Crypto-Ransomware : Your Crippling IT Catastrophe
Crypto-Ransomware  Recovery ExpertsRansomware has become a modern cyber pandemic that presents an existential threat for businesses vulnerable to an assault. Different versions of crypto-ransomware such as Reveton, CryptoWall, Bad Rabbit, SamSam and MongoLock cryptoworms have been running rampant for many years and still cause destruction. Recent strains of crypto-ransomware like Ryuk, Maze, Sodinokibi, DopplePaymer, Snatch or Nephilim, as well as frequent unnamed viruses, not only do encryption of online data files but also infiltrate many configured system restores and backups. Information replicated to off-site disaster recovery sites can also be rendered useless. In a poorly designed system, it can render any recovery impossible and basically knocks the entire system back to zero.

Getting back programs and information after a ransomware event becomes a race against time as the targeted organization fights to stop lateral movement and cleanup the ransomware and to resume mission-critical operations. Since crypto-ransomware requires time to replicate, attacks are frequently sprung on weekends and holidays, when successful penetrations tend to take more time to discover. This compounds the difficulty of quickly assembling and organizing a knowledgeable mitigation team.

Progent has a variety of help services for protecting businesses from ransomware penetrations. These include team member education to become familiar with and not fall victim to phishing scams, ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) for remote monitoring and management, along with deployment of next-generation security solutions with artificial intelligence capabilities from SentinelOne to discover and quarantine new cyber threats quickly. Progent also offers the services of seasoned ransomware recovery professionals with the talent and commitment to restore a breached environment as rapidly as possible.

Progent's Ransomware Recovery Services
Following a ransomware penetration, sending the ransom in Bitcoin cryptocurrency does not ensure that cyber hackers will return the needed keys to decrypt any or all of your data. Kaspersky Labs ascertained that 17% of ransomware victims never recovered their files after having sent off the ransom, resulting in more losses. The risk is also very costly. Ryuk ransoms frequently range from fifteen to forty BTC ($120,000 and $400,000). This is well higher than the average ransomware demands, which ZDNET estimates to be in the range of $13,000. The fallback is to piece back together the key parts of your Information Technology environment. Absent the availability of complete information backups, this calls for a broad complement of IT skills, top notch project management, and the willingness to work non-stop until the recovery project is done.

For decades, Progent has made available expert IT services for companies in Cabo Frio and throughout the US and has achieved Microsoft's Gold Partnership certification status in the Datacenter and Cloud Productivity competencies. Progent's pool of subject matter experts includes consultants who have attained high-level certifications in key technologies such as Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and major distros of Linux. Progent's security experts have earned internationally-recognized certifications including CISM, CISSP, ISACA CRISC, and SANS GIAC. (Visit Progent's certifications). Progent in addition has expertise with financial management and ERP application software. This breadth of expertise gives Progent the skills to rapidly ascertain important systems and consolidate the remaining parts of your network environment following a ransomware attack and rebuild them into an operational system.

Progent's ransomware group deploys top notch project management systems to orchestrate the complicated restoration process. Progent understands the urgency of acting rapidly and in unison with a client's management and Information Technology team members to assign priority to tasks and to put key services back on line as soon as humanly possible.

Business Case Study: A Successful Ransomware Virus Recovery
A client sought out Progent after their network system was penetrated by Ryuk ransomware. Ryuk is generally considered to have been created by North Korean government sponsored criminal gangs, possibly using technology exposed from the United States National Security Agency. Ryuk attacks specific companies with limited tolerance for disruption and is one of the most lucrative examples of ransomware. Well Known targets include Data Resolution, a California-based data warehousing and cloud computing company, and the Chicago Tribune. Progent's client is a regional manufacturing company headquartered in the Chicago metro area with about 500 staff members. The Ryuk intrusion had frozen all company operations and manufacturing capabilities. The majority of the client's data backups had been on-line at the time of the attack and were eventually encrypted. The client was evaluating paying the ransom demand (in excess of two hundred thousand dollars) and wishfully thinking for good luck, but ultimately engaged Progent.


"I can't thank you enough about the care Progent provided us during the most critical period of (our) businesses life. We most likely would have paid the hackers behind this attack except for the confidence the Progent group provided us. The fact that you were able to get our e-mail and essential servers back online quicker than one week was incredible. Each staff member I talked with or texted at Progent was absolutely committed on getting my company operational and was working 24/7 on our behalf."

