The world’s largest ransomware attack in internet history, WannaCry, has now hit over 150 countries. Let those words sink in for a minute. That’s over 200,000 people directly affected.

And it’s not finished yet. Security experts are bracing for a second wave. How confident are you that your business can withstand this unprecedented ransomware threat?

Keep reading to learn how you can combat the massive WannaCry ransomware threat and protect your most vulnerable business assets.
Global cyber attack graphicWhat You Need to Know About Ransomware

Before we get ahead of ourselves, what exactly is ransomware? Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed to block access to a computer or data until a ransom is paid. In the case of WannaCry, Over $50,000 has been collected so far, with that number expected to continue to increase.

Who’s at risk? If you have a computer system and access data—you’re a potential victim. That means companies of any size, no matter how small or large.

Ransomware attackers typically gain access to your system by tricking users to click on a virus masquerading as an email attachment. If an email asks for your personal or financial information, it’s most likely a scam.

Companies are typically infected with ransomware through one of a few ways:

  • Visiting unsafe or fake websites
  • Opening malicious PDFs, ZIP files and other email attachments
  • Clicking on malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media posts or instant messenger chats

And with free ransomware kits available online, there are 9,515 ransoms paid each month. The U.S. Department of Justice also found that the Internet Crime Complaint Center reported ransomware victims suffering financial losses of over $24 million in nearly 2,500 cases—losses that no business can afford to incur.

WannaCry is the largest ransomware attack in history. With a disruption this massive, companies are scrambling to brace for the second wave, according to CNN Tech. So, how can your business prepare for and prevent potentially devastating data loss or downtime?

How to Combat the Very Real and Pervasive Ransomware Threat

1) Patch or update your software

Outdated software makes you a prime target. Keep your software and systems up-to-date to fix key vulnerabilities. Feeling overwhelmed by the nonstop updating and managing of infrastructure? Enlist the help of an IT solutions provider to monitor and maintain all systems and keep your data safe and secure.

2) Update employee privileges

Be sure to check employee privileges and control access to critical business data. Does your newest employee really need sensitive information in their day-to-day work? Does a terminated employee still have access to your files? Restrict access to data and keep attacks from reaching network drives where sensitive data is stored.

3) Keep an eye out for spam

Ignore any email that seems suspicious or questionable. If it looks like spam, it most likely is. Never click on any links or attachments in any email unless you know the sender. Let your employees know the warning signs and send out company wide emails informing everyone of the latest threats to watch out for.

4) Steer clear of sketchy websites

Avoid websites that promise free software downloads or seem shady. Be wary of any company names that are a character off from a real company name or have odd spacing and symbols.

5) Back up your critical data DAILY

Ensure uninterrupted access to the data you need most by backing up data frequently. Then if your computers get locked by a ransomware attacker, you won’t have to pay a ransom to receive your data. Running serialized backups keeps older files around in the event that new files are attacked. Make sure your backup systems don’t share a direct connection to your desktop system.

Are you feeling overwhelmed by the very real threat of WannaCry and all ransomware attacks? We offer end-to-end solutions encompassing backup, recovery, and data, network, endpoint and mobile security to expedite recovery and protect your business from the most dangerous cybersecurity threats.

Safeguard your business-critical data and solve your most complex, toughest security challenges. Contact us today.

Get your 10-step plan for securing critical business data in 2017 and beyond. Download your plan.