How Zero Trust Can Help Defend Against Ransomware Attacks

Protect Against Ransomware with ZTNA

Over the past year, there have been a number of successful ransomware attacks that have made online security a hot topic across the globe. Ransomware attacks continue to rise, putting companies without proper security measures at risk of data breaches. As hacks become more sophisticated, the costs of recovering from a ransomware attack continue to increase. According to Cybersecurity Ventures, ransomware costs are predicted to reach over $265 billion by the end of 2031.

From attacks on major healthcare facilities to technology organizations, no industry is safe from ransomware attacks, and companies need to implement proper security measures to avoid their security teams experiencing attack fatigue.

To prevent such attacks, organizations are relying on a Zero Trust model to protect both on-premise and cloud assets. Zero Trust ensures relevant least-privilege and secure access to corporate resources, limiting the attack surface and decreasing the chances of ransomware attacks. By controlling all aspects of network security with a Zero Trust solution, IT managers can significantly reduce the risks of online threats across their organizations.

Zero Trust allows IT managers to segment user access, so each user can access only specific company resources, without exposing the network at large. This is critical for decreasing the severity of ransomware attacks. With Zero Trust, even in the case of a vulnerability, hackers are limited to the few resources open to the specific user they hacked instead of the entire corporate network.

Ransomware on the Rise

*Read more about the latest cyber trends in our “State of Cybersecurity” Report

The Ransomware Puzzle

The security community is seeing bigger implications as ransomware attacks rise. With every new successful attack on a different organization, it is clearer that attackers are looking to exploit intellectual property, sensitive data, and resources that are not encrypted.

IT teams need to spend days or weeks to recover exploited resources and data, and in some cases make sure attackers can’t continue to abuse the security gap in the future. The increasing number of organizations impacted has forced many to take the initiative and get proactive before they’re targeted as a potential victim.

Thinking Zero Trust: Your Proactive Defense

By implementing a Zero Trust model, organizations are able to significantly reduce the attack surface. Since employees are an easy entry point for attackers when exploiting an organization, the Zero Trust approach begins with employee access in mind. A Zero Trust implementation limits employees’ access, exposing them only to their essential workspaces and not to the network as a whole.

Features such as a Firewall as a Service (FWaaS), which provide granular network policy rules to control access to resources and services, are vital in preventing data vulnerabilities which can jeopardize the company’s resources.

User access segmentation is an essential step to preventing ransomware attacks. IT admins limit users’ access to resources and define which individual identity or role can access which resource. More companies are relying on two-factor authentication as well, ensuring that all users have been authenticated and verified before attempting to access any company application or network.

Creating Entry Barriers with Zero Trust

Since no employee is trusted by default, Zero Trust security creates complex barriers for attackers, even if some data or credentials are compromised. By implementing a Zero Trust model, organizations enforce authentication via Identity Providers and micro-segmentation, adding an essential layer of protection from attacks.

With the help of Zero Trust, IT managers can fully visualize networks and resources to ensure relevant least-privilege and secure access to corporate resources. They control all aspects of network security across cloud and on-premise applications and services, ensuring only those they trust can access resources.

Zero Trust provides the visibility, control, and threat inspection capabilities necessary to protect networks from ransomware, targeted attacks, and the unauthorized exfiltration of sensitive data.

Here’s how Zero Trust improves overall security posture:

  • Network Segmentation
    This allows organizations to define internal trust boundaries for granular control of traffic flow, enable secure network access and implement network monitoring. By allowing only specific members to access certain applications and resources, the attack surface is significantly reduced, providing a distributed security solution.
  • Trust Zones
    IT managers can group users into segments, known as “Trust Zones”, that have restricted access to company resources. This minimizes the number of allowed pathways and limits the potential for malicious attackers to access sensitive resources.
  • Infrastructure Management
    An important part of a Zero Trust approach is the ability to efficiently monitor networks through centralized management. This allows data to be processed by analysis tools and technologies that may enhance network visibility, detect unknown threats, or support compliance reporting.

Looking Ahead

As hackers continue to develop more advanced methods, the world of cybersecurity stays one step ahead with new technologies to arm organizations with the right tools to battle security threats.

With security protocols such as the Zero Trust model, companies are able to stay protected from online dangers. By implementing authentication and segmentation rules, creating Trust Zones and carefully monitoring all network activities, companies can arm themselves with the right tools against ransomware and other threats.

Wondering what else your organization can do to stay safe from ransomware attacks? Check out our Essential Guide to Preventing Ransomware Attacks and discover how businesses all over are benefiting from Zero Trust Network Access (ZTNA) to keep their personal data secured.