SRV Media

New Delhi [India], October 19: In today's rapidly evolving digital landscape, where cybercriminals run rampant and ransomware attacks loom large, a groundbreaking solution is set to transform the cybersecurity landscape for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs and SMEs). Dr. Shekhar Pawar, the visionary inventor behind the BDSLCCI (Business Domain Specific Least Cybersecurity Controls Implementation) framework, has unveiled a revolutionary approach to safeguarding these vulnerable enterprises against ransomware extortion, malware intrusions, and evolving cyber threats. Small enterprises are the target of 82% of ransomware attacks. With SMBs and SMEs accounting for around 46% of ransomware attacks, BDSLCCI offers a tailored, cost-effective, and proactive defense strategy that promises to redefine the future of cybersecurity.

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Days are gone where theft, extortion, and other crimes were happening on the streets or in physical places. Today, gangs of cybercriminals are performing ransomware extortion attacks, malware attacks, denial of service attacks, web attacks, and different hacking crimes using various tricks and techniques. As it is a virtual world or cyberspace, many times it is difficult to trace the real source. Many of such cybercrimes are financial gain-oriented, but many are even state-sponsored or with the intention of terrorism. Businesses that undergo such cyberattacks face various problems, such as financial loss, data loss, the spread of malware, market reputation damage, production halts, and so many other legal and regulatory consequences. According to the most recent estimate published on Statista, ransomware attacks would damage more than 72 percent of enterprises worldwide by 2023. In 2022, 73% of firms were attacked by ransomware, and the global cost of ransomware is predicted to hit $30 billion in 2023. In 2023, the average ransomware attack will cost around $1.5 million. However, more than 80% of those who pay a ransom will be targeted again.

According to Dr. Shekhar Pawar, inventor of BDSLCCI, when it comes to SMBs or SMEs, most of the time these organizations do not have enough financial budget to implement generic cybersecurity standards available in the market, lagging cybersecurity knowledge among teammates, and not a visible "return on investment (RoI)" for the resources utilized in cybersecurity implementation and maintenance. The BDSLCCI framework is now able to resolve these problems for SMBs or SMEs by providing "tailored" cybersecurity controls based on the business domain of the organization, thereby "reducing the cost" of cybersecurity implementation by more than five times the cost of existing standards and providing many useful tools that are "free" to use. Also, as it is in alignment with the business goals of the SMB or SME, it helps top management see the RoI. BDSLCCI works on two cybersecurity aspects: defense in depth (DiD) and mission critical assets (MCA).

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"Cybercriminals are hidden in the virtual world and can threaten you using technology and playing psychological games. It is the right of every business to be cybersecure," says Dr. Shekhar Pawar, founder of SecureClaw Inc. "Business Domain Specific Least Cybersecurity Controls Implementation (BDSLCCI) provides tailored cybersecurity controls with reduced cost and fewer resources to adopt preventive measures against ransomware and similar cyber threats."

Types of extortion by ransomware attacks:

Ransomware has a long chain of extortion techniques for its victims. When ransomware first appeared, it was a malicious program that encrypts files or systems and stops users from accessing them. The files, or even entire devices, are then encrypted and held hostage until the victim pays a ransom in exchange for a decryption key. The key allows the user to access the encrypted files or systems of the software. It was known as a single-extortion attack. WannaCry and CryptoLocker are a few examples of single-extortion ransomware attacks. After that, cybercriminals started a new technique to gain more ransom from their victims, which can be called double extortion. In cases of single extortion, many organizations overcome the threat of file encryption with a simple, up-to-date backup system. Cybercriminals started stealing sensitive information from organizations and threatening to leak it or sell it to the public, mostly via dark web leak sites or the black market. In such cases, even if victims manage to pay a ransom to get a decryption key or restore backup data, they will still be asked to pay another ransom to avoid their stolen data being sold or distributed publicly. Maze and DoppelPaymer are a couple of examples of such double extortion tactics. Going ahead, after double extortion attack tricks, triple extortion attacks started taking place in various forms. In addition to two techniques to harass victim organizations that had already undergone ransomware attacks, cybercriminals started one more threatening one where they might use a service disruption attack to exert additional pressure. AvosLocker is one of the ransomware variants that employs denial-of-service (DDoS) assaults as part of its triple extortion practice. Going beyond triple extortion, cybercriminals can even potentially increase their profits by using quadruple extortion ransomware, frequently involving contacting third-party associates with ransom demands or other unethical measures.

Another strategy used by the DarkSide ransomware gang is to threaten publicly listed firms by providing short stock opportunities to unethical traders. In this form of attack, the gang threatens to publicly reveal the identity of the victim organization, perhaps causing the stock price to decrease. A trader with firsthand knowledge of the attack may benefit handsomely.

The BDSLCCI framework helps to prevent ransomware in SMBs or SMEs:

It is highly recommended to implement preventive measures as well as not pay ransom to threat actors. Especially for preventing ransomware attacks, it is important to protect data and systems. Companies need to strengthen BDSLCCI's recommended DiD, which is a combination of the data security layer, application security layer, host or endpoint security layer, network security layer, physical perimeter security layer, human security layer, and overall organization's security governance. These security layers will contain various cybersecurity best practices, policies, procedures, and guidelines to implement controls. Also, BDSLCCI focuses on securing MCAs against disclosure, alteration, or disruption. BDSLCCCI has MCA-specific recommended controls for more than 50 business domains, such as e-commerce, e-learning, pharmaceuticals, institutes (schools and colleges), manufacturing, IT consulting, healthcare, chemicals, etc.

The latest cyber threat statistics show that ransomware attacks are mostly executed via social engineering, RDP vulnerabilities, unpatched software, password guessing, credential theft, remote server attacks, third parties, and USB drives. Along with various other cyber threats, BDSLCCI's DiD controls are mapped to lower the risks of ransomware attacks. Various cybersecurity controls in layers contribute to the same. Secondly, MCA is being protected more with additional controls. Hence, for a long time, BDSLCCI has been able to protect SMBs or SMEs against ransomware and other cyber threats.

Ransomware attacks have a long chain of extortion for their victims, making it very difficult to trust the threat actor sitting in a hidden place. Hence, prevention is better than cure, which is very true in the case of ransomware. Knowledge of BDSLCCI is also available as a book on Amazon, Kobo, and other platforms.

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