Ransomware Risk Mitigation Strategies

Here are some of the strategies recommended by US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) on RANSOMWARE risk mitigation. But if you need any help along the way, email us and we’d be glad to provide you pointers.

U.S. Government Recommended Best Practices  (June 2, 2021)

Implement the five best practices that are high impact, from the President’s Executive Order:

1.Backup your data, system images, and configurations, regularly test them,
and keep the backups offline:

Ensure that backups are regularly tested and that they are not connected to the business network, as many ransomware variants try to find and encrypt or delete accessible backups. Maintaining current backups offline is critical because if your network data is encrypted with ransomware, your organization can restore systems.

 2. Update and patch systems promptly:

This includes maintaining the security of operating systems, applications, and firmware, in a timely manner. Consider using a centralized patch management system; use a risk-based assessment
strategy to drive your patch management program.

3. Test your incident response plan:

There’s nothing that shows the gaps in plans more than testing them. Run through some core questions and use those to build an incident response plan: Are you able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Would you turn off your manufacturing operations if business systems such as billing were offline?

4. Check Your Security Team’s Work:

Use a 3rd party pen tester to test the security of your systems and your ability to defend against a sophisticated attack. Many ransomware criminals are aggressive and sophisticated and will find the equivalent of unlocked doors.

5. Segment your networks:

There’s been a recent shift in ransomware attacks – from stealing data to disrupting operations. It’s critically important that your corporate business functions and manufacturing/production operations are separated and that you carefully filter and limit internet access to operational networks, identify links between these networks and develop workarounds or manual controls to ensure ICS networks can be isolated and continue operating if your corporate network is compromised. Regularly test contingency plans such as manual controls so that safety critical functions can be maintained during a cyber incident.


Ransomware attacks have disrupted organizations around the world, from hospitals across Ireland, Germany and France, to pipelines in the United States and banks in the U.K. The threats are serious and they are increasing. We urge you to take these critical steps to protect your organizations and the American public. The U.S. Government is working with countries around the world to hold ransomware actors and the countries who harbor them accountable, but we cannot fight the threat posed by ransomware alone. The private sector has a distinct and key responsibility. The federal government stands ready to help you implement these best practices.


A commitment to cyber hygiene and best practices is critical to protecting your networks. Here are some questions you may want to ask of your organization to help prevent ransomware attacks:

1. Backups:

  • Do we backup all critical information?
  • Are the backups stored offline?
  • Have we tested our ability to revert to backups during an incident?

2. Risk Analysis:

  • Have we conducted a cybersecurity risk analysis of the organization?

3. Staff Training:

  • Have we trained staff on cybersecurity best practices?

4. Vulnerability Patching:

  • Have we implemented appropriate patching of known system vulnerabilities?

5. Application Whitelisting:

  • Do we allow only approved programs to run on our networks?

6. Incident Response:

  • Do we have an incident response plan and have we exercised it?

7. Business Continuity:

  • Are we able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Have we tested this?

8. Penetration Testing:

  • Have we attempted to hack into our own systems to test the security of our systems and our ability to defend against attacks?