Security concept shot for the digital age.

In-depth cyber defense: Foundation rules to follow

Industrialised cybercrime is here. And it’s never been more so apparent than with ransomware. Barracuda Network’s product manager Tushar Richabadas quoted what Jeremiah Grossman, founder of professional hacking army, WhiteHat Security, had tweeted recently, “Malware kit providers offer SLAs with money back guarantee that it won’t be detected by antivirus for up to nine months!”

Tushar explained, “If I want to sell ransomware tools to you, I want to be sure you are a happy customer.” From that statement, the first key takeaway is that cybercriminals have impeccable customer service standards like most legitimate businesses.

Almost immediately after, realisation sinks in that any amount of malicious code could be lurking on your computer, under-the-radar, undetected and stealthily doing all the bad things that you’ve only ­­­read about so far.

True enough, Tushar recounts a significant portion of customers who scan their email systems with Barracuda’s new Email Threat Scanner “…to their great surprise, they discovered malware lurking in their inboxes, that was dormant.”

More specifically, 93-percent of all scans had revealed that there was malware.

“It’s only going to start escalating,” Tushar cautioned.

No one is safe.

Tushar described, “It’s a growing epidemic. Ransomware (and other cyberattacks) are responsible for hundreds of millions of dollars in damage from productivity loss, tainted credibility and lost revenue.

“As attackers plan increasingly more sophisticated attacks, your organisation needs to know how to prepare and protect your employees and your data.”

Defense in-depth

Ransomware really only started to emerge in the news last year. “At that time, people could still find defense, but now you hear of ransomware infections everyday.”

Clearly, a full in-depth defense is required to prevent anything from getting into business networks. Barracuda Networks has a full line-up of these from email security solutions to Barracuda Essentials for Office 365 to Web filters, next-generation firewalls, and web application firewalls.

Tushar even said, “If you don’t already have these systems in place, then data protection like Barracuda backup solutions can save you,” and added another case study of a customer who was frantically trying to retrieve 30GB of his ransomed data instead of being by his wife’s side as she went into child labour at the hospital.

With Barracuda backup, this client safely restored the file server to a point in time before the attack within an hour. He also got to the hospital in time to be with his family.

“If someone manages to get infected and spread ransomware into your network, Barracuda Backup is always going to be the final line of defense for data recovery.”

It’s really true that no one is safe from these attacks.

Tushar confessed, “One of my pet peeves is that people think they are fine. The entry point for ransomware can be anything. It’s not going to take cybercriminals much to find one weak point, get into your network and move laterally across your organisation.”

Ransomware does not discriminate and its many varied victims from consumers all the way to businesses from a range of industries have had to pay huge sums of money to restore their information.  So devastating and immediate has the impact of ransomware been, that a coalition of cybersecurity vendors have banded together to form

Ultimately however, prevention is always better than cure.

Anything you can think of, the bad guys probably have thought of it first

As an experienced security professional, there is one thing that scares Tushar and keeps him up at night.

“That’s if the malware provider starts adding intelligence into their malware to try evade defense. Then it’s going to be a moving battle… things are going to get a whole lot worse, before it gets better.

He explained, “Sometimes, we will win a war, and then another one will start.”

In the meantime, it doesn’t mean we should leave our doors open for the bad guys to just waltz in.

Barracuda addresses this with solutions in their Total Threat Protection (TTP) and also data protection which comprises of archival and backup solutions. TTP is a holistic security concept that was conceived because businesses need to secure all the ‘doors’ and ‘windows’ through which ransomware can get into networks.

These entry points are defined by threat vectors like network, emails, web browsing and more. Barracuda has solutions for these threat vectors and supports a capability called Advanced Threat Detection for all these solutions.


According to Tushar, Barracuda stays ahead general trends in the market.  “Which is why we came up with Advanced Threat Detection. This ATD feature means, it will take on threats that can’t be identified. So it’s a sandbox in the cloud that tries to identify malware first.”

ATD is a feature that Barracuda is embedding into more and more of their products.

Tushar said, “We are in a unique position to deliver ransomware solution with TTP and data protection – from backups to web application firewalls for detection and protection, and we can always restore from backup.”

Barracuda also provides free app scanner and email scanners so end users can easily identify and secure their data.




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