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The Road to Ransomware Readiness: Protecting India’s Digital Transformation Investment


Authored by Mohan Raj, Regional Director, GCC Region, India & Levant at LogRhythm

Every year, more organizations in India are hit by catastrophic ransomware attacks. Ransomware has the capability to cause damaging and long-term disruption to business processes, resulting in the loss of critical data. It is an attractive business model for cybercriminals and puts every digital organization at risk.

Threat actors are taking a particular interest in India due to its rapidly growing digital market. It is predicted the Indian IT industry will be worth approximately $394 billion by 2027. Despite this growth, there aren’t enough protection plans in place for organizations tokeep up with this scale of digital transformation and more organizations are left having to secure an expanding number of data points against bigger and more sophisticated threats.

Ransomware attacks are incredibly aggressive and damaging. In India, they have recently jumped dramatically in frequency. According to CERT-In’s ‘India Ransomware Report’ attacks increased by 53% in 2022. To put this into perspective, Comparitech estimates these attacks have cost India an estimated $1.33 billion annually in losses.

As a result of this high-stake risk, every Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) in India needs to evolve their business continuity and disaster recovery plans to minimize the impacts of ransomware attacks.

The Digital Disruption Dilemma

National headlines highlight the increasing scale of ransomware attacks, with targets ranging from government agencies, critical infrastructure providers, and the supply chain.

Attacks on Indian organizations are becoming a matter of ‘when’ not ‘if’ and security teams need a proper response strategy to protect their organization’s digital transformation investments.Without the right defenses in place, organizations run the risk of falling behind competitors as they fail to meet the evolving needs of consumers.

The challenge for organizationsis to match the sophistication of ransomware attacks with effective tactics to react quickly in the event of an attack. Paying ransom demands should always be a last resort and doesn’t guarantee that systems will be entirely restored.

To avoid disruption and damage to budgets, it is crucial for organizationsin India to take the steps to mitigate the threat of ransomware.

Fighting Back Against Threats

India is undergoing rapid digital growth, and with this comes a higher number of gaps in threat visibility. An easy start is to provide email filtering and user training to better prepare employees for potential attacks. This builds a reliable foundation for all staff within an organization tobe alert and aware of potential risks.

User training and email filtering is a critical start for arming against ransomware, however, many threats still will remain undetected. When building an effective cybersecurity strategy, it is important to have visibility across your entire network. Alongside this, time is crucialfor detecting and respondingto threats. The quicker a threat is identified, the smaller the window of opportunityit has to cause damage.

Organizations canachieve full visibility and detect threats quickly througha Network Detection and Response (NDR) solution. These solutions use Artificial Intelligence (AI) and MachineLearning (ML) to detect and alert potential cyberthreats within an organization.

NDR solutions are capable of detecting threats in real-time, ensuring any malicious activity doesn’t go unnoticed by recognizing it and raising an incident. They can also stop attackers from taking data from anorganizationby monitoring sensitive data movement to catch cyberattacks before the perpetrator can exfiltrate the data.

Tools like this can help organizations in India togain full insightintotheir network and reduce their mean time to detect (MTTD) and mean time to respond (MTTR), even against threats with more sophisticated evasion methods and brand new zero-day threats.

On top of implementing an NDR solution, organizations can bolster their ransomware response plan by implementing the following actions:

  • Creating regular offline (and ideally offsite) backups.
  • Patching all operating systems and software applications on a regular basis.
  • Generating, retaining, and storing logs for analysis.
  • Designing, reviewing, and exercising incident response and disaster recovery plans.
  • Encouraging incident reporting.

In the event of an attack, security teams must gather key learnings to arm themselves against future ransomware attacks. Security Operations Center(SOC) teams can harness forensic tools to analyze and identify the origins of the attack and deploy in appropriate action plan to help prevent similar breaches.

Reducing Ransomware Risk

Ransomware attacks are here to stay, and organizations in India need to take the security of their operations into their own hands. An effective strategy is key to monitoring and managing threats before severe damage takes place.

Organizations can secure themselves against the growing threat landscape by using a seamless solution to determine where they are being attacked and where their systems have been compromised. If data has been impacted, security teams will be aware and able to remedy this before too much damage is done.

With a structured ransomware plan in place, organizations in India can be assured that their investments are protected,enabling them to focus onbuilding a digital-driven future without disruption.

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