Over this weekend, you will probably have heard of the outbreak on Friday of a new strain of ransomware called WannaCry. Much has been said of it being caused by out of date computers and systems however this is not the whole story.
The ransomware is not capable of infecting the systems without YOUR help. Emails often clever ones are sent to you with links to outside websites or with attachments, these are the “payload” of the virus. The virus then runs on your computer and makes all the data you have access to unavailable.
What is different about this one is that it that it also uses parts of your computer to replicate to other systems automatically then infecting them too.
What Should You Do?
First do not power on and use any computers which have been off for a more than a few days, if you need to use them raise a case with CenCom to make sure they are updated first.
Second if you have any windows 8, Vista or XP computers please power them down and let the helpdesk know.
Third do not allow any external users to connect computers or equipment to your systems. Anything which is unpatched and has access to your data is a danger to you.
Finally please be vigilant it is likely that users are going to be targeted and you may be one of them, if you receive an email with a link or an attachment please do not just open it, make sure you carefully asses what it is and if you need it, if unsure phone the sender to check,
If you have any suspicions please let CenCom know.
What are CenCom doing?
Many of our clients have services from us such as patch management which ensures your systems are patched up to date however we will be spending our time checking and rechecking all these systems today, this is going to take a lot of resources and if there are any outbreaks we will obviously have to deal with those so please accept our apologies for any delay in response for other problems today, this is clearly going to be a busy time.
How can you be safer?
CenCom have a 4-prong approach to safely, we recommend you take up all of them,
1. Patch management making sure systems are patched up to date
2. Antivirus, protecting against threats on removable media email and downloads
3. Web Protection, this monitors the connections from computers to the internet and blocks malicious connections
4. Backup – online backup takes your data and safely makes copies into the cloud to keep it safe and available to restore if the worst happens.
Not all clients take up all services, if you would like to talk about strengthening your security please let us know.