Ransomware : Your Feared Information Technology Catastrophe
Ransomware  Remediation ExpertsCrypto-Ransomware has become an escalating cyberplague that poses an extinction-level danger for businesses unprepared for an attack. Versions of ransomware such as Reveton, WannaCry, Locky, NotPetya and MongoLock cryptoworms have been around for a long time and continue to inflict damage. The latest strains of ransomware like Ryuk, Maze, Sodinokibi, Netwalker, Conti or Egregor, as well as more as yet unnamed viruses, not only encrypt online critical data but also infect many accessible system protection. Data replicated to cloud environments can also be encrypted. In a poorly designed system, this can render automatic restoration hopeless and effectively knocks the network back to square one.

Recovering services and information following a ransomware intrusion becomes a race against time as the targeted business struggles to contain the damage and cleanup the virus and to resume business-critical activity. Because crypto-ransomware needs time to replicate, assaults are frequently launched on weekends, when successful penetrations may take longer to notice. This compounds the difficulty of rapidly assembling and coordinating a capable response team.

Progent offers an assortment of support services for securing organizations from crypto-ransomware penetrations. These include staff education to become familiar with and not fall victim to phishing exploits, ProSight Active Security Monitoring for remote monitoring and management, in addition to installation of modern security gateways with artificial intelligence technology from SentinelOne to discover and quarantine new threats intelligently. Progent also provides the services of veteran ransomware recovery consultants with the talent and commitment to reconstruct a breached environment as quickly as possible.

Progent's Ransomware Restoration Help
Following a crypto-ransomware penetration, even paying the ransom demands in Bitcoin cryptocurrency does not guarantee that merciless criminals will respond with the codes to unencrypt all your files. Kaspersky determined that 17% of ransomware victims never recovered their information even after having sent off the ransom, resulting in additional losses. The risk is also expensive. Ryuk ransoms often range from fifteen to forty BTC ($120,000 and $400,000). This is greatly above the average ransomware demands, which ZDNET averages to be in the range of $13,000. The other path is to re-install the essential parts of your Information Technology environment. Without access to complete information backups, this calls for a wide range of skill sets, professional project management, and the capability to work 24x7 until the job is completed.

For twenty years, Progent has made available certified expert IT services for companies in Eugene and throughout the U.S. and has achieved Microsoft's Partnership certification in the Datacenter and Cloud Productivity competencies. Progent's team of subject matter experts includes engineers who have earned high-level industry certifications in foundation technologies such as Microsoft, Cisco, VMware, and major distros of Linux. Progent's security consultants have earned internationally-renowned certifications including CISM, CISSP-ISSAP, ISACA CRISC, and SANS GIAC. (See Progent's certifications). Progent also has experience with accounting and ERP applications. This breadth of expertise affords Progent the skills to rapidly determine important systems and consolidate the remaining pieces of your network environment following a crypto-ransomware penetration and rebuild them into an operational system.

Progent's ransomware team of experts deploys best of breed project management tools to orchestrate the complicated restoration process. Progent appreciates the importance of working swiftly and in unison with a customer�s management and IT resources to prioritize tasks and to put essential systems back on-line as fast as humanly possible.

Business Case Study: A Successful Ransomware Attack Recovery
A customer engaged Progent after their organization was penetrated by the Ryuk ransomware. Ryuk is generally considered to have been developed by Northern Korean state sponsored hackers, possibly adopting technology exposed from the United States National Security Agency. Ryuk attacks specific businesses with limited tolerance for operational disruption and is among the most profitable versions of crypto-ransomware. Well Known victims include Data Resolution, a California-based information warehousing and cloud computing business, and the Chicago Tribune. Progent's client is a small manufacturing company based in the Chicago metro area and has around 500 staff members. The Ryuk penetration had paralyzed all essential operations and manufacturing capabilities. Most of the client's data backups had been directly accessible at the time of the intrusion and were encrypted. The client was actively seeking loans for paying the ransom demand (exceeding $200,000) and praying for the best, but ultimately called Progent.


