Ransomware is a growing threat to organizations, according to research independently conducted by Enterprise Strategy Group and sponsored by Zerto, a Hewlett Packard Enterprise company.\n\nAccording to the report, 2023 Ransomware Preparedness: Lighting the Way to Readiness and Mitigation, 75% of organizations experienced ransomware attacks in the last 12 months, with10% facing daily attacks.[i]\n\n\n\n46% of organizations experienced ransomware attacks at least monthly\u2014with 11% reporting daily attacks.\n\n\u201cRegardless of whether the attack was successful, the reality is that it\u2019s not a matter of if an attack will occur, but rather when it will strike,\u201d the report stated. \u201cTherefore, it\u2019s crucial to acknowledge that ransomware poses a significant and immediate threat that cannot be ignored, and immediate action must be taken to combat it.\u201d\n\nRansomware defense can be challenging. Sophisticated and well-funded cybercriminals often target high-profile organizations, conducting surveillance to effectively attack vulnerable users\u2014employees and, more recently, third-party service providers with access to data from many different organizations.[ii] Social engineering and phishing emails (as well as texts and voice contacts) are the most common attack vectors for ransomware.[iii] Once the victim clicks on an infected attachment or link, malware is installed and ransomware can spread.\n\nDefending against ransomware with Zero Trust Security\n\nA good cybersecurity defense strategy starts with user education and threat awareness. When those measures fall short, Zero Trust Security can fill the gaps.\n\nZero Trust Security models support least-privilege access\u2014restricting user and device access to just the resources needed to do their job or fulfill their function, as long as the subject meets security posture requirements and is not suspected of compromise.\n\nNote that Zero Trust is a security paradigm\u2014not a single product. In fact, the role-based network access controls at the core of Zero Trust are often cobbled together across multiple disparate solutions in a disjointed fashion, requiring manual effort, adding complexity, and increasing risk of inconsistencies.\n\n\n\nFive core capabilities form the foundation of Zero Trust Security.\n\nThe importance of layered security\n\nA layered Zero Trust Security approach to combatting ransomware involves establishing and continuously monitoring trust across multiple layers\u2014potential attack surfaces and propagation points\u2014of the IT architecture. Zero Trust Security trust mechanisms can be fortified by additional defenses and security services.\n\nAs a first step, consider the role the network can play in protecting the organization against ransomware.\n\n\n\nSandbox capabilities from HPE Aruba Networking SSE thwart ransomware attacks by destroying malicious files before they cause damage.\n\nGiven the increasing sophistication of ransomware attacks, not all attacks may be thwarted at the network level. Continuous data protection plays an important part in comprehensive ransomware protection strategies by enabling organizations to manage, protect, recover, and move data and applications across on-premises or cloud destinations. Ransomware resilience solution Zerto detects anomalous encryption activity in real-time, then allows organizations to quickly rewind to a point in time just prior to the infection and restore the unencrypted files and VMs.\n\nAs a last line of defense, the Zerto Cyber Resilience Vault\u2014including HPE Aruba Networking switching\u2014uses an ultra-secure Zero Trust architecture to provide an ironclad recovery solution tailored to specific regulatory and compliance requirements.\n\nProtect your organization with Zero Trust Security \n\nThough Cybersecurity Awareness Month may be wrapping up, it\u2019s always a good time to explore how Zero Trust Security can protect your organization from threats like ransomware. Check out these resources to learn more.\n\n[i] 2023 Ransomware Preparedness: Lighting the Way to Readiness and Mitigation. Enterprise Strategy Group. September 2023.\n\n[ii] Rundle, J. \u201cRansomware Comes Back in Vogue for Cybercriminals.\u201d Wall Street Journal Pro Cybersecurity. October 17, 2023.\n\n[iii] Kelley, D. \u201cTop 3 ransomware attack vectors and how to avoid them.\u201d Tech Target. August 2023.\n\nOriginally published on HPE Aruba Networking blog on 10\/31\/23.