A few weeks ago, early this May, a huge ransomware attack happened across the globe. Huge companies were affected with the ransomware infecting more countries as workers turned their computers “on.”
What Is WannaCry?
The WanaCrypt ransomware that hacked into tens of thousands of Windows computers is a kind of malware that infects a computer and removes your access to data until you’ve paid a ransom. It displays a message asking for payment so you can unlock it or risk losing all files.
WanaCrypt, also known as WannaCry, was able to spread quickly due to the vulnerabilities found in older Windows formats. Despite a security patch from Microsoft in March 2017, many old, unsupported versions like Windows XP weren’t able to be provided with the security patch.
How Do We Prevent Ransomware From Attacking Us?
IT security services in Australia have mentioned that the best way to avoid becoming a ransomware victim is through prevention. Update and patch your IT OS as recommended. This should be a core principle whenever you undergo IT maintenance. The same measures should be used when updating anti-virus and anti-malware software. Scans should be done regularly.
Stay away from suspicious or unknown websites and never click on email messages from unverified senders. Do not open a link in an email message unless you know that it is legit. Be careful of using open Wi-Fi and regularly update passwords using strong alphanumeric passwords.
What Do You Do With Ransomed Files?
It’s hard not to panic when faced with threats like a cyber-ransom note on your PC. However, some ransomware versions have free solutions that you can find online.
The victims of ransomware attacks should check out nomoreransom.org – a site supported by security firms and cybersecurity teams across the planet. Since its launch last year, nomoreransom.org claims that it has been able to save thousands of ransomware victims from more than $2 million. Its Crypto Sheriff page will show you ways to unlock files for free.
What Happens if You Run Out of Time?
If you weren’t able to meet the deadline before the ransomware separates you from your data for good, your only options are to restore your backup or to pay what the cybercriminals are asking for.
Most law enforcement agencies will encourage you to pay the ransom then afterwards, report the crime to authorities. If you do not have any back up for your data, paying the ransom is much less stressful than losing your files.
Your Most Powerful Offense Is Your Best Line of Defense
At the end of the day, WannaCry draws the line between those companies who have a strong security strategy from those that do not. Another thing to focus on is system updating, also known as patching, which may sound as one of the most mundane aspects of IT. But, it’s crucial in terms of security because, when these global malware attacks happen, patching suddenly becomes a crucial lifeline that shows an organization’s capability to fight and survive a sophisticated threat.