Be on the Ransomware Offense With Software Updates

Published in Member Communities on Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Imagine you’ve logged onto your personal computer. Everything freezes as you see a shining red alert message. It says, “All of your personal files have been encrypted. If you want to restore your data you will have to pay. Contact us at [email protected]” You feel yourself becoming red as you picture the incredible amount of data that you no longer have access to, from family photos to your tax and financial information. Now imagine this same thing happening to your entire organization and it is not only your information at risk, but hundreds of others. Unfortunately, this situation is becoming more common at every level. What is this and how can we combat this scary attack?

Ransomware

Ransomware is as threatening as it sounds. It’s a malicious software created by cybercriminals who literally hold your data at a high ransom. It used to be something that started as attacking individuals, but it is growing into an attack on larger accounts like businesses. It costs on average $133,000 for one ransomware attack. It can happen by clicking on an email attachment that was meant for harm or by accessing a website that is infected with this form of malware.

How to Combat It

While there is software that has helped some remove the encrypted files caused by ransomware, we believe it is better to thwart off an attack than trying to scramble a recovery which is still costly. We do not need to be at the mercy of the cybercriminals, but play an active role in the offense and defense. A great way this can be done is by applying software updates consistently and timely.

Fight fire with fire. If they are attacking with malicious software, prevent an attack with even better software, creating a strong wall of protection. There are naturally going to be holes of defense in your software. This is where software updates come into play. They patch and repair these holes that hackers would love to crawl through. Just as you continually clean your home or building, you need to have consistent software updates to all of your systems.

If you remember the WannaCry attack on Microsoft software, it impacted thousands of users who did not install the software patches or updates. This could have been completely avoided had they set up automatic updates. While incredibly unfortunate, use this as a lesson on the importance of timely updates. It can be difficult to remember to complete updates on a continual basis, but most systems have an automatic option so you won’t ever have to worry about missing them! Contact us today for a vulnerability assessment on your systems.


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