Best Cyber Security

What is the Best Firewall to block Ransomware Attacks?

Ransomware is the latest life threatening attacks against organisations.

It is often risk free for the attackers to target and organisation.

They will break into the target organisation to steal sensitive business information.

This can be sensitive data, IP technology such as source code to a game, employee information or customer data.

Best Firewall to block Ransomware

Attackers aggressively push the customers to pay ransom

The SecPoint Protector UTM Firewall if you need real strong protection on your network.

It has very strong protection against hacking gangs such as:

What is the key elements a firewall must contain to fight Ransomware?

  1. Updated IP addresses for Country blocking to easily block countries where the business is not conducting business. This could be, Afghanistan, Russia, China etc. The Country IP lists are updated weekly unlike other products. The IPs change all the time for countries
  2. Very strong Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) Technology Protection to Block specific exploits. more than 40.000 IPS database that is being updated daily. The databases consist of Exploits, Malware, WEB Attacks, Mail Server attacks and more.
  3. The UTM Firewall must have very strong Anti Virus Capability such as supporting up to 3 vendors at the same time. Example ESET, Kaspersky & ClamAV. This can help block ransomware tricking phishing mails coming in that non tech savy employees are clicking on.
  4. Global RBL List to block Toxic IP addresses. A powerful database of 12 RBL listed combined together that blocks more than 640 Million Toxic IP addresses. This can be IPs used in illegal software sharing, botnet attacks, spam attacks, DDoS attacks, Hacker attacks, Vulnerability Scanning, Phishing attacks and sending virus. It is recommended to block all Toxic IPs. The 12 RBL lists are updated multiple times daily.
  5. The SecPoint specific RBL with more than 1.5 Million blocking updated daily collected from multiple honeypots.
  6. It is also recommended to fully blocking TOR Traffic since high amount of toxic traffic is coming from there.
  7. There must be full transparency on the firewall System which type of data is being collected. Which third party will get access to the data?
  8. It is optimal the Firewall system is running on Linux operating backdoor free and allows the user themself to put their own custom Kernel to prove there is no backdoors or third party access.
  9. Limit all incoming traffic to the Firewall administration to only be from trusted IP addresses
  10. Prevent Human Errors. Start hacking your own firewall regularly to find out if any configurations are not set correct, has been misconfigured. Or was changed by mistake at a point and different ports services temporary was forgotten and left open to the Internet.
  11. Extensive Data Leak Prevention (DLP) Technology. Prevent attacks to easily gain access to VPNs, File Sharing services to make it very difficult to leak data out of the network.
  12. Double testing the policies and network with extensive Vulnerability Scanning & Assessment on a daily basis.

How to Block Ransomware Attacks?

According to Cybereason Ransomware Research from a survey conducted, 80% of the victims' ransom attacks experienced a second incident soon after. Of those, only 46% got their data back, and it was mostly corrupted. This study includes businesses large are small, a total of 1263.

Ransomware is a type of malware that prevents users from accessing their data until they pay a ransom. The attacker may threaten to publish the user’s data online. Usually, the attacker encrypts the user’s data to block access to their files. The best firewall can help prevent these attacks.

In most ransomware attacks, the attacker gives the user a deadline for paying the ransom. If the victim doesn’t pay in time, they may delete the data, or the attacker may increase the ransom. 

Read on to find out more about ransomware and how a quality firewall can prevent an attack.

The Best Firewall for Ransomware Attacks 

You’ll need a firewall capable of blocking cyber attacks of all kinds, like the SecPoint Protector UTM Firewall. It also helps to combine the software with a hardware protector, and the clever combination of these two products from SecPoint is one reason why their firewall is the best on the market.

Straight out of the box, it will:

  • Block 600 million bad IPs
  • Provide anti-spam quarantine
  • Be user friendly
  • Block Trojans,  Spambots, and Malware
  • Provide advanced ransomware blocking with advanced UTM

Another fantastic feature of the SecPoint firewall package is the 24/7 support, including live chat and a ticket system for more pressing concerns. Not that you’ll need it often as the software itself is extremely reliable and is updated frequently.

This UTM firewall can take care of your entire network in one package with powerful 64-bit multi-core architecture and a fully customizable bandwidth monitor. The virus scanning is entirely comprehensive and can include proxies and web filtering at your command. 

In fact, this firewall includes three antivirus programs. They are some of the biggest and most reliable programs of their type on the web, so you can trust them to keep your network safe from ransomware attacks. They are:

  • ClamAV
  • ESET
  • Kaspersky
     

You’ll also have complete control over your network with the SaaS included with this UTM firewall package with the availability to use a content filter for VoIP, Games, P2P, or anything else you can think of that your employees shouldn’t be using at work. 

You can even choose to filter by time, which means you can adapt the filters to be more strict during certain times of the day when there may be more employees potentially engaging with ransomware attacks.