Progent worked hand in hand the client to rapidly identify and assign priority to the key applications that had to be addressed in order to resume business operations:

  • Windows Active Directory
  • Microsoft Exchange
  • Financials/MRP
To get going, Progent adhered to ransomware incident response best practices by stopping lateral movement and clearing infected systems. Progent then began the steps of restoring Microsoft Active Directory, the foundation of enterprise environments built on Microsoft Windows Server technology. Microsoft Exchange email will not work without AD, and the businesses' MRP applications leveraged Microsoft SQL, which requires Active Directory for access to the data.

Within two days, Progent was able to rebuild Active Directory services to its pre-penetration state. Progent then performed rebuilding and storage recovery on key applications. All Microsoft Exchange Server data and configuration information were usable, which accelerated the rebuild of Exchange. Progent was able to collect local OST files (Outlook Off-Line Folder Files) on team PCs in order to recover email messages. A recent off-line backup of the customer's accounting/ERP systems made them able to recover these vital applications back available to users. Although a large amount of work was left to recover completely from the Ryuk attack, critical systems were recovered quickly:


"For the most part, the assembly line operation ran fairly normal throughout and we produced all customer shipments."

Throughout the following month key milestones in the recovery process were completed in close cooperation between Progent engineers and the customer:

  • Self-hosted web applications were restored without losing any information.
  • The MailStore Exchange Server containing more than 4 million archived emails was brought on-line and available for users.
  • CRM/Customer Orders/Invoicing/Accounts Payable/Accounts Receivables (AR)/Inventory capabilities were fully recovered.
  • A new Palo Alto 850 firewall was installed and configured.
  • 90% of the desktops and laptops were fully operational.

"So much of what went on in the early hours is nearly entirely a fog for me, but our team will not soon forget the commitment each and every one of you accomplished to help get our business back. I have trusted Progent for the past 10 years, possibly more, and each time I needed help Progent has shined and delivered as promised. This event was the most impressive ever."

Conclusion
A probable company-ending disaster was averted through the efforts of top-tier professionals, a broad spectrum of IT skills, and tight teamwork. Although upon completion of forensics the ransomware attack described here could have been identified and stopped with advanced security technology and recognized best practices, staff education, and well designed security procedures for information backup and keeping systems up to date with security patches, the reality remains that government-sponsored hackers from Russia, North Korea and elsewhere are relentless and represent an ongoing threat. If you do fall victim to a crypto-ransomware attack, feel confident that Progent's roster of experts has extensive experience in crypto-ransomware virus blocking, remediation, and data restoration.


"So, to Darrin, Matt, Aaron, Dan, Claude, Jesse, Tony and Chris (along with others who were involved), I'm grateful for making it so I could get some sleep after we got past the initial push. All of you did an fabulous effort, and if anyone is around the Chicago area, a great meal is on me!"

To review or download a PDF version of this customer story, please click:
Progent's Ransomware Incident Recovery Case Study Datasheet. (PDF - 282 KB)

Additional Ransomware Protection Services Offered by Progent
Progent can provide companies in Cabo Frio a variety of online monitoring and security assessment services to help you to reduce your vulnerability to ransomware. These services include modern machine learning technology to detect zero-day variants of ransomware that are able to get past legacy signature-based anti-virus products.

  • ProSight Active Security Monitoring: Endpoint Protection and Ransomware Defense
    ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) is an endpoint protection (EPP) service that incorporates SentinelOne's next generation behavior analysis technology to defend physical and virtual endpoint devices against modern malware assaults such as ransomware and file-less exploits, which easily evade legacy signature-matching anti-virus tools. ProSight ASM safeguards on-premises and cloud resources and offers a unified platform to manage the complete malware attack progression including blocking, infiltration detection, containment, cleanup, and forensics. Top capabilities include one-click rollback using Windows VSS and real-time network-wide immunization against new attacks. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, dealer, and integrator. Read more about Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) endpoint protection and ransomware defense.

  • ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP): Physical and Virtual Endpoint Security and Microsoft Exchange Filtering
    ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP) services offer affordable in-depth protection for physical and virtual servers, workstations, mobile devices, and Exchange email. ProSight ESP utilizes adaptive security and advanced machine learning for round-the-clock monitoring and reacting to security threats from all vectors. ProSight ESP provides firewall protection, intrusion alarms, device management, and web filtering through cutting-edge tools incorporated within a single agent accessible from a single control. Progent's data protection and virtualization experts can assist your business to design and implement a ProSight ESP environment that addresses your company's unique requirements and that helps you prove compliance with legal and industry data security standards. Progent will help you specify and implement policies that ProSight ESP will enforce, and Progent will monitor your network and respond to alerts that require urgent action. Progent's consultants can also assist your company to install and verify a backup and restore system like ProSight Data Protection Services so you can recover rapidly from a destructive cyber attack such as ransomware. Read more about Progent's ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP) unified physical and virtual endpoint security and Microsoft Exchange filtering.

  • ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS): Backup and Recovery Services
    Progent has worked with leading backup/restore software companies to produce ProSight Data Protection Services, a family of offerings that deliver backup-as-a-service. ProSight DPS products manage and monitor your data backup processes and enable transparent backup and rapid restoration of important files, applications, images, and Hyper-V and VMware virtual machines. ProSight DPS helps your business protect against data loss resulting from hardware breakdown, natural disasters, fire, cyber attacks such as ransomware, human mistakes, ill-intentioned employees, or application bugs. Managed services available in the ProSight DPS product line include ProSight Altaro VM Backup, ProSight 365 Total Backup (formerly Altaro 365 Backup), ProSight ECHO Backup using Barracuda purpose-built storage, and ProSight MSP360 Cloud and On-prem Backup. Your Progent expert can assist you to identify which of these managed backup services are most appropriate for your network.

  • ProSight Email Guard: Inbound and Outbound Spam Filtering and Data Leakage Protection
    ProSight Email Guard is Progent's spam and virus filtering and email encryption service that incorporates the technology of leading information security vendors to deliver centralized management and comprehensive protection for all your inbound and outbound email. The powerful architecture of Progent's Email Guard managed service integrates a Cloud Protection Layer with an on-premises security gateway device to offer complete protection against spam, viruses, Dos Attacks, DHAs, and other email-based malware. The cloud filter acts as a preliminary barricade and blocks most unwanted email from reaching your security perimeter. This decreases your vulnerability to inbound attacks and saves system bandwidth and storage space. Email Guard's onsite gateway appliance provides a further layer of inspection for incoming email. For outbound email, the on-premises gateway offers AV and anti-spam protection, DLP, and email encryption. The on-premises gateway can also help Microsoft Exchange Server to monitor and protect internal email that stays inside your security perimeter. For more information, see ProSight Email Guard spam and content filtering.

  • ProSight WAN Watch: Network Infrastructure Management
    Progent's ProSight WAN Watch is a network infrastructure monitoring and management service that makes it easy and inexpensive for smaller organizations to diagram, track, reconfigure and troubleshoot their networking hardware such as routers and switches, firewalls, and access points plus servers, endpoints and other devices. Using state-of-the-art RMM technology, WAN Watch ensures that network diagrams are always current, captures and manages the configuration of virtually all devices connected to your network, monitors performance, and sends alerts when problems are detected. By automating tedious management processes, ProSight WAN Watch can cut hours off ordinary chores such as making network diagrams, expanding your network, locating devices that require critical software patches, or identifying the cause of performance issues. Learn more details about ProSight WAN Watch network infrastructure monitoring and management consulting.

  • ProSight LAN Watch: Server and Desktop Monitoring and Management
    ProSight LAN Watch is Progent's server and desktop monitoring service that incorporates state-of-the-art remote monitoring and management (RMM) technology to keep your IT system running at peak levels by tracking the state of critical computers that power your business network. When ProSight LAN Watch uncovers an issue, an alarm is sent automatically to your designated IT management personnel and your assigned Progent engineering consultant so any potential issues can be resolved before they have a chance to disrupt productivity. Learn more about ProSight LAN Watch server and desktop remote monitoring consulting.

  • ProSight Virtual Hosting: Hosted Virtual Machines at Progent's Tier III Data Center
    With Progent's ProSight Virtual Hosting service, a small or mid-size organization can have its key servers and apps hosted in a protected fault tolerant data center on a high-performance virtual machine host configured and managed by Progent's network support professionals. With Progent's ProSight Virtual Hosting service model, the customer owns the data, the operating system platforms, and the applications. Because the environment is virtualized, it can be moved easily to an alternate hardware environment without a time-consuming and technically risky reinstallation procedure. With ProSight Virtual Hosting, you are not tied a single hosting service. Learn more about ProSight Virtual Hosting services.

