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Five Recommended Ransomware Defenses For MSPs … And Our Experts Add Three More

‘If you don’t use Powershell, just uninstall it. And if you can’t, definitely monitor all Powershell calls and pretty much everything Powershell does on your system,’ says Fabian Wosar, an internationally renowned Ransomware recovery expert.

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Some good. Some bad.

In the wake of the ransomware attack on 22 Texas towns three weeks ago, the Texas Department of Information Resources last week provided a list of recommended actions to help MSP stop intrusions into their networks.

CRN asked no-less-an-expert than Brian Krebs of as well as renowned, London-based “ransomware killer” Fabian Wosar about the suggestions and what methods they suggests MSPs use to guard their own tools, as well as their customer’s networks.

“One thing I see over and over again with ransom attacks is everyone seems so fixated on the backups,” Krebs said. “ ‘They must not have had backups. They must not have done that right.’ I think that’s sort of missing the forest for the trees.”

Wosar has been featured on the BBC and in The Guardian newspaper, among others, for his work in undermining the bad actors who carry out ransomware attacks.

He now works for Emsisoft, a New Zealand-based security software company, where he continues to help those hit. Wosar estimates that between himself and Emsisoft they have helped more than a million end-users with ransomware remediation, many for free.

“Hacking an MSP and then encrypting all their clients is hugely profitable. There is such a huge return on investment … its low hanging fruit,” he said. “MSPs never had to deal with it, so in a way they got away with a lot of sloppy practices, and bad cyber-hygiene. Either they were lazy or they didn’t know any better, you had a lot of them who are vulnerable to this type of attack.”

While state and federal officials have not yet said how the ransomware attack in Texas spread, one mayor said the bad actors got into the town through an outsourced IT provider whose tools were compromised. Then last week, Nancy Rainosek, Chief Information Security Officer of Texas, Texas Department of Information Resources provided some steps MSPs should take to guard themselves and their clients.

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