Now that you’ve got an understanding of the best firewall, let’s take a deep dive into ransomware to find out how just important getting this quality UPS firewall can help your business. We'll also talk about how the firewall can prevent these attacks.

The History of Ransomware Attacks

Even though ransomware has been on the headlines for over a decade, the idea of encrypting user files and holding a computer hostage is quite old.

You can trace ransomware back to the late 1980s. One of the first documented ransomware attacks was when the AIDS trojan virus extorted payments of $189 from the attack recipients.

Payments were to be sent to a P.O. box in Panama to restore access to their systems. Once paid, the attackers would mail a decryption key to the user.

Despite the long history of ransomware attacks, they did not become common till the 2010s. This could be because of payment difficulties. However, attackers have been creative over the years, requiring payments that are nearly impossible to trace.

For example, A mobile ransomware known as Fusob required its victims to pay using Apple iTunes gift cards instead of traditional currencies.

Ransomware started to gain more popularity with the growth of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Cryptocurrencies providing an easy and untraceable payment method created the opportunity for ransomware attacks to become a profitable business.

Ransomware Distribution Techniques

There are several distribution methods that attackers use to inject ransomware into an unsuspecting victim’s computer. One of the most common delivery systems is phishing spam – users receive an email with an embedded link, upon clicking the link redirects users to a malicious web page. 

The attackers may also send attachments through email, which are embedded with a Remote Access Trojan (RAT). A quality firewall can prevent the RAT from taking hold of your network and destroy or quarantine the threat.

Attackers may also use social media such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. The attacker can distribute links through social media posts or instant messenger chats. Even legitimate web pages can spread malware if malicious code is present in the page’s content. So, the web filter of your firewall that blocks employees from social media can negate this threat.

Your device may also be compromised if you install a program downloaded from the internet infested with malicious code. Again, the firewall can easily block your employees from installing unwanted software or identify any potential threats in the program.

Examples of Ransomware

Ransomware has been around the ‘90s but has started to take off in the past five years or so. These provide a look at some of the headaches you could avoid by having a solid firewall. Here are some of the worst offenders.

CryptoLocker

This ransomware was one of the first that required Bitcoin for payment. It encrypted a user’s hard drive and other attached drives if on a network. Antivirus firms engineered software to counter CryptoLocker in 2014, but reports suggest that Cyptolocker extorted upwards of $27 million.

WannaCry

The WannaCry ransomware attack targeted computers running Microsoft Windows in May 2017. It spread anonymously using an exploit developed by the NSA called EternalBlue, which hackers stole. It managed to infect over 250,000 systems before Microsoft deployed a patch.

TeslaCrypt

First detected in 2015, TeslaCrypt initially targeted gamers, and it typically targeted important game-related files such as game saves and user profiles. After successfully infecting a computer, a pop-up would demand a payment of $500 in Bitcoin for a decryption key. In 2016, the developers of TeslaCrypt released a master key for all affected users to unlock their computers.

NotPetya

NotPetya’s outbreak was discovered in Ukraine in 2017 and is considered one of the most damaging ransomware attacks ever. NotPetya encrypted the hard drive’s master file table and rendered the master boot record of Windows-based systems inoperable.

It worked in a similar way to WannaCry, demanding payment in bitcoin to undo the changes. Since NotPetya cannot undo its changes to the master boot record, it left the target systems unrecoverable.

REvil/Sodinokibi

This ransomware first appeared in 2019. REvil is known for its sophisticated evasion capabilities and took several measures to avoid being detected by antiviruses. One group developed the code while another delivered the malware. 

A group of financially motivated hackers authored it, and it infiltrated the user data before encrypting it to blackmail its users.  On September 16, 2021, BitDefender announced a new universal decryptor for this ransomware.

Ryuk

First appearing in 2018, this virus targeted vulnerable organizations such as hospitals. Once Ryuk executes, it encrypts files and data on all infected computers, network drives, and network resources. 

Typically, the ransom note appears on an infected system as a text (.txt) file, as Ryuk generates it when it executes. The ransom note instructs victims how to contact the attackers and pay the ransom.

SamSam

Even though SamSam first reared its head in 2015, it made a strong start in 2018. Unlike other ransomware, SamSam targeted particular organizations, mainly hospitals and educational institutions, as they are more likely to pay to get their data back. Causing damages upwards of $6 million since 2015, SamSam is one of the most significant ransomware attacks in history.

These are just some of the ransomware programs that threaten the privacy of our computers. Naturally, the list grows longer each year.

Who Are Protecting Yourself From With a Firewall?

Ransomware authors usually build their versions of ransomware using the codebase of existing malware. They make enough changes to the codebase to change the method of attack and prevent detection by newer methods.

Ransomware authors can customize their malware to perform any action and use a preferred encryption cipher.

