In the world today we sadly have to accept that ransomware attacks, such as WannaCryptor, will continue to increase because cyber criminals can launch them relatively easily, with little technical knowledge, and for large rewards. This is why a focus on cyber security is so important.
Small businesses are particularly at risk from cyber attacks because they are often running old software or not setting aside sufficient budget and resource for Cyber security.
WannaCryptor is a type of malware or ransomware that targets Microsoft operating systems, including servers, desktop and laptops (Windows XP, 7, 8 and 10). If such ransomware gets into a computer, it will block access to the files with the intent to encrypt them and will demand that you pay money (a ransom) to decrypt such files.
If your computer gets infected and you are connected to a network (office, VPN or home) the infection could propagate to other computers very quickly.
How it happens and what to do to avoid being affected by ransomware
The most common ways that malware can get on your PC are:
1. Spam emails / Email spoofing => DO NOT OPEN & DELETE THEM
Malicious emails might be spotted by bad spelling/grammar or come from an address you have never seen before.
Ignore emails that ask you to update your details (passwords/addresses, etc.) especially if they include links
Don’t open emails you weren’t expecting or sent from someone you do not know
2. Infected removable drives => DO NOT CONNECT A USB DRIVE GIVEN TO YOU BY ANYONE OR FOUND SOMEWHERE
Avoid sharing USB drives with colleagues and relatives. Ensure the USB key is scanned by your antivirus software
3. Bundled with other software => DO NOT DOWNLOAD SOFTWARE NOT APPROVED BY IT Support
If you need to install any software application please contact IT Support.
Specifically avoid software that is used to generate security keys (keygens)
4. Hacked or compromised web pages => ENSURE YOUR COMPUTER IS UP TO DATE WITH SOFTWARE PATCHES
Malware uses known software vulnerabilities (like a hole or backdoor in your software) to infect your PC
Software that can be vulnerable include Microsoft Office software, Adobe Reader & Adobe Acrobat, Java, Adobe Flash Player, Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox etc. these programs/plugins should be regularly updated with the latest security patches.
5.Other malware => USE SECURITY PRODUCTS
Some malware can download other malware, do not let the process start!
Steps you can take now
Although no method of defence is 100 per cent reliable, running an up-to-date security solution and ensuring that your computers’ operating systems and software are fully patched can go a long way to protect your business against the most common threats.
It is also important to keep a backup of your business’s important data, so it is not lost if the worst should happen.
Please use your common sense and do not take risks.
• If in doubt, don’t CLICK, contact your IT Support team
• If you experience any issues with your computer and suspect something is wrong, please disconnect the computer from the network (cable/Wi-Fi) and contact the IT Support Team.
• Check your Microsoft software is up-to-date:
If you have any questions or would like advice on the best options for your business please do not hesitate to contact us on 01189 870 070.