Ransomware and other ugly viruses…
“Oops, your important files are encrypted,” was the message flashing on tens of thousands of international computer screens on Friday, May 12.
What followed was a ransomware demand for $300 in bitcoins, a digital payment system. The piracy ante was later raised to $600 worth of currency.
The WannaCry attack infected over 200,000 victims running outdated Windows software.
Hospitals, factories, government agencies, banks and businesses in more than 150 countries were affected.
A May 17 editorial in the Chicago Tribune asked these big questions:
“Will this latest spate of attacks be a wake-up call to upgrade protections around the world? Or will many people hit the snooze button again?”
In today’s networked environment, we’re always online, which means we are continually vulnerable to malicious sneak attacks. But, it also allows us to use automatic updating technology.
Make sure that you are not caught napping. Copresco urges you to consider the following antivirus protection action plan.
1. Your first line of defense is your computer firewall. It must be updated regularly to block unauthorized access to your system.
2. Be sure to install operating system updates as soon as they are available.
3. Back up your computer often. If you do have a problem, it won’t be a total disaster.
Dastardly ransomware attacks can be foiled by complete system backups.
Backing up has never been easier. The cloud makes backing up and storage of data easy.
Services like Dropbox make back up to the cloud simple and painless.
4. Make sure that you have antivirus and malware protection installed on all of your computing devices.
Check with your IT department for the latest software that is available.
5. Enable the software to automatically update your antivirus definitions.
6. Be suspicious of attachments, especially uninvited email. When in doubt, don’t delay—trash it.
7. Set up your software to scan all the files you receive over the internet as well as external devices.
8. Confirm you are using the best virus protection possible on your workstations with your network administrator. You should also be assured that personal devices you may use are virus-protected.
9. Check to see if your company has a server based virus protection system installed. If so, you should verify that it protects all of your firm’s computers, including portable devices.
10. Remember that we are totally interconnected. You need to follow the same battle campaign strategy wherever you work with your desktop and laptop computers, tablets and smartphones— at the office, coffee shop and at home.
And, don’t forget to include your children or grandchildren’s devices.
Even though you may be working in a virus protected business environment, it still pays to take the personal responsibility necessary to ensure that your computer software is up-to-date and your systems are safe and secure.
Feel free to send copies of this Overnight Lite issue to your business associates and friends with a wake-up call note encouraging them to take a look at their antivirus protection.
The better protected your friends are, the safer you are.
To sum it up, viruses are an unfortunate fact of life in today’s wired world.
Left unchecked, viruses can spread their infectious diseases around the globe—and into your domain—in a matter of minutes.
The good news is that these deadly infections can be eradicated with a healthy dose of antivirus therapy.
The remedy can save you hours of lost time, money and frustration.
So, please take Copresco’s advice to heart. Don’t hit the snooze button. Put your antivirus protection plan into action today!
Copresco will be closed Tuesday, July 4, for Independence Day.