"I cannot say enough about the help Progent provided us during the most stressful time of (our) businesses existence. We would have paid the Hackers if it wasn�t for the confidence the Progent group afforded us. The fact that you could get our e-mail and essential applications back online faster than 1 week was amazing. Each staff member I interacted with or messaged at Progent was laser focused on getting our company operational and was working at all hours to bail us out."

Progent worked hand in hand the customer to quickly assess and prioritize the essential areas that needed to be restored to make it possible to continue business operations:

  • Active Directory
  • Electronic Messaging
  • MRP System
To begin, Progent followed AV/Malware Processes event response best practices by stopping lateral movement and disinfecting systems. Progent then initiated the task of restoring Microsoft AD, the foundation of enterprise networks built on Microsoft Windows technology. Exchange messaging will not operate without Active Directory, and the customer�s financials and MRP applications used Microsoft SQL Server, which depends on Windows AD for security authorization to the databases.

In less than 2 days, Progent was able to restore Active Directory services to its pre-attack state. Progent then performed rebuilding and hard drive recovery on the most important applications. All Microsoft Exchange Server data and attributes were usable, which accelerated the restore of Exchange. Progent was able to assemble non-encrypted OST files (Outlook Offline Data Files) on various PCs and laptops to recover mail information. A recent off-line backup of the customer�s accounting/MRP software made them able to return these required programs back servicing users. Although significant work was left to recover completely from the Ryuk damage, core services were restored quickly:


"For the most part, the production line operation showed little impact and we delivered all customer orders."

Throughout the following month important milestones in the recovery project were accomplished in close collaboration between Progent consultants and the customer:

  • Internal web applications were brought back up without losing any data.
  • The MailStore Server containing more than four million historical emails was brought on-line and available for users.
  • CRM/Customer Orders/Invoices/Accounts Payable (AP)/AR/Inventory capabilities were 100% restored.
  • A new Palo Alto 850 security appliance was set up and programmed.
  • 90% of the user desktops and notebooks were fully operational.

"A huge amount of what occurred in the early hours is nearly entirely a blur for me, but I will not forget the commitment all of your team put in to give us our company back. I�ve utilized Progent for the past 10 years, possibly more, and each time I needed help Progent has come through and delivered. This situation was a testament to your capabilities."

Conclusion
A probable company-ending catastrophe was evaded through the efforts of hard-working professionals, a wide spectrum of IT skills, and close teamwork. Although in analyzing the event afterwards the crypto-ransomware penetration detailed here would have been stopped with up-to-date security technology solutions and NIST Cybersecurity Framework best practices, team education, and well designed incident response procedures for data protection and proper patching controls, the fact remains that government-sponsored cyber criminals from Russia, North Korea and elsewhere are tireless and represent an ongoing threat. If you do fall victim to a ransomware penetration, feel confident that Progent's roster of professionals has extensive experience in ransomware virus blocking, cleanup, and data disaster recovery.


"So, to Darrin, Matt, Aaron, Claude, Jesse, Arnaud, Allen, Tony and Chris (and any others that were contributing), I�m grateful for making it so I could get rested after we got through the most critical parts. All of you did an incredible effort, and if anyone is visiting the Chicago area, dinner is the least I can do!"

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 Available from Progent
Progent offers businesses in Eugene a variety of online monitoring and security evaluation services to assist you to reduce the threat from ransomware. These services utilize next-generation artificial intelligence technology to uncover new strains of ransomware that can escape detection by legacy signature-based security products.

  • ProSight Active Security Monitoring: Endpoint Protection and Ransomware Defense
    ProSight Active Security Monitoring is an endpoint protection service that utilizes SentinelOne's cutting edge behavior analysis tools to defend physical and virtual endpoints against new malware attacks such as ransomware and file-less exploits, which routinely escape legacy signature-matching AV products. ProSight Active Security Monitoring protects local and cloud-based resources and provides a unified platform to address the complete malware attack lifecycle including filtering, infiltration detection, containment, remediation, and post-attack forensics. Key capabilities include single-click rollback using Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) and automatic system-wide immunization against newly discovered threats. Progent is a SentinelOne Partner. Read more about Progent's ProSight Active Security Monitoring (ASM) next-generation endpoint protection and ransomware recovery.

