WannaCry: Don’t Get Locked Out By Ransomware
By now, you (along with everyone else on the planet) have undoubtedly heard of WannaCry—a massive cyberattack that hit 200,000 victims in 150 countries, on May 12, 2017. If you were one of the unfortunate victims that were targeted by this latest ransomware onslaught, there’s a good chance your files, drives, or even your entire network were held hostage until a sum of money was paid to release them.
WannaCry is yet another wakeup call that our digital lives are continually at risk. And the problem is only going to get worse. Malware attacks are on the rise, reaching unprecedented levels. But just because ransomware is an ever increasing, seedy part of the cyber-world, that doesn’t mean people are helpless to do something about it.
What if I’ve been infected by ransomware?
The first thing you want to do is remain calm. Being infected by ransomware is serious business, but you don’t want to add insult to injury by taking any hasty actions. Cutting power to your network prematurely may result in additional lost data.
From politicians to movie actors, you’ve probably heard the saying, “We don’t negotiate with terrorists.” Well, when it comes to dealing with cyber-criminals, it’s some pretty good advice. If your files are locked and you’ve received a message to pay up or risk losing your data forever, your first instinct may be to pay the ransom—but don’t. Paying to have your data unlocked is no guarantee you’ll get your information back.
What can I do to prevent a ransomware attack?
Obviously, the single most effective thing you can do to stop a ransomware attack is to try to prevent it before it happens. If you absolutely must access sensitive material using open WiFi, be smart about it. Use a properly configured Virtual Private Network (VPN) when you are in public places like coffee shops, restaurants, and airports.
Next, limit your number of app permissions. Think of them as possible gateways into your devices. The more apps you allow to access to your smartphone, tablet, or laptop, the more entry points you generate for cyber-criminals to infiltrate your device and steal your information.
Also, install protective firewall, anti-spyware, and anti-virus software, and ensure that everything is regularly kept up-to-date. Plus, you’ll want to make sure not to open any suspicious-looking attachments or click on links from unknown sources. Email scams are everywhere, with hackers going to great lengths to trick you into downloading their malware.
The best preventative step you need to take is to have a secure data backup and recovery plan in place. If the unthinkable was to happen, your information could easily be retrieved, allowing you to bounce back from a ransomware attack, relatively unscathed.
Ransomware like WannaCry isn’t going away anytime soon. If you’re serious about network security, you’ll need the help of a professional managed IT service provider. They’ll be able to create, implement, and maintain a customized security solution to protect your business from the next wave of online threats.
For more information about our IT services, call 604-295-5355 or toll free 877-974-2726.