sign that you are a victim of a ransomware attack is that your systems freeze up, your data files become inaccessible, and you receive a ransom note from the attackers. By this time, however, it’s much too late to do anything about it other than respond to the attacker’s demands.

It is essential to detect an infection before the ransomware is activated. You need to employ measures that actively seek out ransomware infections in your system.

The process of proactively proving your system for ransomware and other cyber threats is called threat hunting. Threat hunters evaluate network traffic and activity to look for signs the system has been compromised.

One of the most common signs of compromise is the presence of a persistence mechanism. Malware inserted into a system needs to endure when the system is rebooted, or else the attackers have to keep reinserting the malware again and again. To maintain an infection, the malware must have some sort of persistence mechanism. Threat hunters look especially for signs of a persistence mechanism, which they can then analyze and track to discover the malicious software itself.

How to Protect Against Ransomware

There is no single solution that completely protects against ransomware attacks. You need to employ a multi-faceted security program to protect against, detect, alleviate, and recover from ransomware attacks.

Protection Starts with Your Employees

Since most ransomware intrusions start with a phishing attack, it’s important to beef up your phishing defenses. This includes strengthening anti-phishing education for all your employees and stressing – over and over again – not to click links or open attachments in unsolicited email and text messages.

Employees should also be trained not to download files from unknown websites or accept media and USB drives from untrusted sources.

Cybersecurity Defenses

Naturally, your IT staff should play a significant role in your defense against ransomware. Staff needs to make sure that all operating system and software are fully updated and install all of the following:

  • Anti-malware software
  • Web filters
  • Email security filters
  • Robust firewalls

It’s also important to implement measures that ensure ransomware removal in the event of an infection.

Back-Up Your System Just in Case

In addition, you need to take precautions in case your organization is the victim of a ransomware attack. You need to frequently make multiple backup copies of all important files, documents, and software and store some of these backups offsite or in the cloud. You need to be able to restore your system if your system or files are wiped by an attacker.

How Triofox Can Protect Your Business from Ransomware Attacks

Triofox is a file server enhancement solution that provides secure file sharing for your on-premises and remote workforce. Triofox can also help your organization protect against ransomware attacks with its robust ransomware protection.

Triofox continuously monitors all Triofox clients and takes proactive action if it sees any unusual activity from any device. If an attack is detected, the software disables access for the affected device and sends an alert to the system administrator. To enable your team to recover from ransomware and other attacks, Triofox also includes offsite file server backup.

Triofox also provides an easy-to-access version control history that simplifies recovery from Cyber-Attacks including ransomware and malware.

Contact us today to learn more about Triofox’s ransomware protection.

Protect Your Data with Versioning Software and a Retention Policy

Companies produce a considerable amount of digital data every day, including reports, invoices, emails, and other documents. So, what happens if you accidentally delete an important file? You could lose that file forever. You can even be hit by ransomware in the worst-case scenario and lose access to all files in your database. The solution? Versioning and a strong retention policy.

What Is Versioning?

Versioning, also known as version control, is creating and storing multiple versions of the same files. It is used to keep track of both digital documents and software.

To make it easier to check for previous versions of a file, they have a number. If you see a file with version 3.1, for example, you know that versions 3.0 or below are older, while any version from 3.1.1 and forward has been updated.

The first number indicates significant improvements or changes in the document, while the second is a minor revision. A possible third or fourth digit indicates further minor modifications.

An example could be a plan to devise a new product. When it is still a prototype, you would most likely label it as version 0.1, then 0.2, 0.2.1 (after minor tweaks), and then finally 1.0 when it is ready for launch. After the first update, your product files would be 1.1 or even 2.0 if it is a significant overhaul.

The main advantage of versioning is how it helps you organize your documents. It also allows you to backup each version, so you have copies should one be lost.

Similar systems had existed since the 1960s, back when the first computers were used to process and store data.

How Does A Retention Policy Work?

Suppose versioning is the act of creating different versions of a document. In that case, a retention policy is a holistic policy that determines these records’ lifecycle. By using it, you can determine how much time your company should keep a file before deletion.

Some firms deal with this problem by keeping records of everything forever. However, this will quickly turn into a problem. A new company can get away with it for some years, but it will need an insane amount of space if nothing is ever erased. Also, it makes it harder to find information because there’s much more of it to go through.

It is crucial to coordinate different departments and define timelines for keeping these documents to establish an efficient retention policy. You will also need to use versioning file software. It helps to create backup files and keep the organization simple without costing too many human resources.

The process takes time. However, it’s well worth it because of the security that it provides in the long-term.

The Reasons Why You Should Care About Having a Retention Policy

While implementing an effective retention policy may seem costly and complicated, the results are undeniably positive.

It protects your company from losing access to your files and helps it to be compliant with rules and regulations that may affect your business if you do not keep records of your activities. It even protects you against human error or damages to your hardware that may cause the loss of information.

Versioning Also Helps Protect You from Ransomware

The most immediate advantage of using versioning systems is to be protected from the dreaded ransomware attacks, which are getting more common every day. Researchers are already warning that ransomware attacks may have risen seven-fold compared to last year.

According to them, the technology used by hackers continues to evolve as they devise new threats. Some of the most popular ransomware used last year was dropped this year in favor of more aggressive versions.

So, it is impossible to be protected without investing heavily in cybersecurity and having a backup if something terrible does happen.

Sometimes, these attacks can cost thousands or even millions of dollars to companies. The larger your company is, the more expensive the ransom will be.

However, if you use specialized software as part of your retention policy, you will likely have several copies of your documents in the cloud. In the worst cases, you may end up losing a few days of work, but it is still not as tragic as having to pay millions of dollars to be able to run your business.

