The WannaCry virus, also known as WanaCrypt0r and WCry, struck over 150 countries around the world in an unprecedented attack. WannaCry is a ransom computer worm that spreads across local networks and the Internet. It targets computers running Microsoft Windows that have not been updated with recent security updates. An organizations’ private files and data are encrypted, held hostage, for ransom by the hacker. A “critical” patch was released by Microsoft in March, however many organizations had not yet applied it.
As of May 17th, in all cases in which people paid the ransom to unlock the encrypted files, there are no known instances of anyone being given the means to decrypt their data. Experts strongly recommend not paying the ransom.
We cannot sugarcoat this massive ransomware attack. Realistically, if you are not an expert in IT and do not employ someone dedicated to maintaining your IT infrastructure, you are especially vulnerable. As a business owner, a comparison would be driving a new BMW around without insurance. You just wouldn’t do it.
The best protection against any cyber security attack is having a backup disaster recovery plan in place. In the event that your data were deleted, encrypted, or lost, it ensures that there is a backup file that you are immediately able to access. A BDR solution along with an IT team dedicated to maintaining software updates and patches is the best cyber security insurance for your business.