By now it’s very likely that you will have heard about WannaCry, a global ransomware cyber-attack. In a very short period of time, hundreds of thousands of systems in over 150 countries have been compromised, including high-profile victims like the National Health Service. The attack has been described by Europol as unprecedented in scale.
What is WannaCry?
WannaCry is a ransomware program targeting Microsoft’s Windows operating system. On Friday 12 May a large cyber-attack using it was launched, infecting more than 230,000 computers in 150 countries.
The attack used a category of virus known as ransomware. It involves hackers taking control of a computer system, encrypting its files and blocking access until a ransom (often in the form of a “crypto currency” such as bitcoin) is paid.
The attack spreads by multiple methods, including phishing emails and on unpatched systems as a computer worm.
The WannaCry ransomware appears to have used a flaw in Microsoft’s software, discovered by the National Security Agency and leaked by hackers, to spread rapidly across networks causing widespread havoc.
How can I protect my business against WannaCry?
How can I protect from future ransomware attacks?
- Always install updates – Software companies often release updates to fix vulnerabilities that can be exploited to install ransomware. Make sure you keep on top of software updates and download the latest version as soon as it is available.
- Back up your data – The greatest damage people suffer from a ransomware attack is the loss of files. The best protection is to ensure that all your critical files are being backed up regularly, preferably on an external server.
- Stay vigilant – Be cautious when opening unsolicited emails and visiting unfamiliar websites. The most common way for ransomware to infect a victim’s computer is through phishing emails, malicious adverts on website and questionable apps. Immediately close any popups that ask you to update your account information or install applications that you did not specifically request.
- Use an antivirus program – Antivirus programs scan and block viruses from being downloaded. If you get a warning from your antivirus about a possible threat, don’t dismiss it.
Speak to LIMA
Worried about cyber security? Our experts are available to discuss your security concerns and provide advice on how to protect your business. Call us on 0345 345 1110.