How to Protect Your Network from the WannaCry Ransomware Attack

You’re probably aware of the global cyberattack that hit this past weekend called WannaCry ransomware. Due to a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows, hackers accessed entire organizations’ networks and encrypted their files. While many of these attacks took place outside of the US, there’s still a real threat for anyone who doesn’t have the latest Windows patch released in March of this year.

What is “WannaCry” ransomware?

WannaCry is the latest ransomware worm that recently appeared on Friday, May 12th. Since it’s debut, more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries have fallen victim. Just like other ransomware attacks, it encrypts files, asks the user to pay ransom and then, deletes them if the ransom goes unpaid.

This can be particularly disastrous for users who don’t back up their files to an off-site location.

Why is this threat more dangerous?

In a typical ransomware attack, hackers gain access through a vulnerability in a computer or phishing email. It then allows them to encrypt files from that computer. In this particular instance, hackers infiltrate the system by exploiting a Windows computer vulnerability.  However unlike other ransomware attacks, WannaCry spreads throughout the organization’s entire network.

The US government is mentioned multiple times in reference to the WannaCry ransomware attack, but how do they play into this latest disaster?

It is believed that the National Security Agency (NSA) is stockpiling software vulnerabilities for intelligence reasons. This includes information on the latest Windows vulnerability used to create WannaCry.

Who’s at risk?

Any computer that does not have the latest Microsoft patch released in March of this year could be at risk for WannaCry. Businesses are especially at risk as it only takes one un-patched computer to bring down the entire network.

How can I protect against WannaCry?

In order to protect against ransomware attacks, you need to:

  1. Automatically install patches for your servers and computers.
  2. Regularly back up your files to an off-site location.
  3. Proactively monitor your network for cyber threats like this.

If you’re a Biz Technology Solutions managed services client, we have it all under control. As your proactive IT partner, we regularly monitor your network for cyber threats, install the latest patches and backup your files.

Give us a call today to discuss the health of your network. Call 704-658-1707!

2017-08-16T14:18:03+00:00 May 15th, 2017|Security|0 Comments

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