WannaCry Worldwide Cyber Attack - how does it affect you

In light of all the cyber security incidents over the weekend Standby Consulting felt we should get in touch to give an update of what has been going on and also check it is business as usual for your company!

So what has happened?

On Friday 12 May 2017, Tens of thousands of organisations were infected with a computer virus called WannaCry. WannaCry is a strain of Ransomware that locks down data and demands a payment of up to $300 a time before it will restore scrambled files.

There has been significant press coverage in the UK, as many hospitals fell victim and some health organisations diverted ambulances and also had to cancel non-essential services while they found a way to contain and clean up the infection. It has not however only the UK that has been affected, with reports of attacks taking place in over 100 different countries, with some of the hardest hit being Russia and Spain.

WannaCry appears to have been spread via a computer virus known as a worm, which has the ability to move around a network by itself. Once inside an organisation it will hunt down vulnerable machines and infect them too, which is in contrast to many other ransomware attacks which rely on individual users to spread it, by tricking them into clicking on an attachment or link containing the attack code.

Luckily a UK security researcher has now found a way to halt the spread of WannaCry. The researcher known as MalwareTech ‘accidently’ found the ‘Kill Switch’ in the code that has now been able to stop the spread. Though he has highlighted that this is only a temporary fix and people should act quickly to make sure their systems are protected against another strain of the WannaCry attack.

Read more about the WannaCry solution here - http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-39907049

Could WannaCry affect your business?

WannaCry currently only seems to be affecting windows systems and in particular any systems still running the legacy windows XP systems, which are no longer supported by Microsoft. Standby suggests software is updated immediately to a window system version supported by Microsoft, such as Windows 7 or 10. At the very least though the latest patches and updates should be applied to all windows software and for any XP users, there has now been an emergency patch developed. This event is a good reminder that you should always keep all your software up to date with all the latest releases and patches to help stay ahead of any potential hackers. Protect your business by using up to date firewalls and anti-virus software and by being wary when reading emailed messages. Send a message to all personnel informing them of the latest

If not doing so already, ensure any back up of key data is kept up to date, so files can be restored without having to pay should your systems be infected.

Read more about the attack and what other attacks that may also be coming soon – 

http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-39911385

http://gulfnews.com/news/americas/usa/uae-tra-warns-users-as-fast-moving-cyberattacks-wreak-havoc-worldwide-1.2026329

IT Security Checklist

It’s now time to look seriously at your current cyber security set up:

  • Are all Microsoft and other IT systems up to date?
  • Does your IT department have suitable safeguards in place to deal with an attack?
  • What if you do get hit? Does your company have an up to date IT DR plan or a specific   Cyber Security Breach Plan
  • Is your company’s vital data backed up correctly? Is there an up to date back up kept off the network and away from potential threats?
  • Does IT know how to deal with an attack quickly enough to ensure your customers, stakeholders will not be effected?
  • Are your Crisis Management Team trained and exercised to deal with the business impact of a Cyber Security Breach?
  • Are company finances secure?

There is now a lot of literature online to help build a resilient organisation to guard against cyber attacks, so it’s time to get researching.

If you have any questions on the WannaCry attacks or need some guidance on how you can build an effective Cyber Defence, Standby Consulting are here to help. Visit our website for more info – Standbyconsulting.com or contact us directly using the below info.

The Standby Team