The recent high-profile infection of ransomware ‘WannaCry’ (‘WannaCrypt’ in some circles) in over 100 countries unsurprisingly made headline news. A notable feature of this attack and why it spread so quickly was once it was in a network it spread across systems.
Ransomware attacks often impact individuals or small and medium businesses which may be less prepared to defend against such an attack - particularly businesses which haven’t been able to patch and back up their systems.
Being held to ransom to unlock a computer after malicious software locks files is but one of the many threats we see in cyberspace. Attackers range from individual hackers, criminals and malicious insiders through to sophisticated criminal gangs and nation states.
Increasingly attackers are using vulnerabilities in computer systems and software to gain access to private information or to commit fraud. A range of measures can help protect yourself and your businesses online.
Ensuring operating systems and application software are regularly updated and computers are regularly backed up are key steps to protect from cyberattacks.
It is easy to overlook the importance of such routine cyber 'hygiene' measures but these are among the most important things we can do to stay secure online.
Keeping antivirus software up to date is another important hygiene measure. These measures are simple, convenient and not overly costly.
Malicious software such as ransomware is often downloaded via malicious emails, so being cautious before opening attachments or links on any suspicious email is another way to help prevent being infected.