Crypto-Ransomware : Your Worst IT Catastrophe
Crypto-Ransomware  Remediation ProfessionalsRansomware has become a modern cyber pandemic that represents an extinction-level threat for organizations unprepared for an attack. Different versions of ransomware like the Reveton, Fusob, Locky, SamSam and MongoLock cryptoworms have been replicating for years and still cause damage. Modern variants of ransomware like Ryuk, Maze, Sodinokibi, Netwalker, LockBit or Nephilim, plus additional unnamed malware, not only encrypt on-line files but also infiltrate any configured system backup. Files replicated to off-site disaster recovery sites can also be corrupted. In a poorly architected system, this can make automated restoration impossible and effectively sets the entire system back to zero.

Retrieving programs and information after a ransomware intrusion becomes a race against the clock as the targeted organization fights to contain and clear the virus and to resume enterprise-critical activity. Since ransomware requires time to spread, attacks are usually launched during weekends and nights, when successful attacks in many cases take longer to detect. This compounds the difficulty of promptly mobilizing and coordinating a knowledgeable response team.

Progent offers an assortment of services for protecting organizations from ransomware attacks. Among these are team member training to help identify and avoid phishing scams, ProSight Active Security Monitoring for remote monitoring and management, along with installation of the latest generation security gateways with machine learning technology from SentinelOne to discover and extinguish day-zero cyber threats automatically. Progent also provides the services of experienced crypto-ransomware recovery professionals with the skills and perseverance to re-deploy a breached environment as soon as possible.

Progent's Ransomware Restoration Support Services
After a ransomware penetration, paying the ransom in cryptocurrency does not guarantee that merciless criminals will respond with the codes to decipher any or all of your files. Kaspersky Labs estimated that 17% of ransomware victims never restored their information even after having paid the ransom, resulting in additional losses. The gamble is also costly. Ryuk ransoms frequently range from fifteen to forty BTC ($120,000 and $400,000). This is significantly above the average ransomware demands, which ZDNET determined to be approximately $13,000. The other path is to piece back together the vital parts of your IT environment. Without access to essential data backups, this requires a wide range of skills, well-coordinated project management, and the capability to work continuously until the recovery project is over.

For decades, Progent has made available expert Information Technology services for companies in Campinas and throughout the United States and has achieved Microsoft's Gold Partnership certification in the Datacenter and Cloud Productivity competencies. Progent's group of subject matter experts includes professionals who have been awarded high-level certifications in key technologies like Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and popular distributions of Linux. Progent's security engineers have earned internationally-recognized industry certifications including CISM, CISSP, ISACA CRISC, and SANS GIAC. (Refer to Progent's certifications). Progent also has experience in financial systems and ERP application software. This breadth of expertise affords Progent the capability to efficiently ascertain critical systems and re-organize the surviving components of your network environment following a crypto-ransomware attack and rebuild them into an operational system.

Progent's recovery team has powerful project management applications to coordinate the complex recovery process. Progent knows the importance of acting swiftly and together with a client's management and Information Technology resources to prioritize tasks and to put essential systems back on line as soon as possible.

Customer Story: A Successful Ransomware Virus Recovery
A customer sought out Progent after their network was penetrated by the Ryuk crypto-ransomware. Ryuk is thought to have been deployed by North Korean government sponsored cybercriminals, suspected of using strategies leaked from America�s National Security Agency. Ryuk goes after specific organizations with little room for operational disruption and is one of the most lucrative incarnations of ransomware. High publicized targets include Data Resolution, a California-based information warehousing and cloud computing company, and the Chicago Tribune. Progent's client is a regional manufacturer based in the Chicago metro area with around 500 employees. The Ryuk event had brought down all business operations and manufacturing processes. The majority of the client's backups had been on-line at the beginning of the intrusion and were damaged. The client considered paying the ransom demand (in excess of $200K) and hoping for good luck, but in the end brought in Progent.


"I can�t speak enough about the help Progent gave us during the most stressful period of (our) company�s survival. We would have paid the cyber criminals except for the confidence the Progent team afforded us. That you were able to get our e-mail system and critical servers back online in less than seven days was beyond my wildest dreams. Each staff member I got help from or texted at Progent was absolutely committed on getting us working again and was working 24/7 to bail us out."

