You are likely to have seen or read the widely reported press that there has been a significant wave of ransomware affected a large number of global health bodies and their access to data held on computer systems.
Ransomware is an increasingly prevalent threat, with a rising number of variants designed to target corporate networks. In spite of these, there are many pragmatic steps which organisations can take to reduce the likelihood of incidents, limit their impact when one does occur, and to recover swiftly and effectively. These span several aspects of IT operations and security, and primarily relate to:
- Robust business continuity planning and exercising, and the ability to restore rapidly from backups;
- Crisis and incident response planning and exercising to ensure incidents are managed to resolution swiftly;
- Strong security hygiene policies and user awareness to prevent ransomware entering your IT environment through both technical controls and vigilant employees; and,
- Rigorous patch and vulnerability management ensuring you make effective use of work already done to address vulnerabilities.
Effective implementation of an Information Security Management System aligned to ISO 27001 should help your organisation to better manage your information security risks, and determine the controls that are necessary to maintain the confidentiality, integrity and availability of your information.
The Standard provides guidance on business continuity within information security (clause A.17), the incident management process (clause A.16), policies for information security (clause A.5) and the requirements for personnel within the information security management system (clause A.7), and the management of technical vulnerabilities (clause A.12).
Whilst it’s important to note that successful implementation of an Information Security management system should certainly help an organisation to better manage its information security risks, it may not prevent all potential breaches and losses from occurring; it does, however, provide a framework for the selection of appropriate controls aimed at enhancing the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of information within an organisation.
PwC never recommends paying a ransomware ransom, unless there are extreme circumstances that you believe warrant payment. Doing so fuels the ransomware economy, funding development of additional ransomware techniques and campaigns.
More information can be found:
- Global cyber hack: Have your defences gone up soon enough? PwC’s Digital Pulse
- Australia introduces mandatory data breach notification regime; PwC Australia
For more information about attending an Information Security Management systems course, click below.