Again the world has had to deal with a range of attacks which involved ransomware but this time with a new twist.
According to an article published by CNET this latest attack included some action which was very poor as ransomware but which really held some serious threat as it ended in an attack which encrypted specific target computers.
While they don't explain exactly why they have come to this conclusion the article does offer some further information on how you can protect yourself from these kinds of threats. The interesting part of the solution is that it essentially is the same as before. Keep your Microsoft software up to date with patches so that the holes that this type of malware exploits are closed using the free patches which Microsoft has provided in recent updates.
The Petya variants that are the basis of the latest attacks are already included in updates from most major anti virus software releases as well. When combined with the Microsoft patches you end up with double protection.
The final steps is to have regular (ideally continuous) backups so that in the unlikely event you do get hit then you can easily wipe your device and recover from a backup that pre-dates the attack.
All of these steps have been covered in many articles before and also within this blog, but there are still organizations that are getting hit by these attacks and therefore it is worth reminding everyone again to take the steps needed for protection.
The good part of this is that these steps provide help in securing your systems from other threats to your computer security so reviewing your situation once again to be sure you have done what is needed is not a wasted effort.
All aspects of computer network security continue to take effort. No organization can afford to take short cuts when it comes to maintaining a vigilance and an orderly approach to their IT systems. As more and more of a business's overall knowledge is collected into their data systems then taking the time and investing the money required to secure those systems is a mission critical part of the business.
For many years IT systems were seen as a secondary component but now that key business software, key client and supplier data and the records needed for compliance to many rules and regulations all reside in the IT operation it is critical that they be well organized and managed securely. Short cuts, failure to act when little glitches are found and poor employee training on the need for care can easily lead to disastrous impacts on the business.
Take the time to make the effort. Get the help you need to implement proper steps if you do not have the expertise in-house. Don't delay. Update. Take action. You will be glad you did when the stories of future attacks come out and you have avoided them.