On Friday, we learned that hackers had exploited malicious software stolen from the National Security Agency (NSA) and held many organizations’ data ransom. As of this morning, it is estimated that this cyberattack was felt by approximately 200,000 organizations in 150 countries including Britain’s hospital network, Germany’s national railway, “computers that run factories, banks, government agencies and transport systems in scores of countries, including Russia, Ukraine, Brazil, Spain, India and Japan, among others… Russia’s Interior Ministry and companies including Spain’s Telefonica and FedEx Corp. in the U.S.”1
While the exact scope of the damage is not fully known, it does appear to be the largest cyberattack on record. These cybercriminals demanded $300 in the beginning and later increased it to $600 before destroying the files hours after that.1 While the ransom amount won’t necessarily bankrupt a company, it is also no guarantee that a company will have its data returned or unlocked, which can have more dire consequences.
There are several steps you can take to avoid becoming the next victim:
- Immediately update both desktop and Windows systems with the Microsoft patch MS17-010.
- Do not open links sent from unknown sources. If you need to open a link, scan it for malware first.
- Backup your files. It is always a wise decision to regularly backup your files to ensure your business can continue to function.
- Keep your systems up-to-date. It is vital to check for updates on your machines to catch any vulnerabilities and perform patch updates.
- Educate your users. They are the first line of defense against an attack so it is imperative that they are able to identify potential phishing scams and fraudulent emails.
These are but a few of the “Best Practices” that can be employed to safeguard your data and business. If you’re ready to protect your organization, it pays to work with a Managed IT Services/Managed Cloud Services company, like Bryley Systems, to ensure that you’re taking the right steps. Bryley will recommend solutions to eliminate weak links in your security chain, and help you develop an organization-wide policy to help prevent data loss.
Please contact us at 978.562.6077 or by email at ITExperts@Bryley.com. We’re here to help.
- Associated Press. “Monday morning blues as ‘WannaCry’ hits at workweek’s start.” May 2017.
- New York Times “Hackers Hit Dozens of Countries Exploiting Stolen N.S.A. Tool.” May 2017.