  • ProSight Enhanced Security Protection: Endpoint Protection and Exchange Email Filtering
    ProSight Enhanced Security Protection managed services offer economical in-depth security for physical servers and virtual machines, desktops, mobile devices, and Exchange email. ProSight ESP utilizes contextual security and advanced heuristics for round-the-clock monitoring and responding to cyber assaults from all attack vectors. ProSight ESP provides two-way firewall protection, intrusion alerts, endpoint control, and web filtering via leading-edge tools incorporated within a single agent accessible from a single control. Progent's security and virtualization consultants can help you to design and implement a ProSight ESP deployment that addresses your organization's unique requirements and that allows you demonstrate compliance with government and industry data security regulations. Progent will help you specify and configure security policies that ProSight ESP will manage, and Progent will monitor your IT environment and react to alerts that call for immediate action. Progent's consultants can also help you to set up and verify a backup and disaster recovery system like ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS) so you can recover rapidly from a destructive cyber attack like ransomware. Find out more about Progent's ProSight Enhanced Security Protection unified physical and virtual endpoint protection and Exchange email filtering.

  • ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS): Backup and Disaster Recovery Services
    Progent has worked with advanced backup/restore software providers to create ProSight Data Protection Services (DPS), a selection of subscription-based offerings that deliver backup-as-a-service (BaaS). ProSight DPS products manage and monitor your backup processes and allow transparent backup and rapid recovery of critical files, applications, system images, plus VMs. ProSight DPS lets your business avoid data loss caused by equipment failures, natural calamities, fire, cyber attacks like ransomware, user mistakes, ill-intentioned employees, or software glitches. Managed backup services in the ProSight DPS portfolio include ProSight DPS Ataro VM Backup, ProSight Ataro Office 365 Total Backup, ProSight ECHO Backup based on Barracuda dedicated storage, and ProSight MSP360 Hybrid Backup. Your Progent expert can help you to determine 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 service that incorporates the technology of top data security companies to deliver web-based management and world-class security for your inbound and outbound email. The hybrid architecture of Progent's Email Guard combines a Cloud Protection Layer with a local security gateway device to offer advanced defense against spam, viruses, Dos Attacks, DHAs, and other email-based malware. The cloud filter acts as a first line of defense and blocks most unwanted email from making it to your security perimeter. This reduces your exposure to external threats and saves network bandwidth and storage space. Email Guard's on-premises security gateway appliance adds a deeper layer of inspection for inbound email. For outgoing email, the local security gateway offers AV and anti-spam filtering, policy-based Data Loss Prevention, and email encryption. The onsite security gateway can also help Microsoft Exchange Server to track and safeguard internal email that originates and ends inside your security perimeter. For more information, visit ProSight Email Guard spam and content filtering.

  • ProSight WAN Watch: Network Infrastructure Management
    ProSight WAN Watch is an infrastructure monitoring and management service that makes it simple and inexpensive for small and mid-sized organizations to diagram, monitor, optimize and debug their connectivity hardware such as routers, firewalls, and load balancers 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, captures and manages the configuration of virtually all devices connected to your network, monitors performance, and generates notices when issues are discovered. By automating time-consuming management and troubleshooting processes, ProSight WAN Watch can knock hours off common chores such as making network diagrams, expanding your network, finding appliances that need critical updates, or identifying the cause of performance issues. Find out more about ProSight WAN Watch network infrastructure management services.

  • ProSight LAN Watch: Server and Desktop Remote Monitoring and Management
    ProSight LAN Watch is Progents server and desktop monitoring service that uses advanced remote monitoring and management technology to help keep your network running efficiently by tracking the state of critical assets that power your information system. When ProSight LAN Watch uncovers an issue, an alarm is sent automatically to your specified IT personnel and your assigned Progent consultant so all looming problems can be resolved before they can disrupt your network. Learn more details about ProSight LAN Watch server and desktop monitoring services.

