WannaCry, a ransomware program that targets a vulnerability in outdated versions of Microsoft Windows, has spread across 150 countries and infected more than 230,000 computers since it was launched on 12th May. It disrupted many NHS hospitals in England and Scotland, infecting up to an estimated 70,000 devices, including computers, MRI scanners, blood-storage refrigerators and theatre equipment.
The danger that the ransomware program poses is based partially on how invasive it is. After infecting just one computer, WannaCry can spread to every device in a network within seconds. It works by locking users out of their computers before demanding money to regain control of their data. Initially, WannaCry requires about £230, but, if no payment is made within three days, it then threatens to double the amount. If no payment is made within that time, the ransomware program then threatens to delete the files after seven days.
Ransomware is one of the most common cyber attacks, accounting for 17 per cent of all security breaches in 2016, according to government research. Even worse, an estimated 54 per cent of UK organisations have been the victims of ransomware. The attack’s effects can be quite severe, causing business disruptions, partial or total loss of data, and loss of reputation. To ensure that your organisation is adequately protected from such a cyber attack, consider implementing the following practices:
- Update your network security.
- Install and update anti-virus as well as anti-malware software on all of your organisation’s computers.
- Provide your employees with cyber security training. This should include best practices, such as how to recognise a cyber attack.
One vital component of a solid cyber defence is purchasing comprehensive cyber insurance to ensure that your organisation can sustain a cyber attack. For more information, contact Bennett Christmas Insurance Brokers Ltd today.