Ransomware : Your Crippling IT Catastrophe
Ransomware  Remediation ProfessionalsCrypto-Ransomware has become a modern cyberplague that represents an enterprise-level threat for businesses unprepared for an attack. Versions of ransomware such as Reveton, WannaCry, Bad Rabbit, NotPetya and MongoLock cryptoworms have been running rampant for a long time and continue to cause harm. More recent versions of crypto-ransomware such as Ryuk, Maze, Sodinokibi, Netwalker, LockBit or Nephilim, as well as additional unnamed viruses, not only do encryption of on-line data files but also infiltrate most accessible system protection. Files synchronized to off-site disaster recovery sites can also be rendered useless. In a poorly designed system, this can render automatic recovery useless and effectively sets the entire system back to zero.

Retrieving applications and data following a crypto-ransomware intrusion becomes a sprint against the clock as the targeted business struggles to stop lateral movement and cleanup the ransomware and to restore enterprise-critical activity. Since crypto-ransomware needs time to replicate, attacks are often sprung during weekends and nights, when successful penetrations tend to take longer to uncover. This multiplies the difficulty of rapidly marshalling and coordinating a capable response team.

Progent offers a variety of solutions for protecting organizations from crypto-ransomware events. These include staff education to help recognize and not fall victim to phishing scams, ProSight Active Security Monitoring for remote monitoring and management, in addition to setup and configuration of the latest generation security solutions with AI technology from SentinelOne to discover and suppress day-zero cyber threats quickly. Progent in addition provides the services of veteran crypto-ransomware recovery consultants with the skills and perseverance to re-deploy a breached environment as rapidly as possible.

Progent's Ransomware Recovery Help
Soon after a ransomware attack, even paying the ransom demands in Bitcoin cryptocurrency does not provide any assurance that merciless criminals will respond with the codes to decrypt all your data. Kaspersky Labs determined that seventeen percent of crypto-ransomware victims never recovered their data after having paid the ransom, resulting in increased losses. The risk is also very costly. Ryuk ransoms often range from 15-40 BTC ($120,000 and $400,000). This is well above the typical ransomware demands, which ZDNET determined to be in the range of $13,000. The fallback is to re-install the essential components of your Information Technology environment. Without the availability of essential system backups, this calls for a broad complement of skills, professional project management, and the willingness to work non-stop until the recovery project is completed.

For twenty years, Progent has provided certified expert Information Technology services for companies in Barra da Tijuca and throughout the U.S. and has earned Microsoft's Partnership certification in the Datacenter and Cloud Productivity competencies. Progent's group of subject matter experts includes consultants who have attained high-level industry certifications in key technologies such as Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and major distros of Linux. Progent's cybersecurity engineers have garnered internationally-recognized industry certifications including CISA, CISSP, CRISC, and SANS GIAC. (Refer to Progent's certifications). Progent also has experience with financial management and ERP application software. This breadth of experience gives Progent the capability to efficiently ascertain important systems and integrate the surviving components of your computer network system following a crypto-ransomware event and assemble them into a functioning network.

Progent's security team of experts uses powerful project management tools to coordinate the complicated restoration process. Progent knows the importance of acting quickly and in unison with a client's management and Information Technology resources to prioritize tasks and to put essential services back on-line as fast as humanly possible.

Client Story: A Successful Ransomware Incident Response
A business engaged Progent after their organization was attacked by Ryuk ransomware. Ryuk is thought to have been developed by North Korean state criminal gangs, possibly adopting techniques leaked from the U.S. National Security Agency. Ryuk attacks specific companies with limited ability to sustain operational disruption and is among the most profitable incarnations of ransomware viruses. Well Known organizations include Data Resolution, a California-based information warehousing and cloud computing company, and the Chicago Tribune. Progent's customer is a regional manufacturing company located in the Chicago metro area with about 500 employees. The Ryuk attack had shut down all business operations and manufacturing capabilities. The majority of the client's system backups had been directly accessible at the beginning of the intrusion and were damaged. The client was actively seeking loans for paying the ransom (in excess of $200,000) and praying for good luck, but ultimately engaged Progent.


