IT industry expects more cyber attacks

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Backup still remains the most effective tool against data loss, says Bernard Ford, CEO at One Channel.According to One Channel governments are scrambling to catch the culprits behind the cyber attacks that are disrupting operations at large organisation across the globe. Cyber security experts say the spread of the worm dubbed WannaCry locked up more than 200 000 computers in more than 150 countries.

“Analysts seem to confirm that the attack was launched using suspected NSA code leaked by a group of hackers known as the Shadow Brokers. It uses a variant of the ShadowBrokers APT EternalBlue Exploit. It uses strong encryption on files such as documents, images, and videos.”

Ford says ransomware is the most serious malware threat of the 21st century, with criminals projected to extort billions from their victims in 2017.

Thousands of computers worldwide, including British Hospitals and the Spanish telecommunications company Telefonica, were taken over by a piece of ransomware known as Wanacrypt0r 2.0. The ransomware encrypts all of the computer’s files and demands a ransom to decrypt the files.

A Telefonica spokesman said a window appeared on screens of infected computers that demanded payment with the digital currency bitcoin in order to regain access to files.

Ford says unlike many other malicious programs, this one has the ability to move around a network by itself. “Most other malware relies on humans to spread by tricking them into clicking on an attachment harbouring the attack code.”

“However, the WannaCry ransomware hunts down vulnerable machines and infects them too. This is one of the largest global ransomware attacks the cyber community has ever seen,” he explains.

Although system protection via a good End-Point Protection product is important, creating a backup before disaster strikes, is much more efficient and cost effective than looking for a cure when data is lost.

“Always have a backup of your important data and choose backup software with local storage, cloud storage and active protection against ransomware. Also, keep your operating system and software up to date, it will block cyber criminals from entering your system through any known security holes,” he says.

However, malware attacks and defenses against them are continually evolving, ransomware variants can find and attack backup files as well.

With a few simple tricks and robust ransomware protection software you can protect your valuable data in the most efficient and cost-effective way, Ford concludes.