There is a difference between malware authors and attackers (though both can be the same person), but the attacker isn't always the author. 

Sometimes cybercriminals lease ransomware from the authors as malware-as-a-service (MaaS), and the criminals may then use the leased malware to start their own campaigns.

How Does Ransomware Work?

We talked about distributing ransomware, but how does one work once the malware is in the user's computer? Generally, once the malware is inside the user’s computer, the first action performed is encrypting the user’s files.

Once the files are encrypted, you can only decrypt them by a mathematical key known only to the attacker.

The user gets a message telling them that their files are inaccessible, then receives a ransom alongside a timer. The user must pay before the timer ends, or they lose access to their files. The attacker usually threatens the user to pay by an untraceable Bitcoin payment to the attacker.

There are various ways the attackers may attack a person's computer. Some claim to be a law enforcement agency. They may shut down a victim's computer due to claims of pornography or pirated software.

They can demand the ransom in the form of a "fine" just so the victim is less likely to report it.

Who Is a Target for Ransomware Attacks?

There are several ways attackers choose their targets. Some attackers tend to target universities or small offices because they tend to have lower security as their user base shares a lot of files, making it easier to penetrate their defenses.

However, organizations are a tempting target because of their more extensive resources and are more likely to pay the ransom quickly. Medical facilities or government agencies often need immediate access to their data, while law firms have a lot of sensitive data, which means they are exposed to leakware attacks.

How to Respond to a Ransomware Attack

Ransomware threatens to publish or delete the user’s files unless they pay a ransom to the attacker. Yet, the most considerable risk of paying is never having your data decrypted, and this means that you lose your money and your data.

Most experts advise against paying, but people with sensitive data often have no choice. Attackers usually demand payment through cryptocurrency, which means they cannot reverse payment, and it's nearly impossible to track the transaction.

Ransomware attackers keep prices relatively low, usually between $300 and $1500. Some malware can detect the country where the infected computer is and adjust the amount according to that country’s economy.

What Should You Do if You Are the Victim of a Ransomware Attack? 

By taking proper steps, you can minimize the damage ransomware attacks may have on your files. 

Common ransomware has an immediate payload delivery; the virus will show the message to the user as soon as the encryption starts. 

It's best to isolate your system in case your computer is on a network. Ransomware spreads rapidly, so it's best to disconnect the affected system from the network. If you’re unsure what to do, the best course of action would be to power down your computer till a trusted expert can eradicate the threat from the computer.

However, Prevention is always better than the cure. Using an excellent firewall like the SecPoint UTM can prevent you from needing to deal with the issue in the first place.

Precautions to Avoid Ransomware Attacks

Here are a few practices that can help you prevent ransomware infections on your computer.

Data Backup

Regularly back up on an external drive. When finished, disconnect the drive from the device to prevent encryption of the backup data. We recommend using the 3-2-1 rule to make backup copies. 

This rule means creating three backup copies on two different media with one backup stored in a different location in case of a natural disaster.

Keeping Up-To-Date

Keep your operating system patched and up-to-date to ensure so it can prevent newly discovered exploits. It’s best to install new security patches and run vulnerability scans to identify known vulnerabilities and fix them immediately.

Email Filtering

Email phishing and spam are the main ways attackers distribute ransomware. It’s best to detect and block malicious emails before they are accessed. Use spam protection and endpoint protection technology to block suspicious emails and malicious links. The SecPoint Firewall includes email filtering too.

Firewall Protection

Again, firewalls can be a great solution to scan incoming and outgoing traffic for malware and other threats. A firewall can access a file’s starting point and its destination to determine whether it’s a threat to the computer.

Avoid Unfamiliar Drives

Cybercriminals may use disposable USB drives to infect the computers of unsuspecting users. Many people may want to pick up abandoned USB drives and insert them into their computers. If you ever come across a USB device, do not insert it into your computer.

Endpoint Protection

Hackers may use applications to infect endpoints with ransomware. Certain types of traffic are more prone to carrying threats, and endpoint protection can keep your device from engaging with those kinds of data.

How SecPoint Can Help

Ransomware attacks can turn your important files into encrypted gibberish, and paying to get them back is your only option. It's best to stop these attacks before they can even happen. If you’re looking for the best computer protection you can get, you should turn to SecPoint for help.

SecPoint Protector is the best firewall package to help you secure and protect your network from remote and local attacks. It provides complete network protection combined with the penetrator with two-factor authentication and a high-speed intrusion prevention system.

Features include:

  • Complete Cyber Security
  • Anti-Spam & Anti-Virus
  • 3 Anti Virus programs: ESET, ClamAV, Kaspersky.
  • Spam scanning
  • Advanced RBL management
  • Grey Listing technology

Check out more SecPoint advanced AI Cyber Security Products to help keep your network safe.