Today, Monday, the 15th, the ransomware “WannaCry”spread to 150 countries worldwide. The attack reached Asia as thousands of employees logged in to their computers at work.
The malware immobilized computers across multiple industries including logistics, government, finance and healthcare. Fed Ex Corporation in the US was among one of those hit. Many companies are still trying to recover from the first attack on Friday.
The ransomware, named “WannaCry,” locks down all the files on an infected computer and asks the computer’s administrator to pay to regain access. The ransomware evolved from a Microsoft Windows vulnerability called “EternalBlue.” (Microsoft released a patch for this in March.) If a payment is not made within six hours, the ransom goes up. This is one of the largest cybersecurity events the UK has ever seen. Sixteen National Health Service (NHS) organizations in the UK have been hit, forcing some hospitals to tell patients to avoid emergency departments if possible. Spanish telecom company Telefónica was also hit with “WannaCry.”
Protect Yourself and Your Business
Companies should immediately apply the patch released in March to all systems to prevent “WannaCry” from infecting their organization. When the ransomware infects a new machine, it actively seeks out PCs on the same internal network. This could happen while you’re sitting in an airport lounge, wirelessly connected and waiting for your plane. A single infected PC can spread the attack to all the others who don’t have the patch applied. After that, it’s off to infect other individuals and companies. If you are an individual computer owner, you’re protected only when you have up-to-date software with automatic updates turned on.
Training your staff to recognize these attempts can help protect your organization from attack. When you educate your employees about sophisticated phishing and ransomware attacks, you are performing the most effective countermeasures available to you. A staff that knows what to look for is your best ally in defeating these global cybercriminals. Security Awareness Services from Dynamic Quest combine training and systematic follow-up to shore up your data defenses.
The average cost of a data breach in the United States is $8.64 million, which is the highest in the world, while the most expensive sector for data breach costs is the healthcare industry, with an average of $7.13 million (IBM).
The cost of cybercrime is predicted to hit $10.5 trillion by 2025, according to the latest version of the Cisco/Cybersecurity Ventures “2022 Cybersecurity Almanac.”.
Forty-three percent of attacks are aimed at SMBs, but only 14% are prepared to defend themselves (Accenture).
It takes an average of 287 days for security teams to identify and contain a data breach, according to the “Cost of a Data Breach 2021” report released by IBM and Ponemon Institute.
More than 33 billion records will be stolen by cybercriminals by 2023, an increase of 175% from 2018.
The internal team was energized. With the Level 1 work off its plate, the team turned its attention to the work that fueled company growth and gave them job satisfaction.
40% of businesses will incorporate the anywhere operations model to accommodate the physical and digital experiences of both customers and employees (Techvera).
The three sectors with the biggest spending on cybersecurity are banking, manufacturing, and the central/federal government, accounting for 30% of overall spending (IDC).
We did a proof of concept that met every requirement that our customer might have. In fact, we saw a substantial improvement.
We did everything that we needed to do, financially speaking. We got our invoices out to customers, we deposited checks, all the things we needed to do to keep our business running, and our customers had no idea about the tragedy. It didn’t impact them at all.
“We believe our success is due to the strength of our team, the breadth of our services, our flexibility in responding to clients, and our focus on strategic support.”