Preventing Ransomware: CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications

CISA’s Early Warning System Offers Critical Defense Against Ransomware Threats

Preventing ransomware is a major concern for the vast majority of businesses and individuals.
Is 2023, and ransomware is considered to be the most common form of cyber crime, threatening organizations worldwide. Cybercriminals use this type of malware to encrypt victims’ data and demand payment in exchange for a decryption key. Ransomware can cause staggering financial losses, with some organizations paying millions of dollars to recover their data. Useless to say cybercriminals target everybody, from individuals to banks, with hospitals being the favorite entities due to the sensitive data they manage. As the frequency and severity of ransomware attacks continue to rise, many organizations are looking for ways to protect themselves.

One effective protection comes in the form of early warning notifications from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA). By subscribing to CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications, organizations can receive alerts about potential ransomware attacks before they occur. This article explores how these notifications work and why they are an essential tool for organizations looking to defend against ransomware.

Understanding and Preventing Ransomware

Ransomware is a type of malware that cybercriminals use to extort money from victims. Usually, everything begins with a phishing attack. Cybercriminals manage to install the malicious software on the device from a harmless email. Once the malware infects a victim’s computer, it encrypts files on the system and demands payment in exchange for a decryption key. The victim’s files become inaccessible until they pay the ransom, which is often in the form of cryptocurrency or another untraceable payment method.

The financial cost of ransomware attacks can be significant. Organizations may incur significant costs associated with restoring systems and data, investigating the attack, and implementing new security measures to prevent future attacks. Additionally, the reputational damage resulting from a ransomware attack can be severe and long-lasting, like the one that recently happened to Ferrari.

Why CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications Are Critical

Pre-Ransomware Notifications from CISA offer a crucial line of defense against ransomware attacks. These notifications provide advanced warning of potential attacks, giving organizations time to take proactive steps to prevent the attack or mitigate its impact.

CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notifications are based on threat intelligence gathered from a range of sources, including both open-source and classified information. The agency’s experts analyze this data to identify potential ransomware campaigns and alert organizations that may be at risk.

By subscribing to these notifications, organizations can receive timely alerts about emerging threats, including details about the type of ransomware being used, indicators of compromise, and recommended mitigation strategies. This information can help organizations take steps to protect their systems and data before an attack occurs.

How Pre-Ransomware Notifications Work

To receive Pre-Ransomware Notifications from CISA, organizations must first register for the service. Registration is free and can be completed on the CISA website. Once registered, organizations will receive alerts via email when a potential ransomware attack is detected.

The notifications include detailed information about the threat, including indicators of compromise that organizations can use to identify whether their systems are at risk. CISA also provides recommended mitigation strategies that organizations can implement to protect themselves against the threat.

In addition to these notifications, CISA offers a range of other resources to help organizations defend against ransomware. These include technical guidance on how to secure networks and systems, information about the latest ransomware threats and trends, and advice on how to respond to a ransomware attack.

Why Preventing Ransomware is Critical for both businesses and indivuduals

Prevention is the best defense against ransomware attacks. Once ransomware has infected a system, it can be difficult, if not impossible, to recover the data without paying the ransom. Even if the victim pays the ransom, there is no guarantee that the cybercriminals will provide a decryption key or that the key will work correctly.

By taking proactive steps to prevent attacks, organizations can avoid the financial and reputational damage that comes with a successful ransomware attack. Prevention strategies include implementing robust cybersecurity measures, such as firewalls, antivirus software, and intrusion detection systems. 

Overall, the fight against ransomware requires a multi-faceted approach that involves both proactive measures and effective response. With the help of CISA’s pre-ransomware notifications, organizations can take important steps toward protecting themselves from this growing threat.

It’s also worth noting that ransomware attacks aren’t just a concern for businesses. Individuals can also fall victim to these types of attacks, which can result in the loss of important personal data and financial information. By following best practices for cybersecurity, such as using strong passwords and being cautious about clicking on suspicious links or downloading unknown files, individuals can greatly reduce their risk of a ransomware attack.

Preventing ransomware attacks by subscribing CISA’s Pre-Ransomware Notification is without a doubt among the most effective measures to adopt to mitigate risk of financial loss. Subscrive the service today and protect yourself from potential attacks.


Private Browsing: Is it all it’s cracked up to be?

by Chris Taylor

incognito glasswire

About Chris Taylor:  Chris is on the Community Review Board for SANS’s OUCH! (the security awareness newsletter designed for everyone), has given over 470 computer-related presentations at the Ottawa Public Library, and is President of the Ottawa PC Users’ Group.

For well over 10 years, web browsers have offered private browsing, designed to keep your browsing…well…private.

Google Chrome calls it an Incognito window,  Firefox, Opera & Brave call it a Private window, Microsoft Edge calls it an InPrivate window. The easiest way to get there is to right-click the browser’s icon on the taskbar and choose the appropriate New… item from the pop-up context menu.

When in a private browsing window, browsing history, cookies & site data (such as images and contents of webpages), and information entered in forms are not saved to your computer. Other users on your computer will not be able to see your web browsing activities. When browsing the web, the web servers won’t automatically recognize you as a returning user and you won’t be automatically signed into websites.

