Post Cyber-Attack: Know What You Have

Over the past weekend, the so-called WannaCry  crypto virus attacked tens of thousands of international businesses, private persons and government agencies. It targeted devices running Microsoft Windows Operating Systems that lacked the necessary security patch levels. COMPAREX IT specialist Franz Schildberger weighs in.

Franz Schildberger, GMS Product Manager IT Finance at COMPAREX

A blog contribution by Franz Schildberger, GMS Product Manager IT Finance

Make sure to regularly check and update your patch levels

Unfortunately, many people – and businesses – still do not grasp the importance of securing their systems with regular updates. In addition, many do not even know what software they are currently running and what patch level these might currently be on. A big risk. Over the past weekend when the crypto virus “WannaCry” (also known as “WannaCrypt”) caused the complete encryption of tens of thousands of computers  in more than ca. 75 countries (as per May 16), these weak spots became very apparent. The attack was so devastating that many corporations were forced to cease operations temporarily .

Once it takes control, this sophisticated ransomware – the original coding of which has been accredited to the American National Security Agency (NSA) – threatens to delete the encrypted files if the ransom (in Bitcoins) is not paid within a given deadline (usually 72 hours). Many frightened of the consequences have already paid the price. Experts warn, however, that paying the attackers does not guarantee that files will be restored again. Final analyses of this large-scale attack are ongoing. What is already clear though is that this global attack underlines the importance of keeping an up to date inventory of your software to minimize the risk of such a devastating violation of data.

regularly check and update your patch levels with COMPAREX Portfolio Management Platform, source: COMPAREX

Get an overview of your installations to regularly check and update your patch levels, e.g. with COMPAREX Portfolio Management Platform

Top five preventive measures:

Follow these simple rules to make sure your IT environment is well prepared in case of a cyber-attack:

  1. Make sure that each system has an updated security profile that is constantly reviewed
  2. Patch all systems to the latest security levels
  3. Backups, backups and backups. Most importantly: Test your backups!
  4. Use virtualization for fast system recovery
  5. Ensure awareness training within your business. You are only as good as your weakest link. Every user is a weak link.

What software are your clients currently running on and at what patch levels?

The COMPAREX Portfolio Management Platform is committed to closing the security gap caused by mismanaged or unknown software installations. Contact our specialists now to find out more about how you can ensure endpoint protection with consistently updated security levels:

Leipzig, 17.05.2017

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