Progent worked hand in hand the client to quickly understand and assign priority to the most important areas that had to be restored in order to continue business operations:

  • Active Directory
  • Microsoft Exchange Server
  • MRP System
To begin, Progent adhered to AV/Malware Processes incident mitigation industry best practices by isolating and cleaning systems of viruses. Progent then began the steps of restoring Microsoft Active Directory, the core of enterprise networks built on Microsoft Windows Server technology. Microsoft Exchange Server messaging will not function without AD, and the customer�s accounting and MRP software utilized Microsoft SQL Server, which requires Active Directory services for authentication to the data.

In less than 48 hours, Progent was able to restore Active Directory services to its pre-attack state. Progent then assisted with rebuilding and hard drive recovery on the most important applications. All Microsoft Exchange Server ties and attributes were usable, which greatly helped the restore of Exchange. Progent was able to assemble local OST files (Outlook Email Off-Line Data Files) on team workstations in order to recover email data. A not too old offline backup of the businesses manufacturing software made them able to restore these vital programs back online for users. Although major work remained to recover fully from the Ryuk damage, critical services were recovered quickly:


"For the most part, the manufacturing operation showed little impact and we delivered all customer deliverables."

Throughout the following couple of weeks key milestones in the recovery project were accomplished in close collaboration between Progent engineers and the customer:

  • Self-hosted web sites were restored without losing any data.
  • The MailStore Microsoft Exchange Server exceeding four million archived emails was brought online and available for users.
  • CRM/Product Ordering/Invoices/AP/AR/Inventory capabilities were completely functional.
  • A new Palo Alto 850 security appliance was installed.
  • Most of the user desktops and notebooks were back into operation.

"A lot of what happened in the early hours is mostly a fog for me, but we will not soon forget the dedication each of the team put in to help get our business back. I�ve utilized Progent for at least 10 years, maybe more, and every time I needed help Progent has impressed me and delivered as promised. This time was a testament to your capabilities."

Conclusion
A potential business-killing disaster was evaded due to hard-working experts, a broad spectrum of subject matter expertise, and tight collaboration. Although in post mortem the crypto-ransomware incident described here could have been identified and disabled with advanced security technology solutions and recognized best practices, staff training, and well designed incident response procedures for backup and keeping systems up to date with security patches, the reality is that state-sponsored cyber criminals from Russia, China and elsewhere are tireless and are not going away. If you do fall victim to a ransomware virus, remember that Progent's team of professionals has extensive experience in crypto-ransomware virus blocking, cleanup, and information systems disaster recovery.


"So, to Darrin, Matt, Aaron, Dan, Claude, Jesse, Tony and Chris (and any others who were involved), thanks very much for allowing me to get some sleep after we made it over the initial fire. All of you did an fabulous job, and if anyone is around the Chicago area, dinner is the least I can do!"

To read or download a PDF version of this customer case study, click:
Progent's Ryuk Virus Recovery Case Study Datasheet. (PDF - 282 KB)

Additional Crypto-Ransomware Protection Services Offered by Progent
Progent offers businesses in Campinas a variety of online monitoring and security assessment services designed to help you to reduce your vulnerability to ransomware. These services include next-generation AI technology to uncover zero-day strains of ransomware that are able to get past legacy signature-based anti-virus solutions.

  • ProSight Active Security Monitoring: Endpoint Protection and Ransomware Defense
    ProSight Active Security Monitoring is an endpoint protection (EPP) service that incorporates SentinelOne's cutting edge behavior analysis technology to guard physical and virtual endpoints against new malware assaults like ransomware and file-less exploits, which easily get by legacy signature-matching AV products. ProSight ASM safeguards on-premises and cloud-based resources and offers a single platform to address the complete threat progression including filtering, detection, containment, cleanup, and forensics. Top features include one-click rollback using Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service and automatic system-wide immunization against newly discovered threats. Progent is a certified SentinelOne Partner. Find out more about Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring next-generation endpoint protection and ransomware recovery.

  • ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP): Physical and Virtual Endpoint Protection and Exchange Filtering
    Progent's ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP) services deliver economical in-depth security for physical servers and virtual machines, desktops, mobile devices, and Exchange Server. ProSight ESP uses adaptive security and advanced heuristics for continuously monitoring and reacting to cyber threats from all attack vectors. ProSight ESP provides two-way firewall protection, intrusion alarms, endpoint management, and web filtering through cutting-edge technologies packaged within a single agent managed from a unified control. Progent's security and virtualization consultants can assist you to design and configure a ProSight ESP deployment that meets your organization's specific needs and that helps you demonstrate compliance with legal and industry information security standards. Progent will help you define and implement policies that ProSight ESP will manage, and Progent will monitor your IT environment and react to alerts that require immediate attention. Progent's consultants can also help you to set up and test a backup and disaster recovery solution like ProSight Data Protection Services so you can get back in business quickly from a potentially disastrous cyber attack like ransomware. Read more about Progent's ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP) unified endpoint security and Microsoft Exchange email filtering.

  • ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS): Backup and Disaster Recovery Services
    Progent has partnered with advanced backup software providers to produce ProSight Data Protection Services, a selection of management offerings that deliver backup-as-a-service. ProSight DPS services automate and track your data backup processes and enable non-disruptive backup and rapid recovery of important files, apps, system images, and VMs. ProSight DPS helps you recover from data loss caused by equipment breakdown, natural disasters, fire, cyber attacks such as ransomware, human mistakes, ill-intentioned insiders, or application glitches. Managed services in the ProSight DPS product family include ProSight DPS Ataro VM Backup, ProSight Ataro Office 365 Total Backup, ProSight ECHO Backup based on Barracuda dedicated storage, and ProSight MSP360 Cloud and On-prem Backup. Your Progent expert can assist you to identify which of these managed services are best suited for your network.

  • ProSight Email Guard: Inbound and Outbound Spam Filtering and Data Leakage Protection
    ProSight Email Guard is Progent's spam filtering and email encryption service that uses the technology of leading information security vendors to provide centralized management and comprehensive security for your email traffic. The powerful architecture of Email Guard managed service integrates cloud-based filtering with a local gateway device to provide complete defense against spam, viruses, Dos Attacks, DHAs, and other email-based malware. The cloud filter serves as a first line of defense and blocks the vast majority of threats from reaching your security perimeter. This decreases your exposure to external attacks and conserves system bandwidth and storage space. Email Guard's on-premises gateway device provides a deeper level of inspection for inbound email. For outbound email, the on-premises security gateway provides AV and anti-spam protection, policy-based Data Loss Prevention, and email encryption. The local security gateway can also help Microsoft Exchange Server to track and protect internal email traffic that stays within your security perimeter. For more details, see Email Guard spam filtering and data leakage protection.

  • ProSight WAN Watch: Network Infrastructure Remote Monitoring and Management
    Progent’s ProSight WAN Watch is a network infrastructure management service that makes it simple and affordable for small and mid-sized organizations to map, track, reconfigure and debug their networking hardware like routers and switches, firewalls, and access points plus servers, printers, endpoints and other devices. Incorporating state-of-the-art Remote Monitoring and Management (RMM) technology, ProSight WAN Watch ensures that infrastructure topology diagrams are kept updated, captures and displays the configuration of virtually all devices on your network, monitors performance, and sends alerts when issues are detected. By automating tedious management and troubleshooting activities, ProSight WAN Watch can cut hours off common chores such as making network diagrams, reconfiguring your network, finding appliances that need critical software patches, or resolving performance issues. Learn more about ProSight WAN Watch infrastructure management consulting.

  • ProSight LAN Watch: Server and Desktop Remote Monitoring and Management
    ProSight LAN Watch is Progent’s server and desktop remote monitoring managed service that uses advanced remote monitoring and management techniques to keep your IT system running efficiently by tracking the state of vital assets that power your information system. When ProSight LAN Watch uncovers a problem, an alert is transmitted immediately to your specified IT management personnel and your Progent engineering consultant so that all looming issues can be resolved before they have a chance to impact your network. Find out more about ProSight LAN Watch server and desktop remote monitoring services.