When you close a private browsing window, the browser discards site data and cookies created during that private browsing window’s session. Note that you need to close the private browsing window to remove traces. Until you do, a simple click on the back button will return you to the previous page visited in that window.

Private browsing deactivates extensions. You can enable extensions in private browsing windows if you need them. For example, in Google Chrome click the kebab menu ( ) at the top-right of the window. Choose Settings. Find the extension you want to allow in Incognito windows and click Details under that extension. Toggle on Allow in Incognito.

Private browsing is not a panacea

It does not prevent all tracking. While websites do not have the luxury of using cookies to track you, there are many other means of tracking. For example, a web server can know your operating system, browser version, extensions you have loaded, screen resolution, IP address, and more. These data items can be used to fingerprint and track you.

Private browsing does not prevent ads. It does not prevent malware. It does not hide where you are browsing from your ISP or employer.

As Gizmodo reported in October 2022, Even Google’s Own Staff Thinks ‘Incognito Mode’ Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be

Where is private browsing useful?

If you are using a computer at a public kiosk, it will prevent the next person using the computer from easily seeing where and what you browsed.

If you use multiple accounts on a single website, a private browsing window can help you keep things separate.

If you are using another person’s computer, it can be helpful in making it less likely you leave traces behind.

Strangely, I have encountered shopping sites that required private browsing for the checkout process to work properly. I guess they didn’t want to sell things to me all that badly.

For more information about private browsing, see


Personal Firewall Explained

You’ve probably heard of personal firewalls if you’re concerned about online security. These software programs are essential tools that act as barriers between your computer and the internet, protecting sensitive data from malicious attacks. In this article, we’ll explain what a personal firewall is, how it works, and why you should consider using one. We’ll also introduce GlassWire, an ideal solution for a personal firewall that offers advanced features and functionalities to keep your computer safe.

What is a Personal Firewall?

A personal firewall is a software program that monitors and controls the traffic that comes into and goes out of your computer. It uses a set of rules to determine whether to allow or block incoming and outgoing traffic, preventing unauthorized access and malicious activities. By acting as a bouncer who checks the ID of everyone who tries to enter a nightclub, a firewall checks the identity and credentials of all incoming and outgoing traffic and blocks anything that doesn’t meet the predefined rules.

There are two types of personal firewalls: hardware-based and software-based. Hardware-based personal firewalls are physical devices that sit between your computer and the internet, and they can be integrated into your router or purchased separately. On the other hand, software-based personal firewalls are software programs that run on your computer and monitor its traffic. Both personal firewalls have advantages and disadvantages, but software-based firewalls are more common and accessible to the average user.

How Does it Work?

A personal firewall works by analyzing the packets of data between your computer and the internet. Each packet contains information about the data’s source, destination, and content. The firewall checks this information against a set of rules to determine whether the packet should be allowed or blocked.

For example, suppose you’re using your computer to browse the internet, and you come across a website that tries downloading a file onto your computer. If the file matches a rule in your firewall that says “block downloads from untrusted websites,” the firewall will block the download and prevent the file from infecting your computer with malware.

Personal firewalls also monitor outgoing traffic to ensure no unauthorized data leaves your computer without your knowledge. For instance, if a piece of malware tries to send your personal information to a remote server, your firewall will block the traffic and notify you of the attempted breach.

Why Should You Use a Personal Firewall?

The primary reason to use a personal firewall is to protect your computer from online threats. Hackers use a variety of techniques to gain unauthorized access to computers, such as phishing emails, malware, and social engineering. Such a security tool can block these attacks and prevent the attacker from taking control of your computer or stealing your sensitive data.

Moreover, a personal firewall can also help you identify and block suspicious traffic from legitimate applications. For example, some applications may send data to remote servers without your knowledge or permission. A personal firewall can detect this behavior and allow you to block the traffic or allow it.

In addition to protecting your computer, a personal firewall can help you monitor your network activity and identify potential security risks. By analyzing the traffic that goes in and out of your computer, you can see which applications are using your network and how much data they’re consuming. This information can help you identify applications that are using too much bandwidth or behaving suspiciously.

Introducing GlassWire: Your Ideal Solution for Personal Firewall

If you’re looking for an ideal solution for a personal firewall, you should consider GlassWire. GlassWire is a user-friendly firewall software offering advanced features and functionalities for novice and advanced users.

One of the key features of GlassWire is its intuitive interface, which allows you to monitor your network activity in real-time and view detailed reports on your traffic usage. You can also use GlassWire to block or allow specific applications from accessing the internet and set up custom alerts to notify you of suspicious activity.

In conclusion, a personal firewall is an essential tool for anyone who wants to protect their computer from online threats. By monitoring and controlling the traffic that comes into and goes out of your computer, a personal firewall can prevent unauthorized access and malicious activities. GlassWire is an ideal solution for a personal firewall, offering advanced features and functionalities that make monitoring and controlling your network activity easy. With GlassWire, you can rest assured that your computer is safe from online threats and that you have full control over your network.