July 16, 2018
The ransomware outbreak has been a major wakeup call for many. Corporations sought to come up with patches and different backup strategies but nothing paid off. WannaCry was the first to discover in May last year that ransomware is something bigger than your usual malware attacks.
The ransomware could spread like wildfire, replicating itself and in turn bringing down entire security and IT infrastructure. The first variant referred to as WannaCry burst on to the scene first. The ransomware was also able to exploit the deficiency found in Microsoft Windows which goes by the name of EternalBlue.
While EternalBlue was nothing new but nobody dared to exploit it before. So it was only a matter of time. WannaCry in its short time had affected many computers, (in 150 countries to be exact), resulting in billions of dollars in losses.
Then came another variant of the ransomware by the name of Petya. According to one statistics, the number of ransomware incidents rose to 483,800 by the year 2016. Since ransomware is a worm based program, the enterprises are most vulnerable to it.
This paved the way for hackers as they could get their hands on more they ever dreamt of. The payout was in millions of dollars and that was just through hacking a single enterprise computer. In the year 2016, ransomware attacks went 29% to 30%, so imagine the wrath that these variants have unleashed!
This is a wake-up call and a severe one for enterprises so no one cannot take it lightly. So as we say we cannot stay complacent. This threat was unlike anything the world has ever seen. It calls for efficient backup practices (important and crucial data).
In addition, always keep all your software up to date such as you browsers, windows and just about everything else when you are using the computer. Enterprises must make rigorous backups of their data and store them offline and offsite.
Preventive measures at the system level are equally crucial. Email filtering prevents incoming infections can be stopped dead in its tracks. Intrusion Protection Systems is required to be in place so that it provides an added layer of security to enterprises and in turn keeps them from harm’s way.
All in all, the intent is to limit the spread of ransomware should the system becomes infected. So preparing a blanket of security measures as mentioned above, can prevent the malware from penetrating the systems in the first place.
It is imperative for large enterprises to perform network security scans so they guard their identity and prevent the spread of infection (should there be any). Some threats will remain at the end of the day but again, “prevention is better than cure” as the famous saying goes.