Computers and Technology

The menace of ransomware and enterprise NAS storage

As ransomware continues to evolve, it has become a more dangerous force. Sophisticated malware and targeted attacks have led to an increase in the number of infections and the damage caused by them.

Till now, ransomware was primarily associated with individual PCs and laptops. However, cybercriminals are now targeting NAS storage devices as well. This is because NAS devices store sensitive data on a large scale, making them lucrative targets for malicious payloads like ransomware.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a malicious software that blocks access to data or requires users to pay a ransom amount for the decryption key. They can infect systems through downloads, phishing emails, and other similar tactics. Most of these malicious payloads target NAS devices by taking advantage of vulnerabilities in their firmware and software, which is why we always recommend updating your Network Attached Storage  device to receive the latest security patches.

NAS drives are becoming a target for cybercriminals

Today’s entry level NAS devices are essentially small file server computers with two to eight or so drive bays. They store and serve files just like the larger servers’ IT pros normally use, but they do it at a lower price, making them attractive to smaller businesses. However, ,any enterprise NAS devices typically run embedded operating systems, and many users choose not to install any protection mechanisms. This is because they believe that the devices are too small or too different to have ransomware attacks.

However, as ransomware has become more prevalent and sophisticated, IT security professionals need to re-evaluate their strategy for protecting data on their enterprise NAS devices. It has become more of a serious problem in the last few years.

In September 2016, the FBI warned that cyber-criminals had created a variant of the Cryptowall ransomware, designed to attack NAS devices. The new version of the malware works by scanning the web for vulnerable systems using an open Telnet port and then attempting to guess the default password to access them.

The FBI commented: “These devices can be prime targets for ransomware attacks because they are rarely updated with security patches and do not include anti-malware or other protection measures.”

However, some of the best NAS systems out there are staying way ahead of others. StoneFly’s super scaleout systems have built-in ransomware support that lets you stay clear of any kind of malware.

Treat it as a data breach.

On one hand, ransomware might seem like a breach of your security. But if you look at the way ransomware works, it’s actually a breach of your data protection protocol. For example, let’s take an attack that occurred back in March 2017 where a hospital in Kentucky had to pay $28000 to gain access to their medical records and patient information.

The attackers didn’t physically break into the hospital and steal data off the servers. Instead, fFthey used a known vulnerability to gain access. This means that there was no physical security breach. The IT staff at this hospital failed its mission—protecting their patients from these types of attacks by preventing privileged users from installing software and doing things they weren’t supposed to do. You could say that an insider threat caused this attack.

So treat ransomware as if it were any other data breach and make sure your business stays secure from this malicious menace.

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