Manufacturing equipmentRansomware is a widespread problem that has the potential to cause millions in damage. This issue affects many organizations across the world, including banks, police stations, and delivery services. Considering a recent trend of attacks, manufacturers can expect to be added to that ever-growing list as well.  

Are You Vulnerable to a Ransomware Attack?

After the highly publicized, far-reaching WannaCry and NotPetya ransomware campaigns of 2017, businesses worldwide found themselves reeling from the disruption. Manufacturers, in particular, were hit hard by the attack. Companies such as Nissan, Merck, and Mendelez found their production networks crippled, causing hundreds of millions in damage. 

Most recently, an aluminum manufacturer by the name Norsk Hydro fell victim to a new ransomware infection dubbed LockerGoga. The malware infected multiple computer systems throughout the company, including operating systems that control physical equipment, paralyzing the organization’s operations. The event forced Norsk Hydro to switch all operations to manual. Given LockerGoga’s penchant for disruption, security specialists warn that manufacturing firms need to be especially cautious of this strain of malware.

What Is LockerGoga? What Is Its Goal?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts files and blocks you from gaining access to your data. Most forms of ransomware require the victim to send ransom payments to regain access. However, like LockerGoga, certain types exist solely to disrupt.  

Compared to other ransomware, LockerGoga is considered to be relatively rare and more targeted than other types of ransomware. Their delivery method has yet to be confirmed, but it’s suspected that hackers are using phishing messages to gain access to victims’ systems—specifically, messages containing Microsoft Word or rich text format (RTF) attachments. It’s possible these documents contain embedded malicious macros.    

How to Protect Against Ransomware 

The key to protecting your company (or at least limiting the damage) from attacks like this is to be prepared. Predicting worst-case scenarios will allow you to create countermeasures that can keep your business running in the event of a disaster. Although LockerGoga managed to infect Norsk Hydro’s computer systems, the manufacturer managed to limit the damage by having a plan that allowed them to react quickly. 

Data Backup and Recovery

Norsk Hydro restored crucial operating functions while avoiding prolonged downtime by backing up critical files and configurations. This is an important part of a solid disaster recovery plan. If you don’t have a disaster recovery plan in place, it’s a good idea to talk to a managed IT provider. These outsourced IT solutions typically offer robust cybersecurity solutions such as data backup and recovery and other security software services. 

Don’t Fall Victim to Ransomware

At SSE, our mission is to provide your company with unwavering network protection. To accomplish this, we take a multi-tiered approach to cybersecurity, offering a variety of services ranging from vulnerability management to cybersecurity training. If you’d like to learn more about how SSE can protect your company from ransomware, give us a call today!