5 Lessons to learn from the recent WannaCry attack – words Alan Woods

Last month, we saw an unprecedented number of leading organizations from around the world rendered useless by one of the most crippling cyberattacks that we have seen to date.

The ransomware, dubbed the WannaCry attack, affected over 200,000 computers around the world, affecting the critical function of banks, hospitals, warehouses and even telecommunications companies.

Perhaps worst of all, is that this wasn’t exactly a big shock. The WannaCry attack was though the worst in cyber security history. We’ve since learned that the cyber criminals responsible simply exploited a vulnerability that the National Security Agency (NSA) already knew about, but was keeping quiet so that they could use it if they ever needed to. This revelation has brought about a major debate about backdoor software access for law enforcement, but more importantly, it has offered an opportunity to learn the following lessons.

 

 

Awareness is Critical

The saying may be “ignorance is bliss,” but it doesn’t apply to data security. So how does WannaCry infect? Here ignorance can cost you big time, making you vulnerable to any number of threats. Threats like the WannaCry attack can affect every single person involved in a business at every level, making this so much more than just a problem for IT to handle. It’s your collective responsibility as a part of a business to learn about the latest data security problems and how they could affect your company. So that you can prevent a threat or at least react quickly in the case that one strikes.

Have a Secure Mobile Phone

When you really consider the chaos that the WannaCry attack brought to so many people’s lives, it’s easy to see why you need to make data security a priority for all of your electronic devices, most especially for your smartphone. It left many of us asking what is WannaCry and why did if have such a devastating impact? All smartphones are not equally secure, so when shopping around, look for a phone that offers defense-grade security like the Samsung Galaxy S7. Featuring Samsung Knox, a mobile security solution that is designed to remedy any Android security gaps, the Galaxy S7 is in fact so secure that it is one of a few devices approved by the NSA for use by U.S. Department of Defense employees.

Keep Devices Updated

Operating system updates are released periodically and they almost always include some sort of security improvement to remedy a possible vulnerability. But as a user, it isn’t always easy to remember that these updates are for our own good.

Device updates can seem like a nuisance, especially since they always seem to pop up at inopportune times like when you’re trying to return a text or read an important email. But despite the annoyance, the WannaCry attack has proven that it’s well worth your time to promptly install the latest updates to the operating systems for all of your devices. Waiting until it’s convenient for you risks that it’s also more convenient for cyber criminals to overtake your system and steal your most personal data. We all have to relook at our cyber security.

Make Patches a Top Priority

It is critical to take responsibility of your own data security in any way that you can. This can help prevent common types of cyber attacks. For businesses, this can mean forming a patch management team that proactively identifies system vulnerabilities and creates patches to plug the problem with computer security. Instead of waiting for your software provider to determine an issue and release an update, you can often save time, money and stress by having a team in place to work through these types of issues. Thus you can create solutions for them that can safeguard the issue until an update is released.

Have a Plan in Place

Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to avoid falling victim to a cyber attack like WannaCry. Prepare for this scenario by routinely backing up all data and having an incident response plan in place. For larger organizations, it is worthwhile to have a designated incident response team. They can help to create the plan and execute it as efficiently and effectively as possible in the event that you are hit by a cyber threat.

5 Lessons to learn from the recent WannaCry attack – words Alan Woods

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