If it can cripple an airport, a large marketing group, an international shipping company and a large energy company, it can also bring your business and its network to its knees.
Petya: Attacking organizations world-wide
Dubbed Petya, this latest round of ransomware now in progress, responsible for outages at the main airport in Ukraine, British advertising giant WPP, Danish shipping company Maersk, Russian oil producer Rosneft and, most recently, US pharmaceutical Merck, could be bigger than WannaCry, according to Forbes.
Petya, like WannaCry, CryptoLocker, CryptoWall and Locky, to mention a few, is a ransomware, a class of malware which carries in its payload a worm that once released into a network — typically by an innocent click on an emailed link or an attachment — travels through that network, encrypting files and making them inaccessible to users until the victims pay a ransom.
It appears in case of Petya, the attackers are demanding a payment of $300 in Bitcoin, similar to the recent WannaCry ransom.
While $300 may not be a tremendous amount, the real cost of infection could be the downtime to your business should your network become infected. According to Gartner, a 2010 study showed that interruption on average then costed businesses a lofty $5,600 per minute. Since then, that number is estimated to have risen to $9,000 per minute.
Prevention through Education and Caution
So what can you do to prevent your business from becoming a victim? As our director of IT and data security at R.K. Black, John Sanders, just instructed our associates via a companywide email today, the best way to protect your network is to mind those links and attachments.
“Do not click on links or open attachments in email messages until verified, even if you recognize the sender,” he wrote. “If the email came from someone you have communicated with in the past and contains links or attachments, call them to verify authenticity.”
Furthermore, he suggested those having doubts about received content should contact their network administrator.
BDR: Just in case
Besides educating your network users and watching those links and attachments, you can protect your network and data by investing in a data back-up disaster recovery system (BDR).
The beauty of BDR is it automatically and periodically backs up your data to the cloud. With this system in place, let’s say your network gets hit by a virus, all you have to do is pull from your last uninfected back-up and you’re back in business, saving you a ransom fee, downtime and stress.
To wrap up, if you want to prevent your company from becoming a victim to malware, educate your network users about the threat of malware, watch your links and attachments on emails and implement a BDR system for your business.
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R.K. Black, Inc. is an Oklahoma City-based leading provider of office technology solutions to small and medium-sized businesses in and around Oklahoma and Kansas. We specialize in everything business technology from copier, fax, printer and scanner technology to document management, onsite paper shredding services, VoIP phone systems and managed IT support to video surveillance solutions.
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