Ransomware : Your Feared IT Disaster
Crypto-Ransomware has become an escalating cyber pandemic that poses an enterprise-level threat for businesses of all sizes vulnerable to an attack. Multiple generations of crypto-ransomware like the CrySIS, Fusob, Bad Rabbit, NotPetya and MongoLock cryptoworms have been running rampant for years and still cause havoc. The latest variants of ransomware such as Ryuk, Maze, Sodinokibi, DopplePaymer, Conti or Egregor, as well as more as yet unnamed newcomers, not only encrypt on-line information but also infiltrate many configured system restores and backups. Information replicated to cloud environments can also be rendered useless. In a poorly architected system, it can make automatic recovery hopeless and effectively knocks the network back to zero.
Getting back on-line programs and information after a crypto-ransomware intrusion becomes a sprint against the clock as the targeted organization fights to contain the damage and eradicate the ransomware and to restore mission-critical operations. Because ransomware takes time to spread, assaults are often launched on weekends, when penetrations may take more time to uncover. This multiplies the difficulty of rapidly mobilizing and coordinating a knowledgeable response team.
Progent provides a range of support services for protecting organizations from ransomware attacks. Among these are team member training to help recognize and avoid phishing exploits, ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) for remote monitoring and management, plus setup and configuration of next-generation security solutions with machine learning technology from SentinelOne to identify and quarantine new cyber threats automatically. Progent also can provide the assistance of veteran ransomware recovery professionals with the talent and commitment to rebuild a compromised system as rapidly as possible.
Progent's Ransomware Restoration Help
After a ransomware penetration, sending the ransom in cryptocurrency does not provide any assurance that cyber criminals will respond with the keys to unencrypt any of your data. Kaspersky Labs determined that 17% of ransomware victims never restored their files 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 greatly higher than the average ransomware demands, which ZDNET determined to be approximately $13,000. The alternative is to re-install the essential elements of your Information Technology environment. Absent the availability of essential information backups, this calls for a wide range of skills, professional team management, and the ability to work 24x7 until the recovery project is complete.
For decades, Progent has provided professional Information Technology services for businesses in Raleigh and across the US and has achieved Microsoft's Partnership certification status in the Datacenter and Cloud Productivity competencies. Progent's group of subject matter experts (SMEs) includes professionals who have been awarded advanced certifications in leading technologies such as Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and major distros of Linux. Progent's security consultants have earned internationally-renowned industry certifications including CISM, CISSP, ISACA CRISC, and GIAC. (Visit Progent's certifications). Progent also has experience with financial systems and ERP software solutions. This breadth of experience affords Progent the ability to quickly understand critical systems and re-organize the surviving components of your computer network system after a ransomware penetration and rebuild them into a functioning system.
Progent's ransomware team of experts uses state-of-the-art project management applications to coordinate the sophisticated restoration process. Progent understands the urgency of working rapidly and in concert with a customer's management and IT staff to assign priority to tasks and to get critical applications back online as soon as humanly possible.
Customer Case Study: A Successful Crypto-Ransomware Incident Recovery
A customer escalated to Progent after their network system was taken over by Ryuk ransomware. Ryuk is generally considered to have been developed by North Korean state hackers, possibly adopting technology leaked from the United States NSA organization. Ryuk targets specific companies with limited ability to sustain operational disruption and is among the most profitable versions of ransomware viruses. Well Known organizations include Data Resolution, a California-based information warehousing and cloud computing firm, and the Chicago Tribune. Progent's customer is a regional manufacturing company located in the Chicago metro area with about 500 workers. The Ryuk penetration had paralyzed all business operations and manufacturing capabilities. The majority of the client's data protection had been directly accessible at the start of the intrusion and were eventually encrypted. The client considered paying the ransom (more than $200K) and hoping for good luck, but ultimately reached out to Progent.
"I cannot tell you enough about the expertise Progent gave us during the most critical period of (our) company's survival. We would have paid the cybercriminals if not for the confidence the Progent team gave us. That you could get our e-mail and production applications back online faster than 1 week was amazing. Every single person I interacted with or communicated with at Progent was absolutely committed on getting my company operational and was working non-stop to bail us out."
