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What Is Cloud Ransomware - How Can I Defend Against It?

Updated: Sep 30, 2023




G'day Their, it's me again.. I'll try and make this quick!


So, Software, as a Service (SaaS), aka the Cloud, has completely transformed the way businesses operate, offering convenience, scalability and improved efficiency. Gone are the days of transferring software between devices; now, everyone can collaborate seamlessly in the cloud.


However, despite its benefits, SaaS also introduces risks. When software and data are stored online, they become more susceptible to attacks. One of the threats that has transitioned from endpoint devices to the cloud is ransomware.


Ransomware has been a problem for quite some time, targeting computers, servers and mobile devices. However, in times, there has been a concerning surge in attacks specifically targeting SaaS platforms.


Between March and May of 2023 SaaS attacks witnessed an increase of over 300%. A study conducted by Odaseva in 2022 revealed that a significant 51% of all attacks were directed towards SaaS data.


This article will delve into what SaaS ransomware entails and explore its associated risks. However, it will provide valuable insights on how you can effectively safeguard yourself against such malicious threats.


What is SaaS Ransomware?


SaaS ransomware is commonly referred to as cloud ransomware as it specifically targets applications and services hosted in the cloud. Prominent examples include Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, along with cloud-based collaboration platforms.


The attackers exploit vulnerabilities, within these cloud-based systems to execute their code, which ultimately encrypts data.

It effectively locks users out of their accounts, preventing them from accessing their data. Cybercriminals take control of the data and demand payment, in cryptocurrencies as a ransom in exchange for the decryption key.


The Dangers of SaaS Ransomware


SaaS ransomware introduces a level of complexity to the world of cybersecurity, posing risks to individuals and organisations.


Loss of Data: The immediate risk is the loss of data. When you lose access to your cloud-based applications and files, it can severely impact productivity.

Damage to Reputation: A SaaS ransomware attack has the potential to tarnish your organizations reputation. This could lead customers and partners to question your ability to protect their data, resulting in consequences for your brand image.

Financial Impact: Paying the ransom does not guarantee data recovery and may make you a target for attacks. Additionally, dealing with downtime and recovery efforts can be costly.



Protecting Against SaaS Ransomware


As they say, prevention is better than cure. Taking measures, against SaaS ransomware is crucial. Here are some effective strategies that can help safeguard your organisation against these threats.


Educate Your Team

Begin by educating your employees about the dangers associated with SaaS attacks.

Make sure to educate users about the ways in which malware can spread such, as through phishing emails, malicious links or compromised accounts. It's important to teach them how to identify activities and encourage them to report any incidents immediately.


Implementing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) is crucial for a layer of security. By requiring users to provide a form of authentication, like a one-time code sent to their device, the risk of unauthorised access is significantly reduced. This remains true even if a hacker manages to compromise the login credentials of an account.


Regularly backing up your SaaS data is absolutely essential. In the event of an attack, having up-to-date backups ensures that you still have access to your valuable data. This means you won't have to succumb to the attacker's ransom demands.


Adhering to the principle of least privilege is highly recommended. It involves limiting user permissions to the functions required for their job roles. By doing you minimise damage that an attacker could cause if they were able gain unauthorised access.


Keeping all software up-to-date is paramount. Whether its SaaS applications or operating systems make sure they have the security patches installed regularly. These updates help close vulnerabilities and strengthen your defense against potential threats.


Implement Advanced Security Solutions


Consider utilising security solutions from third-party providers that specialise in safeguarding, SaaS environments. These solutions offer advantages, including.


Real-time detection of potential threats

Prevention of data loss

Incorporation of security features


Monitor Account Activity


Establish robust monitoring systems to track user activity and network traffic effectively. Identifying behaviour can serve as a warning sign for potential attacks. For instance, keep an eye out for failed login attempts or access from locations.


Create a Response Plan for Incidents


Regularly practice an incident response plan that outlines the steps to take in the event of a ransomware attack. A coordinated response can help minimise the impact of incidents and facilitate faster recovery. The sooner your team responds, the sooner business operations can return to normalcy.


Ensure Protection for Your Cloud Data!


SaaS ransomware poses a cybersecurity risk. Take measures to defend against these threats effectively. If you require assistance, in developing a defense strategy, our team is here to help. Contact us today to schedule a conversation.













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