  • ProSight Virtual Hosting: Hosted Virtual Machines at Progent's Tier III Data Center
    With Progent's ProSight Virtual Hosting service, a small business can have its key servers and applications hosted in a protected fault tolerant data center on a high-performance virtual machine host configured and managed by Progent's network support experts. Under Progent's ProSight Virtual Hosting model, the client owns the data, the operating system software, and the apps. Because the system is virtualized, it can be ported easily to a different hosting environment without a lengthy and technically risky reinstallation procedure. With ProSight Virtual Hosting, you are not locked into a single hosting service. Find out more details about ProSight Virtual Hosting services.

  • ProSight IT Asset Management: Network Documentation Management
    Progent's ProSight IT Asset Management service is a cloud-based IT documentation management service that makes it easy to create, update, find and protect information about your IT infrastructure, procedures, applications, and services. You can instantly locate passwords or serial numbers and be warned about upcoming expirations of SSLs or warranties. By cleaning up and managing your IT documentation, you can save as much as 50% of time thrown away trying to find vital information about your network. ProSight IT Asset Management includes a centralized location for storing and sharing all documents required for managing your network infrastructure like standard operating procedures and How-To's. ProSight IT Asset Management also offers advanced automation for collecting and relating IT information. Whether you’re making enhancements, doing maintenance, or responding to a crisis, ProSight IT Asset Management gets you the knowledge you need as soon as you need it. Find out more about Progent's ProSight IT Asset Management service.

  • Active Defense Against Ransomware: AI-based Ransomware Detection and Remediation
    Progent's Active Defense Against Ransomware is an endpoint protection solution that utilizes cutting edge behavior analysis technology to guard endpoints and physical and virtual servers against modern malware attacks like ransomware and email phishing, which easily evade traditional signature-based AV products. Progent ASM services protect on-premises and cloud-based resources and provides a single platform to automate the entire threat progression including blocking, identification, mitigation, cleanup, and post-attack forensics. Key features include single-click rollback using Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service and real-time network-wide immunization against newly discovered attacks. Learn more about Progent's ransomware defense and recovery services.

  • Outsourced/Co-managed Call Desk: Support Desk Managed Services
    Progent's Support Desk services allow your information technology group to outsource Help Desk services to Progent or divide activity for Service Desk support seamlessly between your internal support staff and Progent's nationwide roster of certified IT support technicians, engineers and subject matter experts (SMEs). Progent's Shared Help Desk Service provides a smooth supplement to your corporate support team. User interaction with the Service Desk, delivery of support services, issue escalation, ticket generation and updates, performance metrics, and maintenance of the service database are consistent regardless of whether issues are taken care of by your core network support resources, by Progent, or both. Read more about Progent's outsourced/co-managed Help Center services.

  • Patch Management: Software/Firmware Update Management Services
    Progent's support services for patch management provide businesses of any size a flexible and cost-effective alternative for evaluating, testing, scheduling, applying, and tracking software and firmware updates to your dynamic information network. Besides maximizing the protection and functionality of your IT environment, Progent's patch management services free up time for your IT staff to focus on line-of-business initiatives and activities that derive the highest business value from your information network. Read more about Progent's patch management services.

  • ProSight Duo Multi-Factor Authentication: Access Security, Endpoint Policy Enforcement, and Secure Single Sign-on (SSO)
    Progent's Duo MFA managed services incorporate Cisco's Duo cloud technology to protect against password theft by using two-factor authentication. Duo supports one-tap identity confirmation on Apple iOS, Google Android, and other personal devices. With Duo 2FA, when you log into a secured application and give your password you are asked to confirm your identity on a unit that only you have and that uses a different network channel. A broad selection of devices can be utilized for this second means of authentication such as an iPhone or Android or watch, a hardware/software token, a landline phone, etc. You can designate multiple validation devices. To find out more about Duo two-factor identity validation services, see Cisco Duo MFA two-factor authentication services for access security.
For 24x7x365 Campinas Crypto-Ransomware Recovery Support Services, call Progent at 800-462-8800 or go to Contact Progent.