Progent worked hand in hand the client to rapidly assess and assign priority to the essential areas that had to be restored in order to continue departmental operations:
To get going, Progent followed Anti-virus penetration response best practices by halting the spread and removing active viruses. Progent then started the process of recovering Microsoft Active Directory, the heart of enterprise systems built upon Microsoft technology. Exchange messaging will not function without AD, and the businesses' financials and MRP applications utilized Microsoft SQL Server, which requires Windows AD for security authorization to the databases.
- Active Directory (AD)
- Electronic Messaging
In less than two days, Progent was able to recover Active Directory services to its pre-intrusion state. Progent then helped perform rebuilding and storage recovery of critical applications. All Exchange ties and configuration information were intact, which greatly helped the restore of Exchange. Progent was able to locate local OST data files (Microsoft Outlook Off-Line Folder Files) on team desktop computers and laptops to recover mail information. A not too old off-line backup of the businesses manufacturing systems made it possible to return these required programs back available to users. Although major work still had to be done to recover completely from the Ryuk event, core systems were restored rapidly:
"For the most part, the production operation never missed a beat and we made all customer deliverables."
Throughout the following few weeks important milestones in the restoration project were completed in tight collaboration between Progent engineers and the client:
- In-house web applications were restored without losing any data.
- The MailStore Microsoft Exchange Server with over 4 million historical emails was restored to operations and accessible to users.
- CRM/Orders/Invoices/AP/Accounts Receivables (AR)/Inventory functions were completely operational.
- A new Palo Alto Networks 850 security appliance was deployed.
- 90% of the user desktops were back into operation.
"A huge amount of what transpired in the initial days is nearly entirely a fog for me, but my team will not soon forget the urgency each and every one of the team accomplished to help get our business back. I've utilized Progent for the past ten years, maybe more, and every time I needed help Progent has come through and delivered as promised. This situation was a life saver."
A likely business catastrophe was evaded due to results-oriented experts, a wide range of IT skills, and tight teamwork. Although in retrospect the ransomware virus attack described here should have been stopped with current security technology and security best practices, user training, and well thought out incident response procedures for information backup and proper patching controls, the reality remains that government-sponsored cybercriminals from Russia, North Korea and elsewhere are tireless and represent an ongoing threat. If you do fall victim to a crypto-ransomware incident, feel confident that Progent's team of experts has extensive experience in crypto-ransomware virus blocking, removal, and file restoration.
"So, to Darrin, Matt, Dan, Claude, Jesse, Arnaud, Allen, Tony and Chris (along with others who were helping), thanks very much for allowing me to get rested after we made it over the first week. All of you did an fabulous job, and if anyone that helped is around the Chicago area, a great meal is my treat!"
To read or download a PDF version of this customer story, click:
Progent's Ransomware Incident Recovery Case Study Datasheet. (PDF - 282 KB)
Additional Crypto-Ransomware Protection Services Available from Progent
Progent offers businesses in Raleigh a portfolio of remote monitoring and security assessment services designed to help you to reduce the threat from ransomware. These services include next-generation machine learning capability to uncover new variants of ransomware that can escape detection by traditional signature-based anti-virus solutions.
For 24x7x365 Raleigh CryptoLocker Repair Help, reach out to Progent at 800-462-8800 or go to Contact Progent.