"I cannot thank you enough about the expertise Progent provided us throughout the most fearful period of (our) company's life. We would have paid the cyber criminals if it wasn't for the confidence the Progent experts afforded us. That you were able to get our e-mail system and production servers back on-line faster than one week was beyond my wildest dreams. Each expert I talked with or messaged at Progent was totally committed on getting us back online and was working 24 by 7 to bail us out."

Progent worked hand in hand the client to rapidly assess and prioritize the most important applications that had to be restored to make it possible to restart company operations:

  • Active Directory (AD)
  • Electronic Messaging
  • MRP System
To start, Progent followed AV/Malware Processes penetration response best practices by halting lateral movement and cleaning up infected systems. Progent then initiated the work of rebuilding Microsoft Active Directory, the foundation of enterprise systems built upon Microsoft Windows Server technology. Exchange email will not work without AD, and the customer's financials and MRP system used SQL Server, which needs Active Directory for authentication to the data.

In less than 2 days, Progent was able to recover Windows Active Directory to its pre-virus state. Progent then helped perform reinstallations and hard drive recovery of the most important systems. All Exchange Server ties and attributes were intact, which accelerated the rebuild of Exchange. Progent was also able to collect non-encrypted OST files (Outlook Off-Line Data Files) on team workstations to recover mail data. A not too old offline backup of the customer's financials/ERP software made it possible to return these essential services back online. Although significant work remained to recover fully from the Ryuk damage, the most important systems were returned to operations rapidly:


"For the most part, the production operation ran fairly normal throughout and we did not miss any customer shipments."

During the next couple of weeks important milestones in the restoration project were achieved through tight collaboration between Progent consultants and the customer:

  • Self-hosted web applications were restored without losing any information.
  • The MailStore Server exceeding four million historical messages was brought online and accessible to users.
  • CRM/Orders/Invoicing/AP/AR/Inventory Control modules were completely recovered.
  • A new Palo Alto Networks 850 firewall was installed.
  • Nearly all of the desktop computers were back into operation.

"A huge amount of what occurred in the initial days is mostly a blur for me, but our team will not forget the dedication each of the team put in to help get our company back. I've entrusted Progent for at least 10 years, possibly more, and every time Progent has shined and delivered as promised. This time was a testament to your capabilities."

Conclusion
A potential business disaster was averted due to top-tier experts, a wide spectrum of subject matter expertise, and tight collaboration. Although upon completion of forensics the crypto-ransomware virus incident described here could have been identified and stopped with modern security technology solutions and ISO/IEC 27001 best practices, team education, and properly executed security procedures for data protection and proper patching controls, the fact remains that state-sponsored cyber criminals from Russia, North Korea and elsewhere are relentless and are an ongoing threat. If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, feel confident that Progent's team of experts has proven experience in ransomware virus defense, mitigation, and data recovery.


"So, to Darrin, Matt, Aaron, Dan, Claude, Jesse, Arnaud, Allen, Tony and Chris (and any others who were helping), thank you for making it so I could get rested after we got through the most critical parts. Everyone did an amazing effort, and if any of your team is in the Chicago area, a great meal is on me!"

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

Additional Ransomware Protection Services Offered by Progent
Progent can provide businesses in Barra da Tijuca a range of online monitoring and security assessment services to assist you to reduce the threat from ransomware. These services incorporate modern artificial intelligence capability to detect zero-day strains of ransomware that are able to escape detection by traditional signature-based anti-virus solutions.

  • ProSight Active Security Monitoring: Endpoint Protection and Ransomware Defense
    ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) is an endpoint protection (EPP) solution that utilizes SentinelOne's cutting edge behavior machine learning technology to defend physical and virtual endpoint devices against modern malware assaults such as ransomware and email phishing, which routinely escape legacy signature-based anti-virus products. ProSight Active Security Monitoring protects on-premises and cloud-based resources and offers a single platform to address the complete malware attack lifecycle including protection, detection, mitigation, remediation, and forensics. Top features include one-click rollback using Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and automatic network-wide immunization against newly discovered attacks. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, reseller, and integrator. Learn more about Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring endpoint protection and ransomware defense.

