How to Combat SaaS Ransomware


SaaS (Software as a Service) has revolutionized how businesses operate, offering convenience, scalability and efficiency - no longer do you have to drag software from device to device - cloud collaboration has made working together effortless for everyone involved.

SaaS can have its drawbacks. Software and data hosted online are more vulnerable to attack; ransomware has recently begun targeting cloud environments.

Ransomware attacks against computers, servers and mobile devices have long been ongoing. Recently however, there has been an alarmingly sudden upsurge in SaaS-based ransomware attacks.

Odaseva conducted a study in 2022 which found 51% of ransomware targeted SaaS services during March to May 2023.

This article will explain what SaaS-ransomware is, its dangers and how to defend against it.

What Is SaaS Ransomware? Cloud ransomware (also referred to as SaaS ransomware) is malicious code designed to infiltrate cloud applications and services such as Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace, inflicting serious disruption.

Attackers exploit vulnerabilities within cloud-based services and exploit ransomware attacks that encrypt data, locking users out from their accounts and holding it hostage by cybercriminals who demand ransom be paid in cryptocurrency in return for a decryption key.

Ransomware in SaaS: What are the Risks?

SaaS-based ransomware introduces an additional layer of complexity into cybersecurity landscape, creating several risks for individuals and organisations alike.

Data Loss: Losing critical information poses the greatest immediate danger, rendering you unable to access cloud-based files and applications and leading to productivity being curtailed.

Reputational Damage: SaaS ransomware attacks can damage the reputation of an organization. Customers and partners could lose faith in your ability to secure their data, which could have long-term repercussions for your brand's image.

Financial Impact: Paying the ransom may not guarantee data recovery and could encourage attackers to target your system again, thus increasing downtime costs substantially.

Defense Strategies Against SaaS Ransomware

Proactive protection from SaaS Ransomware attacks is essential, so here are some strategies that will help your business protect itself against these threats.

Begin by informing employees on the dangers of SaaS-ransomware

And how it spreads through phishing emails, malicious links or compromised accounts. Teach students how to recognize suspicious activity and report incidents immediately.

MFA (Multi-Factor Authentication) Multi-Factor Authentication is a key aspect of security that users need in order to access their accounts. An extra form of authentication, usually in the form of an SMS code sent directly to users' mobile phones, helps reduce unauthorised access even when hackers compromise credentials for an account.

Maintain Regular Backups

It is vitally important that your SaaS is regularly backed up so you have access to your data in the event of ransomware attack; by having current backups you will not be subject to ransom demands from attackers and can restore files without incurring ransom demands from them.

Use the Principle of Least Privilege

Keep user permissions to only those functions necessary, while applying the principle of least privilege - giving users only what is needed for their work is what this entails; doing this reduces potential damage done if an attacker gains entry.

Update your software regularly

Always ensure all software (SaaS, OS etc) remains up to date; apply all security patches as soon as they become available and use regular updates to strengthen defense by eliminating known vulnerabilities.

Install Advanced Security Solutions

  • Third-party solutions specialized in protecting SaaS environments offer many advantages, such as:

  • Real-Time Threat Detection

  • Data Loss Prevention and other advanced security features.

Track account activity

Keep an eye out for unusual user activities and traffic on the network, which could indicate early warnings of an attack such as suspicious behaviors like multiple failed login attempts. Be wary of unusual access points too!

Create and Rehearse an Incident Response Plan Draft

Practice a comprehensive incident response plan. Your team should know what steps need to be taken in case of ransomware attack, so as to mitigate its effect and facilitate faster recovery timeframe. The faster your team reacts, the sooner business will return to normal.

Protect your cloud data!

SaaS-ransomware poses a significant cybersecurity threat. A solid defense requires proactive steps - need help developing one?

Our team can help keep you secure against cyber threats that exist online. Reach out today and schedule a meeting call us at (404) 932-5940
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