- ProSight Active Security Monitoring: Endpoint Protection and Ransomware Defense
Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring is an endpoint protection (EPP) solution that incorporates SentinelOne's next generation behavior machine learning tools to defend physical and virtual endpoint devices against new malware assaults such as ransomware and file-less exploits, which easily get by legacy signature-matching AV products. ProSight Active Security Monitoring safeguards local and cloud-based resources and provides a single platform to address the complete malware attack progression including filtering, identification, mitigation, remediation, and post-attack forensics. Top features include one-click rollback using Windows VSS and real-time system-wide immunization against newly discovered attacks. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner, dealer, and integrator. Find out 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 Exchange Filtering
Progent's ProSight Enhanced Security Protection services offer affordable in-depth security for physical and virtual servers, desktops, mobile devices, and Exchange email. ProSight ESP utilizes adaptive security and advanced machine learning for continuously monitoring and reacting to security threats from all attack vectors. ProSight ESP provides firewall protection, intrusion alerts, device control, and web filtering via leading-edge technologies incorporated within one agent accessible from a single console. Progent's data protection and virtualization consultants can assist your business to design and implement a ProSight ESP environment that meets your organization's unique needs and that helps you prove compliance with legal and industry data security standards. Progent will assist you specify and implement security policies that ProSight ESP will enforce, and Progent will monitor your IT environment and respond to alarms that require urgent action. Progent's consultants can also help you to install and verify a backup and restore solution such as ProSight Data Protection Services so you can get back in business quickly from a destructive cyber attack such as ransomware. Find out more about Progent's ProSight Enhanced Security Protection (ESP) unified endpoint security and Microsoft Exchange email filtering.
- ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS): Managed Backup and Recovery Services
Progent has partnered with advanced backup/restore software companies to produce ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a selection of subscription-based offerings that provide backup-as-a-service (BaaS). ProSight DPS services manage and monitor your backup operations and allow transparent backup and rapid recovery of vital files/folders, applications, system images, plus VMs. ProSight DPS helps you avoid data loss caused by equipment failures, natural disasters, fire, malware such as ransomware, user error, ill-intentioned employees, or application glitches. Managed services in the ProSight DPS product line include ProSight DPS Altaro VM Backup, ProSight 365 Total Backup (formerly Altaro 365 Backup), ProSight ECHO Backup using Barracuda dedicated hardware, and ProSight MSP360 Cloud and On-prem Backup. Your Progent expert can assist you to identify which of these fully 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 filtering service that incorporates the technology of leading information security vendors to deliver centralized management and world-class protection for your email traffic. The powerful structure of Email Guard managed service integrates a Cloud Protection Layer with an on-premises gateway device to provide complete protection against spam, viruses, Denial of Service (DoS) Attacks, Directory Harvest Attacks, and other email-borne threats. Email Guard's cloud filter acts as a first line of defense and keeps most threats from reaching your security perimeter. This reduces your exposure to external threats and conserves network bandwidth and storage. Email Guard's on-premises security gateway appliance adds a further layer of inspection for incoming email. For outgoing email, the local security gateway provides anti-virus and anti-spam filtering, protection against data leaks, and email encryption. The onsite security gateway can also assist Exchange Server to monitor and safeguard internal email that stays within your corporate firewall. For more information, see 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, monitor, optimize and troubleshoot their connectivity appliances such as switches, firewalls, and wireless controllers as well as servers, printers, endpoints and other devices. Using cutting-edge Remote Monitoring and Management technology, ProSight WAN Watch ensures that infrastructure topology diagrams are always updated, copies and displays the configuration of almost all devices connected to your network, monitors performance, and sends alerts when issues are discovered. By automating complex management and troubleshooting activities, ProSight WAN Watch can cut hours off ordinary tasks like making network diagrams, reconfiguring your network, locating appliances that require important updates, or isolating performance issues. Find out more details 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 service that uses state-of-the-art remote monitoring and management techniques to keep your network operating efficiently by checking the state of vital assets that power your information system. When ProSight LAN Watch uncovers a problem, an alarm is sent immediately to your designated IT management staff and your Progent consultant so that all looming problems can be addressed before they can 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 critical servers and apps hosted in a protected fault tolerant data center on a fast virtual host set up and maintained by Progent's IT support professionals. Under Progent's ProSight Virtual Hosting model, the customer retains ownership of the data, the operating system platforms, and the applications. Since the system is virtualized, it can be moved easily to an alternate hardware solution without requiring a lengthy and technically risky configuration process. With ProSight Virtual Hosting, you are not tied one hosting provider. Learn more details about ProSight Virtual Hosting services.
