How MSPs Can Prevent and Respond to Ransomware Attacks

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How MSPs Can Prevent and Respond to Ransomware Attacks

In simple terms, ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts the victim’s files. The attackers demand a ransom to decrypt them. It is nothing but a form of extortion. The attackers usually threaten to publish or delete the data unless a ransom is paid.

Ransomware can be transmitted through email attachments, infected websites, and even social networks like Facebook. Once installed, it can silently encrypt files on your computer and disable you to access them until you pay for an encryption key.

As ransomware attacks have become more common, so has the demand for ways to protect against them.

MSPs and Ransomware Attacks

The number of ransomware attacks increased from around 438 million in 2017 to over 620 million detected in 2021. The world saw an exponential rise in the number of ransomware attacks during the pandemic. A lot of MSPs attest to the fact that having antivirus software, email filters, pop-up blockers, etc. didn’t stop their clients from being affected by ransomware. According to 4 out of 5 MSPs, ransomware attackers are increasingly targeting their own businesses. During the pandemic, even the US secret service sent a warning to MSPs about the increased ransomware threats.

How can MSPs prevent ransomware attacks?

MSPs have access to their own client databases and that makes them a very attractive target for ransomware attackers. The truth is there may not be any foolproof solution to the ransomware problem. The cyber attackers keep getting more and more advanced and even the most prepared companies might fall victim to them. But below are the steps MSPs can take to lower the risk of their clients being attacked.

  1. BCDR solution: Business continuity and disaster recovery (BCDR or BC/DR) is a collection of processes and techniques that helps a company recover from a crisis and continue its normal operations. Victimized clients with BCDR recovered from the incident in 24 hours or less, according to 80 percent of MSPs.
  2. Antivirus and Firewall: Antivirus and firewall solutions have been around for a long time and they are still very important when it comes to preventing certain kinds of attacks.
  3. When software companies find bugs, they publish the information and release a patch. These companies would be less vulnerable to being attacked by bad actors attempting to profit from defects if automated patching is implemented.
  4. Restrict Access To The RDP Criminals constantly hunt for systems with regularly used RDP ports and attack them with brute-force attacks in the hopes of finding weak users and passwords. Criminals can disable security, install malware, and much more once they obtain access. Fix this security vulnerability by restricting RDP access, prohibiting it entirely, or with two-factor authentication.
  5. Endpoint Security Endpoint devices are no longer constrained within business boundaries as we move toward a remote workforce model. All endpoints must be regularly monitored and protected. For maximum security, use Managed Detection and Response (MDR) from a reputable Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP) like SharkStriker.

How to Detect a Ransomware Attack?

The key to detecting ransomware is to monitor adversaries 24/7 with the use of SOC-as-a-service or Managed Detection and Response (MDR) services. Such services assist MSPs in identifying pre-breach signs, which in turn aids in the prevention of harmful activity. 

  • For example, SharkStriker’s SOC team is available 24 hours, 7 days a week to provide continuous monitoring so that any risks are swiftly discovered and remedied before they can represent a serious danger to a business.
  • At regular intervals, our cybersecurity professionals conduct in-depth evaluations and penetration testing to identify any possible security flaws that attackers may exploit.
  • Threat intelligence best practices are used by our specialists to keep an organization safe from both internal and external threats.
  • We utilize the MDR platform to provide SOC-as-a-Service which has a built-in SIEM that logs all events throughout the IT infrastructure.

Also, make sure your clients maintain backups of their data in order to avoid paying the ransom if they are infected with ransomware.

Ways to respond to a ransomware attack?

The way to deal with ransomware is through prevention. It’s important to have up-to-date cybersecurity solutions for all the devices. Make sure that all software patches are installed. This will help ensure that the user can receive updates for their operating system as well as any other installed software.

If a ransomware attack is detected, it’s important to respond as quickly as possible. First, scan networks to confirm that an attack has occurred. If confirmed, then you should disconnect affected computers from the network in order to limit the attack. Secure the backup data and make sure that your backups are not infected with malware. If you detect ransomware, take your system offline and shut down the systems or data if possible. Below are the steps that should be taken immediately after you detect a ransomware attack.

  • Activate your business continuity and incident response teams.
  • As soon as you realize you’ve been hacked, notify the proper cyber law enforcement authorities.
  • Determine the incident’s scope. Determine which ransomware version is responsible for the infestation. It will most likely identify itself, but you may double-check using apps like ID Ransomware and Crypto Sheriff.
  • Confirm the origin of the ransomware. Keep track of which networks, devices, apps, and systems have been impacted.
  • Measure the rate at which the malware is spreading and put a stop to it.
  • Remove infected devices and systems from the network (wired and wireless) as well as external storage devices.
  • Make a plan for how you’ll get back on your feet after the infection. It is not advisable to pay the ransom.
  • After paying the ransom, there is no certainty that decryption keys will be provided. It’s possible that you’ll be requested to pay extra to obtain the decryption key.
  • Remove the infection and restore your device’s functionality. Simply uninstalling the infection does not ensure that it has been eradicated fully. For comprehensive recovery, a complete system wipes maybe your best option.
  • Make a plan to avoid being infected with ransomware in the future.


Ransomware assaults will cost you a lot of money. We SharkStriker, an industry-leading Managed Security Service Provider can assist you in the creation of a point-to-point safety network as well as with the identification of attacker patterns in order to avoid attacks for a fraction of the cost of recovery. 

Our SOCs are located across many locations to guarantee that your assets and overall IT infrastructure are monitored 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days. To deliver a hands-on keyboard-based response, our cybersecurity specialists use our machine-accelerated MDR platform. The MDR platform is a white-labeled solution based on an open-architecture platform that can simply interact with your existing solutions to collect data from all sources and give improved insight into your business environment, allowing you to mitigate ransomware attacks. Implement the best protection and 24/7 threat detection and response. SharkStriker’s services like MDR offer you better protection, threat detection, monitoring, and incident response plan. Contact us now to talk to our experts!


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