  • ProSight Virtual Hosting: Hosted VMs at Progent's Tier III Data Center
    With Progent's ProSight Virtual Hosting service, a small organization can have its key servers and apps hosted in a protected fault tolerant data center on a fast virtual host configured and maintained by Progent's IT support experts. Under Progent's ProSight Virtual Hosting service model, the client retains ownership of the data, the operating system software, and the apps. Since the environment is virtualized, it can be ported easily to an alternate hosting environment without requiring a time-consuming and technically risky reinstallation procedure. With ProSight Virtual Hosting, your business is not locked into a single hosting service. Find out 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 safeguard information related to your network infrastructure, processes, business apps, and services. You can instantly locate passwords or serial numbers and be warned about impending expirations of SSLs ,domains or warranties. By updating and organizing your network documentation, you can save as much as 50% of time thrown away trying to find critical information about your IT network. ProSight IT Asset Management includes a common location for holding and collaborating on all documents required for managing your business network like standard operating procedures and self-service instructions. ProSight IT Asset Management also offers advanced automation for collecting and relating IT data. Whether youre planning improvements, performing maintenance, or reacting to an emergency, ProSight IT Asset Management delivers the data you require as soon as you need it. Find out more about ProSight IT Asset Management service.

  • Progent Active Defense Against Ransomware: Machine Learning-based Ransomware Detection and Remediation
    Progent's Active Protection Against Ransomware is an endpoint protection (EPP) service that incorporates next generation behavior machine learning tools to guard endpoint devices as well as servers and VMs against modern malware attacks like ransomware and email phishing, which easily escape traditional signature-matching anti-virus products. Progent ASM services safeguard on-premises and cloud resources and offers a unified platform to manage the complete malware attack lifecycle including blocking, detection, mitigation, cleanup, and forensics. Key capabilities include one-click rollback using Windows Volume Shadow Copy Service and real-time system-wide immunization against new threats. Read more about Progent's ransomware protection and cleanup services.

  • Progent's Outsourced/Shared Help Center: Support Desk Managed Services
    Progent's Call Desk managed services enable your IT staff to offload Call Center services to Progent or split responsibilities for Help Desk services seamlessly between your internal support group and Progent's nationwide roster of certified IT service technicians, engineers and subject matter experts. Progent's Shared Service Desk offers a transparent extension of your in-house IT support team. End user interaction with the Service Desk, delivery of support services, problem escalation, trouble ticket generation and tracking, efficiency measurement, and maintenance of the support database are cohesive regardless of whether issues are resolved by your core network support resources, by Progent's team, or both. Find out more about Progent's outsourced/shared Help Desk services.

  • Patch Management: Software/Firmware Update Management Services
    Progent's support services for patch management offer businesses of all sizes a versatile and affordable alternative for evaluating, validating, scheduling, implementing, and tracking updates to your dynamic IT network. Besides maximizing the security and reliability of your computer network, Progent's patch management services free up time for your in-house IT team to focus on line-of-business projects and activities that derive the highest business value from your network. Read more about Progent's software/firmware update management services.

  • ProSight Duo Two-Factor Authentication: ID Confirmation, Endpoint Remediation, and Secure Single Sign-on
    Progent's Duo MFA service plans utilize Cisco's Duo cloud technology to protect against stolen passwords through the use of two-factor authentication. Duo enables single-tap identity confirmation with Apple iOS, Google Android, and other out-of-band devices. With 2FA, when you sign into a secured online account and give your password you are asked to confirm your identity on a device that only you have and that is accessed using a different ("out-of-band") network channel. A wide range of devices can be used for this second form of ID validation such as a smartphone or wearable, a hardware/software token, a landline phone, etc. You may register several verification devices. For details about Duo identity validation services, see Duo MFA two-factor authentication services.
For 24-7 Eugene Crypto Repair Experts, call Progent at 800-462-8800 or go to Contact Progent.