As you may have heard, the world experienced one of the most severe ransomware outbreaks in history on May 12th. Wannacry also known as Wcry ransomware effected businesses of all sizes, in over 150 countries. As ransomware becomes a household name, we wanted to take a moment to explain to you a little more about Ransomware.
What Is Ransomware?
Ransomware, is just as the name sounds, a type of malicious software designed to encrypt and block access to an infected computers network until a sum of money (or ransom) is paid for its release.
The vulnerability used by these hackers, was first discovered by the National Security Agency (NSA) but somehow it made its way on to the internet, and is now being used to deliver the Wannacry ransomware through malicious links in emails, fake website ads, and Dropbox files.
The attack quickly spread globally until a 22-year-old MalwareTech employee found that the ransomware had a kill switch code, he registered the website URL in the code and all new infections stopped. But as those trying to stop the attack develop fixes to prevent Wcrys spread, those trying to attack create new versions of Wannacry, to release. This new version does not have a kill switch and therefore systems and data are still vulnerable to attacks.
So how do you protect yourself from these cyber criminals?
• Never click on links in emails you were not expecting or from people you do not know.
• Check to make sure a link is authentic. Using your mouse, hover over the URL to be sure it is going to the site it refers to.
• Never click on website ads or pop ups on unknown sites.
• Never download any new program or software unless you are positive it is from an official site or trusted source.
• Install antivirus and anti-malware software on all computers and keep it up - to - date
• Always make sure your computer’s operating system is up - to - date with all the latest security patches. New research from Kaspersky shows that machines running Windows XP, 7 and outdated versions of Windows 10 were affected by the ransomware.
• Make sure all data is backed up and you have an updated and comprehensive disaster recovery system in place.
WannaCry is just one of many ransomware strains affecting businesses today, and in order to stay safe you need to be constantly up to date on the latest cybersecurity and business continuity news, and while no one can guarantee your 100 percent safety from cyber-criminals these simple steps can make sure you and your business are a lot less vulnerable to such attacks. If WannaCry does infect your computers, only a solid backup and recovery solution can save your business and retrieve your files, that's where Secure Networks can help.
For more ransomware prevention tips and services, call us today. We’ll make sure hackers don’t hold your business hostage.