Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Global Cyber attack - aftermath

Article from Cyberia Ireland - after Global Cyber attack

So, first day back to work after an unprecedented global cyber attack? The headlines alone are frightening, let alone the implications of what this attack means for organisations across the globe. But it didn’t need to be this way. There are some really basic precautions that can be put in place within any organisation to protect against this type of cyber attack.

This attack involved a malicious email phishing campaign which resulted in malware being released from bogus attachments carelessly opened by employees in various organisations, small and large, across 150 countries. So easily done, after all we’re only human.

Mostly it is computers running older versions of Windows that have been affected, highlighting the importance of using an operating system that can still receive security updates. This in itself is frustrating, because let’s be honest, having to upgrade something that is working just fine is like fixing something that is not broken. Unfortunately, it is no longer safe to assume that software developed back in 1999 has the functionality to keep you secure in an always connected world in 2017. But what other options do we have? Remove the oldies entirely from the internet? Probably not practical for many organisations. Maybe it’s time to upgrade.

Microsoft doesn’t want you to use its older operating systems. It can’t keep up the pace needed to “patch” multiple versions of Windows, so is scaling back. In March 2017, Microsoft issued a patch to solve the very vulnerability that has now infected 250,000 pc’s in this attack, but it was only for newer versions. We have to realise that as we grow more reliant on the internet, we will have to face bigger attacks that will have a real effect on the way we live and work. We just have to be more aware of the online risks.