Surviving the Unseen:

A Ransomware Attack and Its Aftermath

6 Practical Tips to Win the Cybersecurity Battle Against Ransomware


This case study focuses on a manufacturing company operating internationally with around 100 employees. Like many businesses, the company had limited cybersecurity measures in place, relying primarily on basic antivirus software that provided limited protection against cyber threats. The consequences of these limited defenses became evident when the company fell victim to a ransomware attack, highlighting the critical need for a strong cybersecurity posture for businesses of all sizes.

The Reality of Cyber Threats

In today’s interconnected world, businesses of all sizes face an ever-increasing risk of cyber threats. The assumption that only larger enterprises are targeted is a misconception that can prove devastating. Cybercriminals are well aware that smaller companies often have fewer cybersecurity defenses, making them attractive targets.

The Vulnerabilities

Prior to the attack, the manufacturing company’s cybersecurity efforts were not as comprehensive as they could have been. The absence of robust monitoring solutions left them vulnerable to threat actors, who exploited valid credentials and employed open-source tools and scripts to access sensitive data. Additionally, their basic antivirus software lacked the ability to detect and prevent sophisticated attacks.

The Attack

During the attack, threat actors gained unauthorized access to the company’s network, exfiltrated valuable data, and left ransom notes on all devices, demanding payment to prevent public disclosure of the stolen information. Unfortunately, the attack went unnoticed for weeks until the ransom note was discovered, revealing the company’s lack of visibility into its cybersecurity environment.

The High Cost of Ignoring Cybersecurity

The consequences of the attack were far-reaching and costly, resulting in significant financial losses and reputational damage. Customer data was compromised, leading to the loss of trust among clients and partners. Moreover, the company faced potential legal liabilities and regulatory scrutiny due to compromised data privacy.

Business leaders must recognize that investing in a robust cybersecurity posture is an investment in their company’s long-term viability. Cyber attacks, such as ransomware incidents and data breaches, are becoming increasingly prevalent and sophisticated, impacting businesses globally.

Cybersecurity is not a luxury reserved for large corporations but a fundamental necessity for businesses of all sizes. Investing in proactive cybersecurity measures is critical to protect against evolving cyber threats.

Strengthening Defenses

To effectively bolster their cybersecurity posture, we recommended several proactive measures to enhance their defenses.

1. Proactive Monitoring

The lack of monitoring solutions prevented timely detection of the attack. Implementing Endpoint Detection and Response (EDR) with Machine Learning (ML) capabilities will help identify and respond to future abnormal activities promptly.

2. Managed Security Operations Center (SOC)

In addition to EDR, incorporating Managed SOC services is vital for early threat detection and swift response to potential cyber threats. With 24×7 monitoring on all assets, the SOC continuously captures event data, identifies any probing or suspicious activities, and notifies team members to take action immediately.

3. Employee Cyber Awareness

Social engineering played a crucial role in the attack. Going forward, the business must incorporate cybersecurity awareness training and phishing simulations to prepare and educate employees about potential threats.

4. Vulnerability Management

Regular scans of the infrastructure are critical to identify weaknesses and vulnerabilities. These scans inform a Maintenance Roadmap – identifying which vulnerabilities should be prioritized to prevent potential exploitation by cybercriminals.

5. Proper Access Controls

Limit access to sensitive resources by adopting the principle of least privilege and enforcing Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) for critical accounts.

6. Cyber Insurance

While cyber insurance can provide financial support in case of an attack, companies must ensure compliance with best practices and policy requirements to avoid potential claim denials. As Abel Solutions’ Director of Cybersecurity states, “It’s important to remember that cyber insurance is not Harry Potter’s Cloak of Invisibility from risk.” 

Cybersecurity Protection

Ultimately, no business is immune to cyber threats. The cost of ignoring cybersecurity can be devastating, with ramifications that extend beyond immediate financial losses. Every business owner and executive leader must recognize the necessity of a strong cybersecurity posture to safeguard their company’s future.

“Cybersecurity is not just some black hole where you throw your money away for some arbitrary purpose because ‘people’ say ‘it’s important’. You can build the best business in the world, but if you let someone else steal it from you, it’s no longer the best business.” – Zach Lemley, Director of Cybersecurity

By investing in cybersecurity, businesses of all sizes can better protect themselves, their stakeholders, and their customers from the ever-evolving landscape of cyber threats. Remember, it’s not a question of IF you’ll face a cyber attack, but rather WHEN – and your preparedness will make all the difference.

Fortify Your Business Against Ransomware Attacks

At the end of the day, the cost of cybersecurity is negligible compared to the cost of losing your business.