Top 5 Tips to Avoid Ransomware Attack #NoWeDontWannaCry
On Saturday, cybercriminals managed to infect businesses from more than one hundred and fifty countries with malicious software. The ransomware was spreading through a fault in the Windows OS. Microsoft immediately issued emergency patches for Windows XP, Windows 8, and Windows Server 2003 and encouraged individuals and businesses to update their systems in an attempt to stop the ransomware from spreading.
However, systems that did not immediately install the new patches continued being vulnerable and kept getting infected. Luckily, on Sunday, a young British researcher found the “kill switch” of the ransomware and managed to shut off the spreading of the malicious software completely. Nearly 250,000 devices were affected, and there were over 200,000 victims of the attack. Experts say that this is just a temporary solution and hundreds of thousands of systems are still vulnerable because many individuals and businesses simply do not update their systems, or do not have antivirus software. Hospitals are vulnerable in particular as having downtime cannot easily be justified.
What you should do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of ransomware
We’ve created a short list of what should you do to prevent yourself from becoming a victim of ransomware.
- Update your OS
Find the time and go to your Windows Action Center and install all recommended OS updates. It only takes a few minutes. There is a reason why Microsoft are issuing these patches; they make your system better. Always keep your system up-to-date.
- Be vigilant
There are many ways you get infected with malware such as WannaCry. Do not click on links that you do not recognize and do not open attachments if you are not expecting them. Avoid using P2P services.
- Create regular backups
The only way you can have your files back without paying a hefty ransom is by creating regular backups of your data. If you end up being infected, you will wipe your system, and you will restore your old content back.
- Don’t stay logged as an admin
Don’t browse when logged as an admin and do not give your employees more rights than they need. Don’t rely on common sense, sometimes employees get carried away, and their internet browsing may end up costing you a lot.
- Install antivirus software
Even if you have the latest version of your OS, your connected device is never fully protected unless you have an antivirus software that is keeping it safe. You may find the graph below helpful when you are choosing the right solution for your needs.
And if you’ve already been affected the question is…
Should you pay the ransom?
No, do not pay the hackers. By paying them, you are encouraging them to continue their activities. You also do not have a guarantee that they will release the files. And you do not know if you will be blackmailed again in the future. You don’t know where the money will go so by paying the ransom you may end up supporting terrorism, or the regime in North Korea.
As mentioned in our post a few weeks ago, it is not worrying that US government is developing tools to infiltrate various systems successfully, the real problem begins when hackers start having access to such tools. Don’t delay it, get protected now!