Last week, widespread “WannaCry” ransomware attacks hit organizations across the globe, crippling productivity. This fierce strain of malware or “ransomware” — a form of malicious software that is often transmitted by email or web pop-ups — locked up users’ data and threatened to destroy it if the ransom wasn’t paid.
Businesses can learn from how WannaCry spread through the Windows file-sharing system. Developing a strict schedule for when computers company-wide should automatically install the latest software updates is smart. But for those organizations with hundreds or thousands of employees, applying security updates company-wide can be difficult. If one employee’s machine lacks the latest security software, it can infect other machines across the company network.
Steps that can and should be taken include: Making safe and secure backups; configuring and using threat detection tools and antivirus software; updating and patching your systems; educating your workforce.
So, how bad can a ransomware attack be for a business? A survey conducted by Datto, Inc. of businesses who have dealt with ransomware reported the following:
– 63% said a ransomware attack led to business-threatening downtime
– 48% reported critical data loss as a result of an infection