  • ProSight IT Asset Management: Network Documentation Management
    ProSight IT Asset Management service is an IT infrastructure documentation management service that allows you to create, update, find and protect data about your network infrastructure, processes, applications, and services. You can quickly find passwords or IP addresses and be warned about impending expirations of SSL certificates or domains. By cleaning up and organizing your network documentation, you can eliminate up to 50% of time spent trying to find critical information about your IT network. ProSight IT Asset Management includes a centralized repository for holding and sharing all documents required for managing your network infrastructure such as standard operating procedures and self-service instructions. ProSight IT Asset Management also supports a high level of automation for gathering and relating IT data. Whether you're making enhancements, doing maintenance, or responding to a crisis, ProSight IT Asset Management gets you the information you require the instant you need it. Learn more about Progent's ProSight IT Asset Management service.

  • Progent Active Protection Against Ransomware: Machine Learning-based Ransomware Detection and Remediation
    Progent's Active Defense Against Ransomware is an endpoint protection managed service that incorporates next generation behavior machine learning tools to guard endpoint devices as well as servers and VMs against new malware attacks like ransomware and file-less exploits, which easily escape traditional signature-matching anti-virus tools. Progent ASM services protect local and cloud-based resources and offers a unified platform to automate the complete threat lifecycle including protection, infiltration detection, mitigation, cleanup, and post-attack forensics. Top features include one-click rollback using Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and real-time network-wide immunization against newly discovered threats. Learn more about Progent's ransomware protection and cleanup services.

  • Progent's Outsourced/Shared Service Center: Support Desk Managed Services
    Progent's Support Center services enable your information technology staff to offload Call Center services to Progent or split activity for Help Desk services transparently between your in-house support group and Progent's extensive roster of certified IT service engineers and subject matter experts (SMEs). Progent's Shared Help Desk Service provides a seamless extension of your in-house support staff. End user access to the Help Desk, delivery of technical assistance, problem escalation, trouble ticket creation and tracking, performance measurement, and maintenance of the support database are cohesive regardless of whether issues are taken care of by your internal network support staff, by Progent, or by a combination. Read more about Progent's outsourced/shared Service Center services.

  • Progent's Patch Management: Patch Management Services
    Progent's support services for software and firmware patch management offer organizations of all sizes a flexible and affordable solution for evaluating, testing, scheduling, implementing, and tracking software and firmware updates to your ever-evolving IT system. In addition to optimizing the protection and functionality of your computer environment, Progent's patch management services allow your in-house IT staff to concentrate on more strategic projects and tasks that derive the highest business value from your network. Read more about Progent's patch management services.

  • ProSight Duo Two-Factor Authentication: ID Confirmation, Endpoint Policy Enforcement, and Secure Single Sign-on
    Progent's Duo authentication service plans utilize Cisco's Duo technology to defend against password theft through the use of two-factor authentication. Duo enables single-tap identity confirmation with iOS, Android, and other out-of-band devices. Using 2FA, when you log into a secured online account and give your password you are requested to confirm who you are via a device that only you have and that is accessed using a separate network channel. A wide range of devices can be utilized as this added form of authentication such as a smartphone or wearable, a hardware token, a landline telephone, etc. You may register multiple validation devices. For details about ProSight Duo identity authentication services, see Duo MFA two-factor authentication services.

  • ProSight Reporting: In-depth Reporting for Ticketing and Network Monitoring Applications
    ProSight Reporting is a growing family of in-depth management reporting tools created to integrate with the industry's top ticketing and remote network monitoring applications including ConnectWise Manage, ConnectWise Automate, Customer Thermometer, Auvik, and SentinelOne. ProSight Reporting uses Microsoft Graph and features color coding to highlight and contextualize key issues like inconsistent support follow-through or endpoints with out-of-date AVs. By identifying ticketing or network health problems concisely and in near-real time, ProSight Reporting improves productivity, lowers management overhead, and saves money. For more information, visit ProSight Reporting for ticketing and network monitoring platforms.
For Cabo Frio 24x7 Crypto-Ransomware Repair Consultants, contact Progent at 800-462-8800 or go to Contact Progent.