WannaCry Ransomware – How to protect yourself

Specifically, on May 12, 2017 a new strain of the Ransom.CryptXXX (WannaCry) strain of ransomware began spreading widely impacting a large number of organizations, particularly in Europe.

You should be extremely suspicious of all e-mails you receive, particularly those that ask the recipient to open attached documents or click on Web links.

If you have seen nonstandard activity and believe you may be at risk, please contact us.

In light of these recent attacks, we now recommend a policy to install all critical and security updates automatically on all stations and that we create a policy on your servers to enforce that immediately.  We’re also recommending that we remove administrator rights on all stations going forward so as to introduce one more hurdle so that spyware and malware cannot run on their computers.

In the meantime, a few things you can do to mitigate your exposure and risk:

  • Make sure your operating system’s security patches are current. If you are on Windows 10 these security patches by default are downloaded and installed automatically. If you are on an older version of Windows you may have reset the defaults to less than fully automatic.
  • Make sure you have a current antivirus / internet security / total security package that is working. That means it is getting the security signatures from the software supplier whether it is Microsoft, Kaspersky, Norton/Symantec, AVG, Panda, TrendMicro, Eset, CheckPoint, Avira (to name a few) or any other package you have installed.
  • Do backups of your data / Do backups of your data / Do backups of your data……we cannot repeat this enough. There are both free and paid for backup software. Use whatever you prefer. But do regular backups.  An integratal part of the backup process is testing your backup. The backup is useless if you have done a weekly backup for years and then the one time you need it, it doesn’t work.
  • Make a system image every few months. A system image is a snapshot of absolutely everything on your hard drive at a moment in time.  Backups are of data only. Images include the operating system, all your software and all your data. In the event if a critical failure the normal restore procedure would be to restore the latest image which might be a month or more old and then restore the data from the last backup. This procedure keeps the losses to a minimum.
Don’t wait for a disaster. Put the steps in place now to protect yourself. For a business that means minimizing business interruptions. For home users it means not losing precious photos that you have had for many years. Be prepared.
We can assist you in setting up your security software, configuring backups and creating a system image.


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