Post Ransomware Cyber Attack Transformation of the Global IT Services Provider

Company Background

A global IT services provider, with operations spanning multiple continents, faced a severe ransomware attack that disrupted services and threatened its reputation. The company realized the need for a comprehensive security overhaul to protect its assets, data, and clients from future threats. This case study outlines the steps taken to transform their security posture, focusing on inventory management, data classification, risk management, security controls, and achieving ISO27001 certification.

Objectives

1. Ransomware Recovery and Mitigation: Recover from the ransomware attack and implement measures to prevent future incidents.

2. Comprehensive Security Posture: Enhance overall security through robust risk management and security controls.

3. Compliance and Certification: Achieve ISO27001 certification to demonstrate commitment to information security and compliance.

Solution

To achieve these objectives, the company undertook a multi-faceted approach involving inventory management, data classification, risk management, security controls, network and application security, internal audit, and ISO27001 certification.

Implementation Steps

Immediate Ransomware Recovery:

Isolated affected systems to contain the ransomware spread.

Restored data from backups and ensured systems were clean before reconnecting to the network.

Engaged with cybersecurity experts to conduct a forensic analysis and understand the attack vector.

Inventory Management:

Conducted a comprehensive inventory of all IT assets, including hardware, software, and data repositories.

Implemented an asset management system to track and manage assets in real-time.

Data Classification:

Classified data based on sensitivity and criticality, categorizing it into public, internal, confidential, and restricted.

Implemented data labeling and handling guidelines to ensure proper protection measures for each category.

Risk Management:

Established a risk management framework to identify, assess, and mitigate risks.

Developed a risk register to document identified risks, their potential impact, and mitigation strategies.

Conducted regular risk assessments to update the risk register and adjust controls as necessary.

Security Controls:

Implemented a range of security controls across the organization, including:

Technical Controls: Firewalls, intrusion detection/prevention systems (IDS/IPS), anti-malware solutions, and encryption.

Administrative Controls: Security policies, procedures, and employee training programs.

Physical Controls: Access controls, surveillance, and secure facilities.

Network and Application Security:

Strengthened network security by segmenting the network, implementing robust access controls, and monitoring network traffic for anomalies.

Conducted application security testing, including static and dynamic analysis, to identify and remediate vulnerabilities.

Established secure coding practices and regular security reviews for all software development.

Internal Audit:

Performed regular internal audits to assess the effectiveness of security controls and identify areas for improvement.

Developed an audit schedule and reporting mechanism to ensure continuous monitoring and improvement.

ISO27001 Certification:

Prepared for ISO27001 certification by developing and implementing an Information Security Management System (ISMS) based on ISO27001 standards.

Conducted a gap analysis to identify areas needing improvement to meet ISO27001 requirements.

Engaged with a certification body to conduct the ISO27001 audit and achieve certification.

Results

Enhanced Security Posture:

The company significantly improved its security posture, reducing the risk of future ransomware attacks and other cyber threats.

Comprehensive inventory management and data classification ensured assets and data were properly protected.

Effective Risk Management:

The risk management framework and risk register provided a systematic approach to identifying and mitigating risks.

Regular risk assessments and updates ensured the organization remained proactive in addressing emerging threats.

Robust Security Controls:

The implementation of technical, administrative, and physical controls strengthened overall security.

Continuous monitoring and regular audits ensured controls remained effective and up-to-date.

Network and Application Security:

Improved network segmentation and monitoring enhanced the organization’s ability to detect and respond to threats..

Regular application security testing and secure development practices reduced vulnerabilities in software.

ISO27001 Certification:

Achieving ISO27001 certification demonstrated the company’s commitment to information security and compliance with international standards.

The certification provided a competitive advantage and increased trust among clients and partners.

Conclusion

The global IT services provider successfully transformed its security posture following a ransomware attack. By implementing a comprehensive approach encompassing inventory management, data classification, risk management, security controls, and achieving ISO27001 certification, the company significantly enhanced its resilience against cyber threats. This strategic transformation not only safeguarded the company’s assets and data but also reinforced its reputation as a trusted provider of IT services.