Wcry: Another Reminder About System Patching

With the “Wanna Cry” ransomware attacks gaining mainstream media coverage, it’s staggering to think that a lot of businesses are running outdated, unsupported and/or unpatched computers on their network. As much as Wcry is likely to be introduced by malicious email attachments (often called “spear phishing”), it is igniting the networks into which it’s introduced through a worm that exploits a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft has already patched.

Recent reports show that fully 2 in 5 computers used in businesses globally were subject to some kind of infection last year, and that ratio is significantly higher for small business. Leaving aside those businesses where owners and leadership maintain a cavalier attitude to security, it comes down to priorities. When key personnel spend all their time (and then some) on tasks that revolve around generating revenue, managing staff and tracking the associated expenses, “potential costs” like the risk of system downtime owing to infection rarely get a look in. That is, of course, until it happens.

It is true that there is no way to completely remove the risk of cyber attacks, but it’s sheer folly to not take all reasonable steps to reduce the risk. At a minimum:

  • Get rid of those Windows XP and Vista computers that you still have on your network.
  • Ensure that you have a single, business-grade endpoint antivirus/antimalware solution installed across all computers in the business.
  • Ensure that all computers (servers, workstations and laptops) are regularly patched, both operating system and other applications.
  • Choose true off-site disaster recovery solutions over simple backup to external drives.
  • Demand more secure practices from vendors of your line-of-business systems.
  • Discuss risky work practices with all staff to improve their awareness of exposure.

When you consider that WISE MSP can provide monitoring, Microsoft patching and business-grade endpoint antivirus/antimalware from as little as $11.00 a month for a workstation or laptop, there’s no excuse for any business to not be doing the basics. For more information, call WISE MSP on 1300 686 311.

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