Wannacry Ransomware Another Reminder to Stay Vigilant

It has been 2 weeks since the largest ransomeware attack in Internet history.  Although it may have been the largest, it certainly wasn’t the first and definitely won’t be the last.

There are three critical components that all computer users need to be vigilant about in order to avoid dealing with the hassle that will certainly result by having your files encrypted.  If you are on a maintenance program with ICS, we are handling these components for you!  If you are not, we should talk.  In the meantime, make sure you are doing the following:

1. Keep your systems updated.  People sometimes fear updating their systems because on rare occasions, updates can “break” other software you are using.  Dealing with fixing a scenario like that will be much easier than dealing with trying to recover all of your data, and the likelihood that you will need to reinstall your operating system and all of your programs.

2. Run a trusted anti-virus/anti-malware program and keep it up-to-date.  For users of Windows 8 and Windows 10, Microsoft Windows Defender is built-in and is a good start.  However, something more robust is a better idea and there are many products to choose from.  For our maintenance customers, we use a product called Bitdefender.

3. Finally, make sure you are creating daily (or more frequent) backups both on-site and off-site.  This is the most important component.  With modern technology and cheap storage, a solid backup process will allow you to recover from almost any scenario.  Again, this is something we handle for our maintenance customers.

There is a fourth component as well and it is something we have mentioned before…the use of extreme caution before clicking any link or opening any file that is sent to you via email.  If you have even the slightest hesitation or concern, contact the person that sent you the message via another medium (such as phone or text) to verify the legitimacy of the link or file.