- ProSight IT Asset Management: Network Documentation Management
ProSight IT Asset Management service is a cloud-based IT documentation management service that makes it easy to create, maintain, retrieve and protect data related to your IT infrastructure, processes, business apps, and services. You can instantly locate passwords or IP addresses and be warned automatically about impending expirations of SSL certificates ,domains or warranties. By cleaning up and organizing your IT infrastructure documentation, you can eliminate as much as 50% of time wasted looking for vital information about your network. ProSight IT Asset Management includes a common repository for storing and sharing all documents related to managing your business network such as recommended procedures and self-service instructions. ProSight IT Asset Management also offers a high level of automation for gathering and associating IT information. Whether you're making enhancements, performing regular maintenance, or responding to a crisis, ProSight IT Asset Management gets you the data you require when you need it. Learn more about ProSight IT Asset Management service.
- Progent Active Protection Against Ransomware: AI-based Ransomware Detection and Remediation
Progent's Active Protection Against Ransomware is an endpoint protection (EPP) service that incorporates next generation behavior-based machine learning technology to guard endpoint devices and servers and VMs against new malware attacks like ransomware and email phishing, which easily get by traditional signature-based anti-virus products. Progent ASM services protect local and cloud resources and provides a unified platform to automate the entire malware attack progression including protection, identification, containment, remediation, and forensics. Top capabilities include single-click rollback with Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and automatic system-wide immunization against newly discovered attacks. Learn more about Progent's ransomware protection and cleanup services.
- Progent's Outsourced/Shared Help Desk: Help Desk Managed Services
Progent's Support Desk services allow your information technology group to offload Support Desk services to Progent or divide activity for Service Desk support seamlessly between your in-house network support team and Progent's extensive roster of IT support engineers and subject matter experts. Progent's Co-managed Service Desk provides a seamless supplement to your internal network support organization. Client access to the Service Desk, delivery of support, problem escalation, trouble ticket generation and tracking, efficiency measurement, and management of the service database are cohesive whether issues are resolved by your internal network support resources, by Progent, or a mix of the two. Read more about Progent's outsourced/co-managed Help Desk services.
- Patch Management: Patch Management Services
Progent's managed services for patch management provide organizations of all sizes a versatile and cost-effective alternative for evaluating, validating, scheduling, applying, and tracking software and firmware updates to your ever-evolving information network. In addition to optimizing the protection and reliability of your IT environment, Progent's patch management services free up time for your in-house IT team to focus on line-of-business projects and activities that deliver maximum business value from your information network. Find out more about Progent's software/firmware update management services.
- ProSight Duo Multi-Factor Authentication: Access Security, Endpoint Remediation, and Protected Single Sign-on (SSO)
Progent's Duo authentication services utilize Cisco's Duo technology to protect against stolen passwords by using two-factor authentication. Duo enables single-tap identity verification on Apple iOS, Android, and other out-of-band devices. With 2FA, whenever you log into a protected application and enter your password you are requested to verify who you are via a unit that only you possess and that uses a different ("out-of-band") network channel. A wide selection of devices can be utilized for this added form of authentication such as an iPhone or Android or wearable, a hardware token, a landline phone, etc. You can register several validation devices. For more information about ProSight Duo identity authentication services, refer to Cisco Duo MFA two-factor authentication services.
- ProSight Reporting: Real-time and In-depth Reporting for Ticketing and Network Monitoring Platforms
ProSight Reporting is a growing suite of in-depth reporting tools designed to integrate with the leading ticketing and remote network monitoring applications such as ConnectWise Manage, ConnectWise Automate, Customer Thermometer, Auvik, and SentinelOne. ProSight Reporting incorporates Microsoft Graph and utilizes color coding to highlight and contextualize key issues such as spotty support follow-up or machines with out-of-date AVs. By exposing ticketing or network health concerns clearly and in near-real time, ProSight Reporting improves network value, lowers management hassle, and saves money. For details, see ProSight Reporting for ticketing and network monitoring applications.