On May 17, 2017

Protecting against ransomware

Protecting against ransomware


  • The ransomware takes over users’ files.
  • Once in control, the ransomware demands users pay to ‘unlock’ their machine.
  • Computers in more than 150 countries have been infected.

May and June 2017 saw the two global ransomware attacks in 6 weeks. They both used known weaknesses in Microsoft’s Windows operating system to spread far and fast and has has prompted everyone to review their security policies immediately.

The ransomware uses a vulnerability in a Windows Server component to spread within corporate networks. For May’s WannaCry ransomware, Microsoft took the highly unusual step of releasing free security updates for those out-of-support versions of Windows,  which can be downloaded from its website.

For WannaCry, the most vulnerable operating systems include Windows Server 2003 and Windows XP, both of which have not been sold for over a decade; and Windows 8, which some users prefer to the supported Windows 8.1 because of differences between the two versions of the operating system

How to protect against future attacks

  • Update your device

    Ensure all Windows environments are secure by following our guide above.

  • Change your passwords

    Have tiers of them if you can. For example, ‘I l1ke w0rk1ng’ could be my top-level password, for my banking, but I could adapt that password and put extra letters or digits into it depending on what I’m using it for – for example, ‘I l1ke sh0pp1ng at N8xt.

  • Protect your business

    Update your endpoint software to ensure you have the latest protections for this threat. Click here to try our free 30 day Sophos ransomware protection software.

  • Protect your emails

    Mimecast Secure Email Gateway uses sophisticated, multi-layered detection engines and intelligence to protect email data and employees from malware, spam, phishing, and targeted attacks 100% from the cloud. Click here to learn more about Mimecast….

  • Be vigilant…

    …even when you’re not at your desk. On the train the other day I overheard a lawyer speaking on her phone about a case. Her phone kept cutting out so she kept reading out her number to the person on the other end of the line, then she took down their number and read it out loud. Right there, you’d have enough information to launch a social engineering attack.

  • Educate yourself

    Click here to view all the articles and information we’ve collected on how to best protect your business.

Excell helps its customers create a comprehensive security strategy. For customers who utilise Excell connectivity and network services we already scour their network for weaknesses and indeed prevent many DOS (denial of Service) attacks. And, we’re very proud to say, not one of our Managed Service customers was affected by the WannnaCry ransomware.

Excell can help your business

Try our free 30 day Sophos ransomware protection software.
Click here

Request support to apply updates across your PC Estate.
Click here
  • By Sebastian Daniels  0 Comments 
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