Well, history was made this weekend. But not really in a good way. This weekend we witnessed the fastest spreading, largest scale ransomware attack ever. The latest numbers I read reported that since Friday 5/12/17 to Sunday 5/14/17 over 200,000 computers were infected across 150 countries.
So far, most of the infections have been in Russia and Europe forcing hospitals in the UK to have to reschedule surgeries, the German public rail system to halt it's system, and even the Russian Interior Ministry.
But there are concerns that the virus will pick up steam on Monday morning as western workers turn on their computers. So here is a condensed list of what you can do to keep your PC's and business safe.
1. Be cautious of emails. The reports all weekend have agreed that the virus was delivered by a spam email, a lot of times posing as a fake invoice. Be sure to have your employees be paranoid of unknown email senders, and make sure your email spam filter is finely tuned.
2. Update your systems. The virus is able to work because of a known vulnerability in Windows. The good news is that Microsoft released a patch. Be sure all your PC's are up to date on their Windows updates.
3. Check your backups. There is currently no way to salvage data on a computer infected with the ransomware. So good cloud backups are your best bet to save your data. The FBI suggests not paying the ransom to get your data back, and honestly I haven't heard if the hacker's hold true to their word when paid. Reliable cloud backups are your best bet to stay safe from this threat.
4. Be alert. One way this virus has spread so fast, is because once it gets on one PC in a network it can spread to all the other PCs over the internal network. If any of the PC's in your office shows this message. Cut the power immediately!
Please reach out and let us know if you have any questions or concerns. Our mission is to help businesses to continue to operate in the midst of these situations, unscathed.
As of April 11th, Microsoft has officially declared Windows Vista "end of life". What does this mean? Well, it means that Microsoft will no longer release security updates for that version of Windows. And new versions of software will no longer be compatible with Vista. It presents a security and productivity risk.
Because Windows Vista and Windows 7 are so visually similar, you can follow these instructions to confirm if you are running Windows Vista.
If you find out you are running Windows Vista still, my recommendation would be to replace the whole PC. Chances are that PC is pushing 5 years or more, and usually at that age a PC isn't worth putting a lot of money into. If you have any questions or would like any recommendations feel free to reach out to us by going to our contact page. That's what we're here for!