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Federal Institute Releases Guidelines For How To Respond To Ransomware Attacks

The report, prepared by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, tested a variety of cybersecurity solutions in different IT environments to find out which methods were most effective in fighting ransomware.

In response to growing ransomware attacks on businesses and governments small and large, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) has released draft guidelines to help organizations prepare for “data integrity cybersecurity events” that threaten their operations.

On Monday, the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, housed within NIST, issued a framework aimed at assisting firms in developing a strategy for detecting and responding to cyber attacks and ensuring that data critical to their operations and revenue is protected, according to the report.

The center built a laboratory environment to explore 31 methods of responding to cybersecurity incidents in various IT environments “to immediately react to the event in an effort to prevent a complete compromise,” the report reads.

“Destructive malware, ransomware, malicious insider activity, and even honest mistakes all set the stage for why organizations need to quickly detect and respond to an event that impacts data integrity,” the NCCoE authors write. “Businesses must be confident that these events are detected quickly and responded to appropriately.”

The project was part of a partnership with several vendors that offered commercial products for testing as part of the cybersecurity center’s research. Cisco, Tripwire and Symantec were among the companies involved.

The free guide, which will be available for public comment through Feb. 26, focused specifically on potential tool sets for mitigating and containing cybersecurity attacks as well as what strategies security teams could adopt to respond.

“Organizations that do not implement detection and response solutions leave themselves at risk for many types of data integrity attacks,” the authors write, noting that risks could be reduced with integrity monitoring, event detection, vulnerability management, reporting capabilities and more.

Security teams and organization leaders can read the full report and provide public comment through NIST’s website.

About the Author

Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.

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