With timely ransomware alerts, organizations can mitigate the threat and prevent their data from being encrypted/exfiltrated.
The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has decided to address the growing threat of ransomware attacks, which have been on the rise across the globe. As a result, the agency has taken the initiative to notify organizations about ransomware threats in advance to ensure the protection of critical infrastructure and networks.
CISA Announces the Issuance of Advance Ransomware Alerts
According to America’s premier cybersecurity agency, CISA, this new initiative will be helpful for organizations/institutions in public health, education, and government sectors.
Since the beginning of 2023, the agency has notified over sixty organizations from the education, energy, healthcare, and wastewater/water sectors, and the results have been valuable. With timely alerts, these organizations could mitigate the threat and prevent their data from being encrypted/exfiltrated.
It is worth noting that over the years, CISA has been quite active in tackling the growing ransomware threat. In February 2023, the agency started offering a free recovery tool to ESXiArgs ransomware victims, while its guidelines and advisories are taken quite seriously worldwide.
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What are Pre-Ransomware Alerts?
In a press release, Clayton Romans, CISA’s Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative (JCDC) associate director, stated that this is a proactive cybersecurity measure in which notifications are sent to at-risk organizations, warning them about ransomware in advance. This alert helps the entity remove the attackers from their networks and avoid file encryption.
How Does CISA Issue Notifications?
Pre-Ransomware notifications rely on tips received by the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative from researchers, infrastructure providers, and threat intelligence firms. After receiving the tip, CISA’s field personnel informs the targeted organization and helps mitigate the attack. In case the network is compromised, victims are offered help to mitigate the impact and understand the attackers’ tactics, techniques, and procedures.
How Do Pre-Ransomware Alerts Protect Organizations?
These alerts work because CISA noticed that ransomware attackers usually wait after gaining initial access to their targets before stealing/encrypting data. This period can last from several hours to a few days. If an organization is alerted during this time, the company can evict the invaders and prevent data encryption.
Therefore, when an entity receives an early warning, it can reduce the amount of data loss and financial losses while preventing any impact on its ongoing operations. CISA officials claim that their initiative has already yielded favourable results.
“Continuing to enhance our collective cyber defence is contingent upon persistent collaboration and information sharing between partners across government and the private sector,” Romans noted.