  • ProSight Enhanced Security Protection: Physical and Virtual Endpoint Security and Exchange Filtering
    ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP) managed services deliver economical multi-layer protection for physical servers and VMs, workstations, mobile devices, and Exchange Server. ProSight ESP utilizes contextual security and advanced machine learning for round-the-clock monitoring and reacting to cyber assaults from all attack vectors. ProSight ESP offers two-way firewall protection, penetration alarms, endpoint control, and web filtering via cutting-edge technologies incorporated within one agent accessible from a unified control. Progent's data protection and virtualization consultants can help you to plan and implement a ProSight ESP environment that addresses your company's specific needs and that allows you prove compliance with government and industry data protection regulations. Progent will assist you define and configure policies that ProSight ESP will manage, and Progent will monitor your IT environment and respond to alarms that call for immediate action. Progent can also help you to set up and test a backup and restore solution such as ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS) so you can recover quickly from a potentially disastrous cyber attack like ransomware. Read more about Progent's ProSight Enhanced Security Protection unified endpoint protection and Exchange email filtering.

  • ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS): Managed Backup and Recovery Services
    Progent has worked with advanced backup technology companies to create ProSight Data Protection Services, a family of management offerings that deliver backup-as-a-service (BaaS). ProSight DPS products automate and track your backup operations and enable non-disruptive backup and rapid recovery of important files/folders, applications, system images, and VMs. ProSight DPS helps you avoid data loss caused by equipment breakdown, natural disasters, fire, malware like ransomware, user error, malicious insiders, or application bugs. Managed backup services available in the ProSight DPS portfolio include ProSight DPS Altaro VM Backup, ProSight 365 Total Backup (formerly Altaro 365 Backup), ProSight DPS ECHO Backup based on Barracuda dedicated hardware, and ProSight DPS MSP360 Hybrid Backup. Your Progent expert can assist you to identify which of these managed services are most appropriate for your IT environment.

  • 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 top information security vendors to provide centralized control and world-class security for all your inbound and outbound email. The powerful architecture of Progent's Email Guard combines cloud-based filtering with an on-premises security gateway device to offer complete protection against spam, viruses, Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks, DHAs, and other email-based threats. Email Guard's Cloud Protection Layer serves as a preliminary barricade and blocks the vast majority of threats from making it to your security perimeter. This reduces your exposure to external attacks and saves system bandwidth and storage space. Email Guard's on-premises security gateway appliance provides a deeper layer of inspection for inbound email. For outbound email, the onsite security gateway offers AV and anti-spam protection, policy-based Data Loss Prevention, and email encryption. The on-premises security gateway can also assist Microsoft Exchange Server to monitor and protect internal email traffic that originates and ends inside your corporate firewall. For more details, see ProSight Email Guard spam filtering and data leakage protection.

  • ProSight WAN Watch: Infrastructure Remote Monitoring and Management
    ProSight WAN Watch is an infrastructure management service that makes it simple and affordable for small and mid-sized organizations to diagram, track, enhance and debug their connectivity hardware such as routers and switches, firewalls, and access points as well as servers, printers, endpoints and other networked devices. Incorporating state-of-the-art Remote Monitoring and Management technology, ProSight WAN Watch makes sure that infrastructure topology diagrams are always updated, copies and displays the configuration information of almost all devices on your network, tracks performance, and generates alerts when issues are detected. By automating tedious management processes, WAN Watch can knock hours off common tasks like making network diagrams, expanding your network, locating appliances that need critical updates, or isolating performance problems. Find out 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 monitoring service that uses advanced remote monitoring and management (RMM) technology to help keep your network running at peak levels by tracking the health of critical assets that power your information system. When ProSight LAN Watch uncovers a problem, an alarm is sent automatically to your designated IT staff and your Progent consultant so any potential issues can be resolved before they have a chance to disrupt productivity. 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 or mid-size business can have its key servers and applications hosted in a secure fault tolerant data center on a high-performance virtual host set up and maintained by Progent's network support professionals. Under the ProSight Virtual Hosting model, the client retains ownership of the data, the operating system platforms, and the applications. Since the environment is virtualized, it can be moved immediately to a different hardware environment without a time-consuming and technically risky reinstallation procedure. With ProSight Virtual Hosting, your business is not tied one hosting service. Find out more 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 allows you to capture, update, find and safeguard data about your network infrastructure, procedures, business apps, and services. You can instantly find passwords or IP addresses and be alerted automatically about upcoming expirations of SSLs ,domains or warranties. By updating and organizing your IT infrastructure documentation, you can save up to 50% of time thrown away looking for vital information about your network. ProSight IT Asset Management features a common repository for holding and collaborating on all documents related to managing your network infrastructure like standard operating procedures and How-To's. ProSight IT Asset Management also supports a high level of automation for gathering and associating IT data. Whether you're planning enhancements, doing regular maintenance, or reacting to a crisis, ProSight IT Asset Management gets you the knowledge you need the instant you need it. Find out more about ProSight IT Asset Management service.

