Starting on May 13, 2017, the internet as a whole had a massive cyber attack. The attack was a Ransomware attack, which if you are unfamiliar with, count your blessings. Ransomware is by far the worst attack you can have in my opinion. The short of a ransomware attack is: It infects your computer and network and encrypts all of your files making them 100% useless unless you pay a ransom to unlock the files.
Are you backing up? It isn't enough because backups are also encrypted with ransomware at the time of the attack. Any backup device that is connected to the network will be useless in restoring files. The only sure method is having a backup that is not connected to your network in a safe place. The alternative and better approach is to use a reputable cloud backup platform, such as Carbonite. (Full disclosure, I am an authorized Carbonite partner). Carbonite protects against ransomware by providing multiple file versions as well as having one of the best secure data centers in the United States.
1. What you need to be doing in order to avoid cyber threats and specifically this ransomware. All of your computers need to be using excellent rated antirvirus/malware protection. This is not the free or unpaid versions, but a licensed pay per year product. In addition, this software must be kept up to date. Most antivirus platforms have automatic updates scheduled into the software.
2. Windows: Your Windows PC needs to be kept up to date. Those pesty notifications that pop up when you are trying to work that say "A Windows Update is ready" needs to be treated with a sense of urgency. If your Windows PC says there is an update, take the time and stop what you are doing to allow your PC to update.
3. Follow best practices: I have touched on this before:
a. Ransomware article: Click Here
b. Being Safe with Email - Best Practices: Click Here
Unfortunately, if this all new to you; we are just now starting to see what IT experts have known for years, cyber attacks are going to become more and more present everyday.
Computers and your network have to be treated as you would treat your home: You lock your doors when you leave, you set an alarm, etc.
Passwords: I can't say enough about having strong passwords. Using your name, your birth date, your child's name, pets name, etc. will not cut it. A password should be so complex and hard that it would be impossible to guess it, let alone remember it without looking at a cheat sheet. Yes, this is beyond annoying, but getting ransomware is far worse. Passwords should contain: Upper and lower case letters, numbers, characters and be a minimum of 10 characters. They should never spell a name or a date but be randomized. Looking for a good password and can't think of one, there a random password generators that you can Google online that will give you suggestions.
The solution is not only the above information, but more importantly being educated. As they say, "Ignorance is Bliss" does to apply to safe computing practices.
If you are concerned or would like a checkup, please drop me a line and safe computing.
More information about WannaCry/Wcry Ransomware
1. From Trend Micro: WannaCry/Wcry Ransomware: What Your IT/Sysadmins Need to Do - Click Here
Social Explorations, LLC is a Carbonite Partner and a Trend Micro Worry Free Business Partner. If you are needing servies or software, please drop us a line and let us help you get safe.