Ransomware detection is the action of discovering malware created by individuals, groups, or nation-states to encrypt and often remove data from systems for financial gain.
Expected to cost businesses globally $265 billion annually by 2031, ransomware is an attack not only on computer environments but on organizations’ revenue and productivity. Ransomware detection is early insight into this cyber threat so organizations can better counter ransomware, including avoiding paying cybercriminals large sums of money and better safeguarding all of their data and systems. Critical ransomware detection capabilities from automation to artificial intelligence and machine learning (AI/ML) are now embedded in leading data security and data management solutions.
How can you detect a ransomware attack?
Ransomware detection is now possible with a robust data security and data management solution for cyber resilience that features anomaly detection in near real time, automated alerting, and cyber vulnerability discovery. This right platform can be the last line of defense in not only the detection of but the prevention and recovery of valuable data in a ransomware attack. Organizations can detect a ransomware attack using technology with advanced threat detection signals and alerting based on intelligence gathering about data and how it is changing in real time. For example, if a system is receiving much more data and in patterns that are different from normal behavior, a data security and data management solution using AI/ML-powered insights will recognize it as anomalous behavior and automatically notify a system administrator to review what is happening.
What is the importance and benefits of early ransomware detection?
Early detection of ransomware is very important to businesses, not-for-profit organizations, and governments that rely on digital infrastructure because ransomware locks up data and systems, rendering them unusable. Insights into a ransomware attack before it starts or one just getting started can make mitigation simpler. Early ransomware detection can also help organizations:
Confidently avoid paying ransom — Organizations that can detect ransomware attacks early have the confidence to reject cybercriminals’ increasing demands for financial payment.
Prevent data loss — Bad actors are now not only encrypting data, but stealing it in double extortion ransomware schemes to sell it on the dark web for greater gain. Early detection prevention inhibits significant sensitive data loss.
Limit downtime — By quickly detecting ransomware and stopping the wide-spread encryption of data, organizations can avoid the negative, crippling employee productivity impacts of ransomware.
Respond and recover faster — With early detection capabilities, organizations also have pointers to data and lists of files that may have been attacked and compromised. These can be very valuable in the ransomware recovery and restoration process because teams know where to focus scanning and vulnerability assessments there first to avoid malware re-infection.
What are the different types of ransomware detection techniques and responses?
Ransomware detection techniques and responses vary by technology solutions and organizations can take advantage of more than one to catch infections early. The most popular ransomware detection methods are:
Threat Intelligence — Organizations use threat intelligence feeds to stay updated on the latest ransomware variants, techniques, and indicators of compromise. This information helps detect and block ransomware based on known patterns.
Behavioral detection — Unusual changes—increases or location movement—in data traffic, file systems, and API calls often signal the start of a ransomware attack. Organizations that deploy solutions with AI/ML that track anomalies can often more quickly detect ransomware.
Deception-based detection — Organizations can create and lure potential attackers into their organization to expose cybercriminals’ methods and intentions. This type of baiting can be effective in boosting intelligence about where and how ransomware may enter an organization, allowing teams to bolster solutions internally and at endpoints countering them.
Signature-based detection — Similar to the way virus scanning works, this type of ransomware detection is effective in countering known threats. It compares the way a file is written and executed with well-known ransomware signature analysis to spot threats. With new ransomware types continuously appearing, this method is quickly becoming less accurate at ransomware detection than the other two methods.
Cohesity and ransomware detection
Cohesity is advancing an AI/ML-powered approach to ransomware detection that furthers business continuity and cyber resiliency. Organizations using Cohesity’s data security and data management platform gain data anomaly detection and ML-based threat intelligence and scanning to detect risks, malware and other indicators of compromise (IOCs).
Specifically, Cohesity delivers:
Powerful automated anomaly detection in near real time as part of a data management solution that continually tracks normal system operations to quickly spot irregularities and abnormal user behaviors that can signify a ransomware attack.
Anti-ransomware alerts. These inform teams that data is changing in a way that may be indicative of malicious activity such as a ransomware attack.
Software vulnerability discovery—often caused by unpatched software—that prevents easy ransomware intrusion. Cohesity data protection as part of the Cohesity data security and data management platform helps teams gain visibility into vulnerabilities and proactively address them to avoid reinjecting already addressed cyber vulnerabilities back into your production environment while recovering from an attack.
Moreover, in partnership with leading security partners and as part of the Data Security Alliance, Cohesity is building security into a team sport by enabling operations and security (SecOps) organizations to gain complete visibility into threats. With access to actionable forensic and security operations center data integrations, teams can now achieve optimal ransomware resolution.