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Ransomware Wars: 5 Ways to Add Value While Protecting Your Customers

Posted by Christopher Parisi on Mar 31, 2017 10:00:00 AM


Cyber criminals have your clients in their crosshairs with the two newer forms of the ransomware threat. It’s a must for the growth-oriented value-added reseller (VAR) to offer training, resources, and support around addressing this threat. Here’s why: 

Cyber attackers will now release stolen data if the victim identifies and helps to attack two other potential victims. If they pay, the original victim’s data gets released at no charge. So now even emails from so-called trusted sources could open the door to a ransomware attack.

The other weapon in the ransomware arsenal is doxware. Instead of destroying the data or just holding onto it if the victim doesn’t pay, the attackers automate the publishing of critical data if the victim doesn’t pay within the allotted period of time.

These two malicious forms of ransomware helped cybercriminals squeeze $209 million out of their victims according to recent findings from the FBI.

This is especially dangerous for your clients in healthcare and the legal industry. There may be opportunity here to focus on one of those verticals to have the most impact on your bottom line and on producing results for your clients.

Here are a few ways to provide the guidance your customers need to move away from the “wait-and-see” approach and into the proactive mindset of avoiding the worst.

  1. Power up your human firewall. One of the best ways to provide value is to go after educating the employees of your customer. We know of one company that sells a service in which they will target their customer’s employees, attempting to get them to respond to a potential ransomware attempt through fake phishing emails. The company goes back to their client with the results of the test and develops a training program around its results.

    Note: For the best results, you’ll need to offer this kind of training on an ongoing basis, along with consistent reinforcement from the client’s end. 

  2. Create context around the added security protocols. The good news is you already have a pre-conditioned audience. Most likely your customer understands what it means to have a data recovery system in place in case there are other issues such as a flood, hurricane, or snowstorm. Now you’ll want to take things a step further and show your customer how to implement stronger systems, practices, training, and resources for protecting the company from the very real threat of a ransomware attack. 

  3. Put files in a ‘sandbox.’ Let your customer know about the benefits of sandboxing. That’s a system where emails and files are put into a kind of quarantine. The user still gets to interact with the item, but they now have the option of observing the file or the email. If it performs well, and there’s no threat, then it’s released from the sandbox. If not, it’s destroyed and the attack is neutralized before it ever has a chance to touch your most critical files. 

  4. Create a contingency plan. Another option is simply coming up with a contingency plan with your clients. You’ll want to approach the issue with a “when-it-happens” not “if-it-happens” mentality. This way, the client has a sober look at what’s truly at stake should they become susceptible to an attack. 

  5. Implement a backup system. Seek to equip your client with a backup system that is not perpetually connected to its network and heavily explore Cloud options for protecting data and eliminating the threats lurking online.

For more information, please visit us at http://www.techdata.com/security

About the Author

Chris Parisi is a Pre-Sales Engineer and Architect for Check Point Security Products. He conducts pre-sale consulting and training for Tech Data Partner Resellers and Managed Service Providers, along with compliance training for security requirements for PCI, SOX and ISSA BMPs. Chris is currently working on Check Point Certified Systems Administrator Certification and CISSP Certification. 

He is a liaison between technical administrators and decision makers during Check Point implementation projects. Designs solutions for customers based on RFP and recurring sales. He recently earned his Check Point Certified Security Administrator (CCSA) certification.


Tags: Security