They are calling it the “biggest ransomware outbreak in history”. According to our friends over at KnowBe4, “this is a cyber pandemic caused by a ransomware weapon of mass destruction”.
In case you haven’t heard of it yet, it’s the WannaCry Malware attack that has crippled over 200,000 computers worldwide since Friday. Want to hear even worse news? At least TWO new variations of the malware have already been found. It’s been THREE DAYS! If you haven’t yet, you need to warn ALL of your end-users – DO NOT CLICK!!
How it spreads: It’s like a worm. Once it is on a machine, it scans other computers or systems linked to the one it has infected and then jumps onto them. Devices running outdated Microsoft systems like Windows XP or Windows Server 2003 are especially susceptible. The malware has an encryption package that automatically downloads to all infected devices, locking up all files and demanding money for their release.
It only takes ONE COMPUTER to take down an entire network. That’s what makes this malware so dangerous. While patches and fixes are being made, new strains of the malware are already popping and companies aren’t able to patch fast enough.
How to protect your company: First and foremost, you must educate your end-users about the malware. Our friends at KnowBe4 sent us this, and we recommend you forward it to all of your users: You may have seen the news this weekend. Criminal hackers have released a new strain of ransomware that spreads itself automatically across all workstations in a network, causing a global epidemic. If you or a co-worker are not paying attention and accidentally open one of these phishing email attachments, you might infect not only your own workstation, but immediately everyone else’s computer too. Be very careful when you get an email with an attachment you did not ask for. If there is a .zip file in the attachment, do not click on it but delete the whole email. Remember: “When in doubt, throw it out!”
Second, make sure your data is backed up!! And we don’t just mean those backups that you are pretty sure are up-to-date. Run tests. Make sure you have a working, backup system in place and that all of your data is backed up. This is so important!
How BECA is protecting our clients: All of our managed service clients have Webroot on their machines. Webroot is a next-generation security solution that provides protection from zero-day attacks – just like WannaCry. You can see exactly how Webroot is protecting our users from WannaCry here.
In addition to Webroot, our team is communicating with our customers to educate end-users on avoiding WannaCry and other dangerous malware.
If you haven’t yet, it is imperative that you take the steps to protect your company NOW. If you need help or want to speak with one of our security engineers, you can contact our team by giving us a call at 404.633.2551 or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.