  • Active Protection Against Ransomware: AI-based Ransomware Detection and Remediation
    Progent's Active Protection Against Ransomware is an endpoint protection (EPP) service that utilizes cutting edge behavior analysis technology to defend endpoints and physical and virtual servers against new malware assaults such as ransomware and file-less exploits, which easily escape traditional signature-based anti-virus tools. Progent Active Security Monitoring services protect local and cloud-based resources and provides a unified platform to address the complete threat progression including filtering, identification, containment, cleanup, and post-attack forensics. Key capabilities include single-click rollback with Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and automatic system-wide immunization against newly discovered attacks. Read more about Progent's ransomware defense and recovery services.

  • Progent's Outsourced/Shared Help Desk: Support Desk Managed Services
    Progent's Call Desk services allow your information technology staff to offload Support Desk services to Progent or split responsibilities for support services seamlessly between your in-house support staff and Progent's nationwide pool of certified IT support engineers and subject matter experts. Progent's Shared Service Desk offers a transparent supplement to your internal IT support organization. User interaction with the Help Desk, provision of support services, problem escalation, trouble ticket generation and updates, efficiency metrics, and maintenance of the support database are consistent whether incidents are taken care of by your corporate IT support organization, by Progent, or both. Find out more about Progent's outsourced/co-managed Service Center services.

  • Patch Management: Software/Firmware Update Management Services
    Progent's managed services for patch management provide organizations of any size a flexible and affordable alternative for assessing, testing, scheduling, implementing, and documenting software and firmware updates to your ever-evolving information system. In addition to maximizing the security and functionality of your IT network, Progent's software/firmware update management services permit your in-house IT staff to concentrate on line-of-business initiatives and activities that derive the highest business value from your network. Find out more about Progent's patch management support services.

  • ProSight Duo Multi-Factor Authentication: ID Confirmation, Endpoint Remediation, and Secure Single Sign-on
    Progent's Duo MFA services utilize Cisco's Duo cloud technology to protect against password theft through the use of two-factor authentication. Duo enables one-tap identity verification on iOS, Google Android, and other out-of-band devices. Using Duo 2FA, when you sign into a protected online account and enter your password you are requested to verify who you are via a device that only you have and that is accessed using a separate network channel. A broad range of out-of-band devices can be used for this second means of authentication including a smartphone or wearable, a hardware token, a landline phone, etc. You can designate several verification devices. To find out more about ProSight Duo two-factor identity authentication services, refer to Duo MFA two-factor authentication (2FA) services.

  • ProSight Reporting: Real-time Reporting for Ticketing and Network Monitoring Platforms
    ProSight Reporting is a growing family of in-depth reporting plug-ins designed to work with the industry's leading ticketing and network monitoring applications including ConnectWise Manage, ConnectWise Automate, Customer Thermometer, Auvik, and SentinelOne. ProSight Reporting incorporates Microsoft Graph and features color coding to highlight and contextualize critical issues such as spotty support follow-through or endpoints with missing patches. By identifying ticketing or network health problems clearly and in near-real time, ProSight Reporting enhances productivity, lowers management overhead, and saves money. For more information, visit ProSight Reporting for ticketing and network monitoring platforms.
For 24x7 Barra da Tijuca Crypto Recovery Help, call Progent at 800-462-8800 or go to Contact Progent.