A little over a month ago a large scale cyber attack was launched which infected more than 230,000 computers across 150 different countries. Huge companies were brought to their knees including the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), one of America’s largest Parcel delivery services FEDEX, and the South American Airlines Group LATAM Airlines.
So how did it work?
The ransomware known as WannaCry used vulnerabilities in Microsoft Windows to gain access to large scale companies by spreading through file sharing protocols within company networks. Once penetrated it encrypts and restricts access to files until a ransom has been paid.
Fortunately this particular strain of ransomware was quickly halted by a young computer engineer by activating the software’s ‘kill switch’. The problem is that experts believe that it’s only temporary and that other forms of ransomware are being developed that will come back bigger and stronger. With this in mind, how can you protect yourself from it happening to your business? Here are 5 important steps you can take today!
Upgrade to windows 10
Although the malware has been able to penetrate all previous versions of Windows, it hasn’t managed (yet) to penetrate the Windows 10 system. Updating your operating system should offer you some form of protection. Do make sure however that you carry out regular reboots and updates as and when required.
Patch your existing operating system
If a Windows 10 upgrade is too expensive, then you can apply the emergency patches released recently by Microsoft for both supported and unsupported versions of Windows.
Update all antivirus programs
Firstly always ensure you have an anti-virus program running on your PC and secondly always ensure it’s updated.
Back up your data
Always back up your most valuable data on an external drive or separate system. Should your computer become infected, you can still run your business.
Education of employees
One of the biggest problems business have with computer security is that team members will often adopt an “it’s not my responsibility” stance. However more often than not even the most harmful of cyber attacks can be prevented by educating team members on how to identify suspicious links, email attachments, and carrying out effective password security.
If you need help or peace of mind in ensuring that your company is protected online against ransomware attacks then contact MA Security. As well as providing physical security help, we also assist with cyber security. Give us a call on 1300 020 406 to find out more.