WannaCry the Virus that invaded the world?
In the past several days, the whole world was on the edge in reaction to the biggest wave of hacking that the modern world has ever witnessed. The ransomware WannaCry that took the world by storm has targeted more than 150 countries around the globe and more than 200,000 have fallen victim to it. WannCry Mostly targeted firms of more than 150 countries and was described by Europol, the European police, as unprecedented attack of this scale.
What is WannaCry Virus?
It’s a type of Virus that infects computers that use Microsoft Windows as its operating system. And It prevents the user from accessing the system and encrypts all the saved data. The ransomware attack starts by an email link from an anonymous person as an important and personal file asking to download it. Once the user start downloading the file on the phone or computer the data encryption starts and the user becomes unable to access the device. The WannaCry ransomware locks the personal files and force the user to pay between 300 to 600 dollars in form of Bitcoin cryptocurrency in three days to gain access to the data again or the ransom will double and in the case of no payment the data will be erased in 7 days.
It’s a Wild West out there!
Cybercrime is a huge business which cost an estimate of $3 trillion a year globally. The threats of sophisticated cyber criminals and their skills have become stark. The WannaCry ransomware attack is evidence of the escalation of threats in the scale of the attack and the speed in which WannaCry spread across the globe. WannaCry was spreading at around 5 million emails per hour. Adding complexity to the problem is the shortage of skilled cybersecurity experts. Many studies have shown that by 2020 there will be a shortage of 2 million skilled people. That means more committed resource and cost for businesses across the globe to stay up to date with ever changing cyber threats, to secure their cyber infrastructures and to educate their stakeholders how data protected. Most business that were affected by WannaCry ransomware had to pay the criminals to get access back to their data. Authorities across the globe were absolutely useless and unable to help. Adding to the mess, WannaCry is only the tip of the iceberg and more powerful ransomware viruses are on the way. China warns of new ransomware-like virus UIWIX.
Here’s what a London GP sees when trying to connect to the NHS network pic.twitter.com/lV8zXarAXS
— Rory Cellan-Jones (@ruskin147) May 12, 2017
To minimise the risks of falling a victim to ransomwares, here is what you can do :
- Always update the operating system which ever system you are using. Android , Windows , OS ,IOSS, etc.
- Install anti-virus software and keep it on the automatic update
- Always delete the data from your devices before selling and/or discard it.
- Don’t use unsecure networks to login to your private file and emails. The administrator can use it to download files illegally and make sure to use secure password for your Wi-Fi.
- Use different passwords for your different devices and make sure to change it every now and then. And never share your password with any website or social apps.
- Don’t store your data in the Clouds. For example: iClouds, Google Drive, OneDrive, etc.
- Don’t click on any links from anonymous source as it might be a cyber trap.
- Don’t open any file you don’t trust such as PDF, Email attachment, PowerPoint, Excel, etc. As it can be a hacking software.
- Check the websites you visit and make sure they starts with (https://) or (http://)
- Don’t hesitate to seek knowledgeable experts’ help, once you see that your system doesn’t work properly as they might be able to help.
Don’t fall into the trap
To avoid WannaCry ransomware, it’s always advised that you make a backup copy of your data if you have to use virtual storage space. Also use anti-virus that are strong and up to date. Make sure that your data is stored properly behind a strong firewall and protection software. But the most effective way is to store all your data in an external data storage devices and avoid the virtual space, such as the Cloud. However, this approach is not practical if not impossible for businesses. Today, most businesses relay heavily on the interaction and usage of data throughout their business. Employees need a common space where they can come and access the necessary data. They are left with no choice but to backup their data in external data storage devices, use extremely strong anti-virus and limit the access.
Data are your Jewelry
Think of your Firm’s data as a valuable objects in your home. Money, bonds certs, bank information, jewelry, etc. Before you leave your home you will make sure to lock the door to prevent anyone from getting there (anti-virus), but before that you will keep them inside a safe or a hiding place inside your home.However, you will have to know exactly where the valuable objects are , to hide them and limit the access. Same goes for your data! Firms, before they start protecting their customer’s personal data such as; credit card numbers , PPS number, addresses, names, etc. you have to know exactly what jewelry (data) you do have and who has access to them in order to take the proper action to protect it.
PixAlert provides the cyber eyes you need through powerful software to locate your valuable data. It helps firms to identify their critical data, are they stored according to the regulation such as GDPR, PCI DSS, etc. and who has access to them to minimize the risks dramatically.