Ransomware Actors Target Attractive Supply Chains

Ransomware Actors Target Attractive Supply Chains

By Greg Tavarez

Ransomware will continue to be an ongoing headache for security teams, especially as corporate attack surfaces expand with digital investments. The main motive for bad actors is that big payday that comes with ransomware attacks, and supply chains are essentially a gourmet dish.

In an attack scenario, the supply chain had an access vector that lacked the proper defensives, and ransomware actors then attacked many organizations through that single supplier. Past examples of supply chain breaches include Kaseya in 2021, which impacted 1,500-2,000 organizations, and SolarWinds in 2020, which compromised at least nine U.S. government departments.

Trend Micro research shows that 79% of global IT leaders believe their partners and customers make their organization a more attractive ransomware target. Furthermore, more than half of global organizations have a supply chain partner that was hit by ransomware.

Supply chain security improvements needs to start with transparency around cyber risk. However, less than half of organizations share knowledge about ransomware attacks with their suppliers, and a quarter say they don’t share threat information with partners.

On top of that, detection rates were low for ransomware activities:

  • Ransomware payloads (63%
  • Use of legitimate tooling (53%
  • Data exfiltration (49%)
  • Initial access (42%)
  • Lateral movement (31%)

Trend Micro laid out a plan to build a safer supply chain. A key step is to gain an understanding of the supply chain and corresponding data flows to identify high-risk suppliers. They should be regularly audited against industry baseline standards, and similar checks should be enforced before onboarding new suppliers

Again, there is no magical remedy to reduce ransomware risk, which is present in 25% of data breaches, a 13% year-on-year increase. But, as Trend Micro Technical Director Bharat Mistry said, enhanced visibility and control over the expanding digital attack surface is the first step toward mitigating ransomware risks.

Edited by Erik Linask
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MSPToday Editor

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