Are you protected from the WannaCry Ransomware?

 In Articles, Business, Company News, Virus Alerts

Laughing Rock AntiVirus - LRT AVProtect your corporate networks from this outbreak.

On May 12, 2017 a new strain of the Ransom.CryptXXX (WannaCry) strain of ransomware began spreading widely impacting a large number of organizations, particularly in Europe.

Wcry is demanding a ransom of $300 to $600 in Bitcoin to be paid by May 15, or, in the event that deadline is missed, a higher fee by May 19. The messages left on the screen say files will remain encrypted. It’s not yet clear if there are flaws in the encryption scheme that might allow the victims to restore the files without paying the ransom.

Cybersecurity firms have stated that they have identified more than 75,000 ransomware attacks in 99 countries, making it one of the broadest and most damaging cyberattacks in history.

So is your company protected?

If you are currently utilizing either our advanced firewall product from Fortinet or our antivirus solution with hardware monitoring, the answer is yes.  Both of these solutions responded almost immediately to this threat but in 2 very different ways:

  • Advanced Firewall:  Within hours of the initial reported outbreak, all firewalls under our management were automatically patched to scan and filter out the WannaCry virus payload.  If you have a firewall but your support has lapsed, we recommend contacting our office to get it reinstated to make sure your network perimeter is secure.
  • LRT AV:  The Laughing Rock AntiVirus solution includes more features than just antivirus.  It also includes hardware monitoring, support tools, content filtering, and most importantly (at least for the purposes of this discussion) patch management.  The method that WannaCry uses to infect your computer is actually a Windows vulnerability that Microsoft patched months ago.  Since we force all security related updates to our client computers three times a week, you were inoculated against this virus months ago and may not have even realized it.

So what should I do if I don’t have a smart firewall or LRT AV?

The classic methods of protecting against ransomware still apply to this infection.  Here is what you need to check if you don’t have the above solutions:

  • Make sure Windows is patched and up-to-date.  We understand how frustrating it is when you want to reboot your computer and it takes 10 minutes because of pending updates. That said, you need those updates.  Windows computers are surprisingly secure when they are updated fully so let those updates flow!  If you don’t have updates turned on, run a manual update and install all security updates ASAP.
  • Get offsite backup with some sort of retention.  Offsite backup solutions have become surprisingly affordable in recent years.  They are the best insurance out there against any type of data loss including a ransomware infection.  If you need help, just give us a shout and we will get you set up.

Ransomware is a serious threat to any network but by taking a few easy precautions and using the right solutions, it is a threat that is easily avoided.

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