Ransomware is one of the most devastating cyber threats facing businesses today. The financial and reputational damage can be catastrophic, but even more alarming is the trend of repeat attacks. A staggering 78% of companies who pay the ransom get hit a second time, often by the same attackers (Infosecurity Magazine). This raises a crucial question: how can businesses break this cycle and proactively defend themselves?

The Ransomware Trap: Why Companies Keep Paying

Many organisations fall into the trap of believing that:

  • Insurance will cover it: While insurance plays a role, it doesn’t mitigate data loss, reputational harm, or the risk of future attacks.
  • Attacks are inevitable: Though attackers are sophisticated, targeted prevention is possible.
  • Ransomware readiness is expensive: Strategic hardening and proactive testing can be surprisingly cost-effective.

Traditional penetration testing, while essential, can be costly and infrequent, leaving gaps in visibility. This lack of real-time insight into a company’s threat resilience is what makes them such easy targets for repeated ransomware attacks.

The Path to Ransomware Resilience

Becoming ransomware-resilient doesn’t require breaking the bank. Here’s how to start:

  • Test relentlessly, not periodically: Attack simulation platforms like Validato allow continuous testing against known attacker behaviours, so you’re always one step ahead.
  • Harden your environment: Limit the attacker’s toolbox. Restricting commonly abused features like PowerShell, Windows Command Shell, and Scheduled Tasks drastically disrupts attack progression.
  • Forget “sophisticated” = “expensive”: Effective prevention can be achieved with smart, targeted measures, not just a bigger security budget.

MITRE ATT&CK: Your Roadmap to Resilience

MITRE ATT&CK is a knowledge base outlining real-world attacker tactics and techniques (TTPs). Subsequently, when you understand how attackers operate, you can proactively disrupt their methods.

Attack simulation platforms like Validato take this further. They safely test your defences against ATT&CK-mapped behaviours. This means hardening a few key areas within your systems can create a hostile environment for a wide range of attackers.

Why not read Validato’s whitepaper on Testing Cyber Threats using MITRE ATT&CK

Example: The Power of Restricting PowerShell

70% of ransomware attacks rely on PowerShell. By disabling PowerShell for non-essential users, you force attackers to find far more complex (and less reliable) workarounds. Apply similar restrictions to other commonly exploited features, and you’ve drastically raised the bar for successful attacks.

Ransomware Attacks: Break the Cycle – Protect Yourself & Avoid Repeat Strikes

Data-Driven Confidence with Validato

Validato enables IT and Information Security teams to safely test their defences against threats like Ransomware by simulating the adversarial behaviours associated with known threat scenarios.  This  provides the evidence you need to show your leadership that you’re not just taking action, but taking the right actions. Continuous testing against known threat scenarios gives you the hard data to demonstrate your preparedness.

Beyond Protection: Preventing Recurrence

True ransomware resilience means stopping attacks AND preventing them from happening again if someone does breach your perimeter. This requires ongoing vigilance:

  • Patch diligently: Vulnerabilities are an attacker’s favourite entry point.
  • User awareness training: Your employees are your first line of defence.
  • Incident response plans: When the worst happens, having a plan minimizes damage.

The Bottom Line

Ransomware is scary, but it doesn’t have to be your destiny. The $188 billion spent globally on security tools in 2023 proves that simply throwing money at the problem isn’t enough. Proactive testing, strategic hardening, and a focus on resilience break the cycle, letting you protect your business from both first-time attacks and the devastating blow of a repeat strike.

How resilient is your business is to Ransomware?

Ready to make ransomware a non-issue for your business? Book a Validato demo today and discover how to achieve proven resilience.