A few months ago, the ransomware cryptoworm WannaCry lured users around the world for ten thousands of dollars. In three days, a large-scale attack by WannaCry resulted in more than 200,000 computers break down in 150 countries. The virus once again made businesses reconsider information security.
Why Cyber Attack is the Threat for Companies?
Business is a permanent object of cyber attacks from all kinds of intruders: from hackers hired by unscrupulous competitors to disgruntled employees. The latest history knows many examples when large companies were forced to leave the market after a malfunction in the information system. Cases of disclosure of personal information and credit card data of millions of customers have become widely popular.
Today, businesses are particularly in need of anti-virus protection. Scammers steal passwords to online banking systems, encrypt databases of organizations, demanding redemption for the restoration of files, spying by order of competitors. Phishing sites are disguised as financial or state websites. Organizations steal account information for access to company bank accounts. Moreover, it is worth mentioning the banking Trojans – new types of threats for mobile devices through bank-client applications.
What is a Cryptoworm?
Cryptoworms or extortionists (such as WannaCry) do not steal money but create the conditions under which the client himself gives money to the attacker.
The virus encrypts files on the computer and on the local network (1C databases, office, and graphic files, etc.) and extorts funds for decryption. Typically, such malicious programs run by users themselves from flash drives or links in letters, on sites. A letter can come from a known counterpart, whose computer is already infected. The virus sends its copies to all contacts in the address book on the victim’s computer, infecting all computers and servers, multiplying the damage and blocking the company’s work.
How to Protect Your Business From Cryptoworms?
The reality is that for any company it is cheaper to take care of reliable protection against such threats in advance than to deal with the consequences of the virus attack and restore data on corporate computers.
What can you do to keep your company safe? The IT security of a company depends on how much you and all employees follow the rules to protect all data. It is enough to follow a few simple rules:
- Use licensed Operating Systems and application software;
- Update the software on time and install patches that cover the vulnerabilities through which malicious software can penetrate the computer. For example, the WannaCry virus uses the EternalBlue exploit to attack computers running Windows. Almost two months ago, on March 14, Microsoft released a patch blocking the corresponding vulnerability MS17-010. Thus, all users who have updated their systems since that time are out of danger. Therefore, if you do not have time to upgrade your OS to the latest version, it is better to do it as quickly as possible.
- Periodically create and verify backups of all valuable information. It is advisable to store backup copies on separate physical devices or even in different geographical locations.
- Be sure to use reliable licensed anti-virus protection and spam filter for e-mail protection, which will put a significant barrier to the penetration and distribution of malicious software on the company’s workstations and servers. Basically, letters of cryptographers are sent under the guise of letters from accountants or unpaid fines from the traffic police.
- When entering personal data or credit card details online, make sure that the transfer is protected and the website URL prefix contains “https” or that the “lock” icon is displayed in the status bar.
- If cyber criminals contacted you, do not respond – instead, contact IT specialists urgently and control your bank accounts.
- Educate your staff on cyber security, especially account department.
- When entering personal data or credit card details online, make sure that website is protected with SSL certificate where your online transaction will be secured and the website URL prefix contains “https” or that the “lock” icon is displayed in the status bar.
All small and medium-sized businesses continue to face IT security breaches, data theft, hacking and intrusion for extortion. That’s why you should think about reliable IT infrastructure maintenance, have a reliable backup and disaster recovery. IT-security of the enterprise directly depends on the specialists who deal with IT infrastructure.