18 May How to Protect Yourself From Ransomware Attacks
The internet was attacked by the largest global ransomware attack in the history recorded last Friday, and to be honest, world could not handle it. Most of the people are busy in calculating the damage caused by WannaCry program both in terms of revenue and lives lost as the hospital servers were affected by it too.
When talking about the people responsible for the attack the biggest controversy coming into light is, “Is Microsoft responsible for it.? News revealed that windows protocol was exploited that spread within different networks. The question now comes that a patch was released by Microsoft couple of months earlier. Was it not accessible to all the users? Hundreds of security policies were followed by Microsoft, but that still left thousands of computers in a vulnerable state with extreme consequences. Was it worth?
Definitely the answer is a big NO.
Now the question comes, what can an individual and a business owner do to save themselves from the agony caused by Ransomware. Let’s just ponder over some tips from the security experts.
Tip #1 Keep your Software Updated
Security experts are estimating that the hackers must have spurred this malware may have infected the machines by making people download an email. Once done, the malware must have travelled to different computers of the same system linked through file sharing feature of Windows.
The worst revelation was that there was a way to escape the vulnerability caused by WannaCry. If people had their security updates updated their systems would not have been infected. According to Mr. Wysopal “People kind of got complacent and not vigilant about updating their machines.”
Though WannaCry targeted windows systems this time doesn’t mean Mac and Linux are safe. No matter what device you use keep your systems updated and install the latest security enhancements.
Tip #2 Install Software that has an Antivirus
Apart from keeping your system updated, it is essential that you keep latest security enhancements to prevent any virus from infecting your computer. Reports reveal that 30% of the people’s systems could detect the malware due to a trusted antivirus program.
Of course, you will have to keep the antivirus program updated, so that it can block the emerging malware. Also only download antivirus systems from a reputed and genuine vendors like Kaspersky.
Tip #3 Stay Cautious about Suspicious Emails and Pop-Ups
Security experts believe the malware must have initially come from Email. Lesson: Do not open any fishy Email. It is important that you look into the email address of the sender properly, once you open it, do not open any links. Also look for typos. If you have received any email from your bank, remember, no bank asks for your detailed PIN and security answers.
Also hackers have been using pop-ups that advertise software that detect malwares. Do not even think of opening them, instead shut down your system.
Tip #4 Always Keep a Backup of your Data
Just in case if a hacker gets into your system, you can still rescue by keeping a backup of your data somewhere else. In that case, if hackers lock your data, you can erase it and restore the system from the backup.
To maintain more security, unplug the hard drive form the computer after creating a backup and keep it at some other place.
What to do if already Infected
If you have been hit by WannaCry, shutdown your system so other systems connected to the same network does not suffer. Immediately report to cybercrime and ask an IT expert if your data can be retrieved. If at that time there is no hope, don’t give up. With advancements in technology some security tool will surely retrieve the information in the future.
No matter what happens, if asked to pay ransom, don’t do that. You never know, it might happen that the hackers don’t revert even if you paid the amount.