You need to remove the ransomware, reformat your drive, and as soon as your system is clean, you are ready to download the files again.

Retention Policies May Help You to Be Compliant with The Law

Another primary reason to instate a retention policy is to be compliant with local guidelines involving data retention. All companies need to provide reports about financial transactions. Depending on your region, you may need to keep records for years. If you do not, you may be subject to hefty fines. It’s easy to lose old files, so the system helps you to organize.

The information you need to keep depends on which industry you are a part of and in which state your business is based. These rules may even change in specific situations. So, it is vital to take the time to set up a plan.

Protection Against Accidents

Accidents are possibly the most common reason why companies ever use backup files. They can be divided into two types: human error and hardware failure.

In the first case, an employee makes a mistake and ends up deleting information that was not meant to be erased. Sometimes, you can get it back, but your chances will be slim if nobody immediately sees the error.

If you keep all your files in dedicated hardware without backup, your hard drive can stop functioning one day, and you will lose everything. Using new hardware can help avoid issues, but it’s not a guaranteed solution, as even new hard drives can malfunction.

How to Implement a Successful Retention Policy

Creating a set of retention policies is hard work, but you can do it by following these steps:

  • Determine a versioning software: Start by picking software that will do most of the hard work for you. You need one that offers cloud-based services (to have a backup) and tools that will help you to organize different versions of the files. You should also look for a system that enables remote access to the files and uses two-factor authentication to increase security and usability.
  • Identify the necessary regulations: Begin by understanding what kind of federal and local regulations you must follow. List them and pay attention to the documents that they require. How old can these documents be? It will help you to understand when you can finally delete your old files.
  • Select essential documents: You also need to create versions of other crucial documents for business operations.
  • Group the records: After you have selected all the records, group them into a logical order. The specific grouping is up to you, but do it so that most people accessing the system will not have to lose much time browsing before finding what they need. Organizing them by departments or projects is a good idea.
  • Organize information about the files: Finish the process by gathering information such as their retention period of the files, any special security measures related to them, and how to proceed when the retention period is finished.
  • Revise policies continually: Efficiency is at the heart of any successful business venture. By holding periodic reviews about how the policies are implemented, you can keep them compliant and working well. Remember that regulations can change quickly. Significant changes in your operations, such as venturing into new industries, states, or projects, may also trigger revisions.

Use Triofox To Manage Your Data

Triofox is a software that offers solutions for customers who need to protect their servers’ data. It adds ransomware protection and alerts to your file server. It will monitor the Triofox clients and automatically shuts them down if it sees a possible attack. It also sends an alert to the administrator when it detects the threat from the server-side and adds versioning and offsite backup of your file server, allowing you to recover from any attacks or accidental deletions. Triofox allows you to define your own retention policy based on your industry’s requirements and compliance.

Signup for a demo today to learn more and get access to one of the best versioning systems in the market right now.

Empower Your Employees with Secure Remote Access Using Triofox

If your company is transitioning to a remote workforce in response to COVID-19, you may have encountered the unique challenges associated with providing your work-from-home employees the needed access to company resources and data.

Triofox enables on-premises file server access by leveraging cloud technology with secure remote access to keep your daily operations flowing. Here’s a closer look at secure remote access and how it can expedite your organization’s transition to remote work.

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What is Secure Remote Access? A Quick Definition

Secure remote access refers to security policies or strategies taken to protect the transmission of sensitive data when accessed from devices or networks not controlled by the company.

Why Secure Remote Access Matters

As internet-connected devices and digital processes have flourished in the modern work environment, many organizations no longer bind their workforce to a single location. Employees can now access company resources and networks remotely from a constellation of devices and locations.

While this affords many salient benefits to organizations and their workers, it also renders traditional data security measures obsolete. Old ideas about access control via endpoints and passwords fall short in remote environments because they rely on the physical presence of an employee in the office using a pre-secured set of devices.

Secure remote access, on the other hand, ensures anyone who remotely accesses your file server or network is authenticated and uses a secure internet connection. It essentially is another layer of security between your users (or workers) and your data. Before allowing a user to connect to your file server, the application running a secure remote access policy may check for:

  • Security: Confirms that connected systems have updated antivirus and firewall, that all patches are present, and that no dangerous processes are running.
  • Single Sign-On (SSO) measures: Authenticated users can access certain resources with their initial login credentials.
  • NTFS Permissions : Existing permissions on your file server will be applied to remote users.

Get Secure Remote Access for Your File Server

Triofox simplifies remote access to your Windows file servers by providing a clean, secure interface for your remote workforce. It doesn’t take any files or data out of your file server. Rather, it introduces a robust secure remote access policy to empower your employees to connect securely to the resources they need. With Triofox, you’ll enjoy:

Single Sign-On and Two-Factor Authentication

Triofox can integrate with Azure AD and other SAML 2.0 compatible identity services. Once your users have authenticated themselves in Triofox, they’ll have the same access to your company’s file servers when working from home or their remote workspace as they would at the office.

Endpoint Encryption

The platform will automatically encrypt any data at all endpoints, ensuring that your most sensitive information never leaves a secure environment no matter where your workers access it.

Advanced User Controls

This lets you inherit existing user and role permissions from your file server and apply them to your remote workers’ devices with ease. It also allows users to simplify their login processes using Active Directory.

Choose Fast, Secure Deployment with Triofox

As business processes become less reliant on or restricted to a physical location, data security and remote access have become a focal point in operations. Secure remote access is just one of the many benefits Triofox delivers to companies seeking a rapid solution that supports a mobile workforce. Enhance access to your file servers with a simple, secure solution. Try Triofox for free now