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Or maybe your company's accounts receivable files or your hospital's patient records. The particular ransomware making headlines is called Wanna Cry, and it's infected some pretty serious organizations. Your first line of defense is to diligently install every security update as soon as it becomes available, and to migrate to systems that vendors still support.Microsoft issued a security patch that protects against Wanna Cry months before the ransomware started infecting systems; it only works against computers that haven't been patched.• May 19, 2017 AM I put backup as the last line of defense because it happens late in the process: it doesn't prevent, but allows for recovery.But I'm willing to accept arguments that I should have reordered the list.Your second line of defense is good antivirus software.Sometimes ransomware tricks you into encrypting your own hard drive by clicking on a file attachment that you thought was benign.
• May 19, 2017 AM Cloud backups: if the contents of "my documents" is synchronised to a cloud supplier, if the files are then encrypted on my PC won't the synchronisation software simply copy the encrypted files up to the cloud?
Your third line of defense is to diligently back up your files. If your irreplaceable family photos are in a backup drive in your house, then the ransomware has that much less hold on you.
There are systems that do this automatically for your hard drive. If your e-mail and documents are in the cloud, then you can just reinstall the operating system and bypass the ransomware entirely.
And many of the systems it infects are older computers, no longer normally supported by Microsoft -- though it did belatedly release a patch for those older systems.
I know it's hard, but until companies are forced to maintain old systems, you're much safer upgrading.
Criminals go where the money is, and cybercriminals are no exception. The scammers can't charge too much, because they want the victim to pay rather than give up on the data. Computers are infected automatically, with viruses that spread over the internet.