The Benefits of Ransomware Penetration Testing
This is a guest post from our partners at Packetlabs.
The team at Packetlabs is excited to partner with Halo Security to offer organizations a larger scope of solutions to strengthen their security posture.
Packetlabs is a Canadian SOC2-certified cybersecurity firm that specializes in expert penetration testing. With a number of services and a growing team of highly trained Ethical hackers, Packetlabs is committed to helping foster a safe digital space where everyone has the right to privacy, cybersecurity, and a thriving future.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts a victim’s files and demands a ransom payment in order to decrypt them. In recent years, ransomware attacks have become increasingly common as attackers have realized that they can profitably target both individuals and organizations.
Ransomware has evolved to now include double and triple extortion ransoms. These variants not only encrypt a victim’s files but also threaten to publish or delete the data unless a larger ransom is paid.
Why Is Ransomware Penetration Testing Important?
In 2021, ransomware damages were estimated to be around $20 billion USD — an almost 60X increase above the recorded costs in 2015, and forecasted damages are expected to reach a staggering $250 billion USD by 2031.
Ransomware is here to stay, and the frequency and severity of ransomware attacks are only going to increase. As such, organizations need to be proactive in their approach to security and ensure that they have comprehensive defenses in place to protect against this growing threat.
Penetration testing can play a critical role in an organization’s ransomware defense strategy. By simulating a ransomware attack, organizations can identify and fix vulnerabilities before attackers have a chance to exploit them. In addition, ransomware penetration testing can help organizations assess their ability to respond to and recover from a ransomware attack.
Finally, by understanding the potential impact of a ransomware attack on their business operations, organizations can make more informed decisions about their overall security posture and invest appropriately in defense strategies.
What Is A Ransomware Penetration Test Comprised Of?
Ransomware Penetration Testing includes a full penetration test as well as both technical and non-technical assessment components that gauge an organization's level of cybersecurity maturity, identify security gaps in people, processes, and technology across an organization, and test an organization's ability to respond to and recover from a ransomware attack.
- Full Penetration Test - includes any applicable activities from PacketLabs' Objective-based Penetration Testing (OBPT), Infrastructure Penetration Testing (IPT), and Application Security Testing (AST) service offerings
- Technical Ransomware Assessment - inspects existing IT infrastructure to uncover attack surfaces that ransomware attackers will find attractive. This includes a detailed review of on-prem network and endpoint configurations, cloud application configurations, and authentication and encryption mechanisms. The result is a list of security gaps and weaknesses that could allow ransomware to impact critical systems and data.
- Non-technical Ransomware Assessment - evaluates an organization's administrative policies, controls, and risk strategy and compares them to industry standard best practices to determine an organization's level of cybersecurity preparedness and estimate its ability to respond to and recover from a ransomware attack. The result is a list of observations and recommendations for preventing ransomware attacks.
Together, the full penetration test, technical assessment, and non-technical assessment estimate the potential impact of known TTP commonly used by ransomware threat actors and provide insight that can be directly translated into improved security policies and controls.
See our comprehensive guide to Ransomware Penetration Testing
You've Been Targeted By Ransomware. Should You Pay?
Paying the ransom may seem like the easiest way to get your data back, but it is not always that simple. For one, there is no guarantee that you will receive the decryption key after paying. In some cases, cybercriminals have been known to take the money and still not provide the key. Additionally, by paying the ransom, you are essentially funding the cybercriminal's future ransomware attacks.
Additional risks include potential reputational damage or fines resulting from the release of customer data, loss of competitive advantage as a result of sensitive information being published, or lost revenues caused by downtime in the case of denial-of-service (DOS) attacks. These factors can all make paying ransom an attractive option.
The best action is proactive action. Having the right security controls and processes in place can help mitigate the risk of a ransomware attack and even help recover from the attack by restoring your systems and data from backups.
Ransomware is a serious threat to organizations of all sizes, and the frequency and severity of attacks are only going to increase in the coming years. It is therefore critical for organizations to be proactive in their approach to security and have comprehensive defenses in place.
Take proactive action today by scheduling a comprehensive ransomware penetration test with Packetlabs. Download our ransomware prevention and response checklist to ensure you have the necessary people, processes and technology in place to prevent a devastating ransomware attack.
Packetlabs is a Canadian SOC2-certified cybersecurity firm specializing in penetration testing. Our team of passionate, highly trained, proactive ethical hackers strive to protect and secure organizations from costly cybersecurity breaches by collaborating to enhance and strengthen their security posture. Providing testing services that are thorough and tailored to each partner, we help foster a safe digital space where everyone has the right to privacy, cybersecurity, and a thriving future.