Wanna Cry? Wave 2 is coming, and 3, 4...
In one of the more aptly named malware attacks, WannaCry has become one of the fast spreading infections yet. With hundreds of thousands of infected computers and a ransom of $300 to $600, this is multimillion dollar business.
There are lots of sources for what to do now that WannaCry is in mainstream media. Global News among many other news sources has a good summary of this attack. So why am I writing about this? Because malware is a concern for every company, and individual that has a connected device. Your computer, your phone, your super-cool connected thermostat, your security cameras...anything that connects to the internet. Within days of the attack, Sophos, a common malware vendor, had released protection against fourteen variations of WannaCry. And now that everyone is back to work after the weekend and opening up their unprotected computes, things are expected to get worse.
What can we do to protect ourselves? The main thing is awareness: hoping it doesn't happen to you is not a strategy. If you know there is a high crime rate where you reside, you:
(1) build a secure, high fence
(2) you lock ALL the doors and windows
(3) keep all of your important items in a secure safe
(4) anything irreplaceable, you make copies
(5) monitor your defenses and improve as needed
Cybersecurity is no different than physical security. You make a plan, execute that plan, and then keep upgrading to meet new threats as they appear. I specialize in network security, but user error is a given. On the weekend in the midst of securing my clients from WannaCry, I took a break to check my email. Being distracted, I opened up a delivery notice for a package I am expecting. You guessed it...FedEx wasn't the source of this email but it was a malware attack. Thankfully my 'network fence' advised me of my mistake before anything could happen.
If it can happen to me, I imagine it can happen to you. Most of us wouldn't walk around while on vacation in some unknown, potentially dangerous area, proudly displaying their new Rolex watch on our wrist. We lock our valuables in the hotel safe, hire a trustworthy guide to show us around and keep our eyes open for trouble. We need to do the same for our internet travels.
If you are not sure how to be safe, search the internet, find a tech-savvy friend, or hire a professional. It is much cheaper to keep criminals at bay than deal with them once they have broken in.