The recent WannaCry extortion attack shows how common ransomware is becoming in recent times. With over 100,000 computers affected across 150 countries, the ransomware attack has shown that anyone, anywhere, can become a victim of such a scam. Thus, it has become vital to take some steps to protect your computer from similar ransomware, especially if you are running a business.
Here are some tips to protect your system from ransomware in the future:
Back-Up Your Valuable Data: In spite of all security steps you can take, there is still no guarantee that your system won’t be hacked. It is highly recommended to make secure backups of all sensitive data whether you do it in the Cloud or on external hard disks.
In the event of a hack, these backups will save you a lot of time and money by providing immediate access to data that you have lost.
Use an Antivirus: There are many efficient antivirus software available on the market today and it is wise to invest in one. These antivirus programs provide protection against a wide range of malicious software like viruses, trojans, and ransomware. Even if you are not willing to spend to get proper antivirus software, it is necessary to download a free trial version from the internet.
Installing an antivirus does not put an end to your security threats. It is also necessary to regularly update the antivirus software so that it can protect your system from regularly evolving threats.
Update to Windows 10 or Patch Your System: There was a well-known loophole in Microsoft Windows which the WannaCry hackers managed to exploit. Most of the systems affected by this attack ran Windows 7 or older versions of Windows. It is advisable to update to Windows 10 as soon as possible, which is the latest operating system.
Microsoft has also released a patch MS17-010, to fix the loophole, which should be installed right away. It is always wise to keep your system up to date to make sure you get all security updates.
Educate Your Employees: If you are running a big business and conduct much of your operations electronically, ransomware like WannaCry can be a death knell for your business. This is why it is a must to train your employees not to click on dubious links or attachments that they have received through email.
Employees must also avoid visiting untrusted websites or receiving files from complete strangers as they might contain malicious software.
Don’t Pay the Ransom: There is no guarantee that after paying you will be able to access your data or the ransomware will be removed from your system. However, by paying you might be encouraging similar attacks in the future. This is why most experts have advised against paying any ransom to WannaCry.
There is no assurance that the WannaCry ransomware will stop spreading anytime soon. Another attack like this can come anytime in the near future. So, it is absolutely vital to take the steps mentioned above to make sure you don’t lose all your data and have your business crippled.