The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released guidance to help government and private sector organizations prevent data breaches resulting from ransomware double extortion schemes.
CISA’s fact sheet includes best practices for preventing ransomware attacks and protecting sensitive information from exfiltration attempts.
The federal agency issued these recommendations in response to most ransomware gangs using data stolen from their victims’ networks as leverage in ransom negotiations under the threat of publishing the stolen info on dedicated leak sites.
“Ransomware is a serious and increasing threat to all government and private sector organizations, including critical infrastructure organizations,” CISA said.
“All organizations are at risk of falling victim to a ransomware incident and are responsible for protecting sensitive and personal data stored on their systems.”
How to block ransomware and protect data
CISA encourages organizations to implement recommendations shared in the info sheet published on Wednesday designed to streamline the process of preventing and responding to ransomware-caused data breaches.
Among the advice included to prevent ransomware attacks, CISA says that at-risk orgs should:
- Maintain offline, encrypted backups of data and regularly test backups
- Create, maintain, and exercise a basic cyber incident response plan, resiliency plan, and associated communications plan
- Mitigate internet-facing vulnerabilities and misconfigurations to reduce the attack vector
- Reduce the risk of phishing emails from reaching end users by enabling strong spam filters and implementing user awareness and training programs
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