Latest Security News for July/August 2017

Posted by Orion Network Solutions on September 5th, 2017

The recent months saw an outbreak of one of a notorious ransomware that bears remarkable likeness to the WannaCry attack, which was reported only a few weeks before the Petya outbreak. Both incidents served as a wake-up call for governments and organizations around the world to pay more attention to security so their IT assets can be protected from similar threats. Email systems that are traditionally the main attack route for ransomware and cyber threats such as Petya and WannaCry require tighter security.

Examples of the Petya attack also reveal that the ransomware has likewise been spreading over the internet and some local networks by exploiting the SMB or Server Message Block protocol weaknesses, which have already been brought to attention in light of the recent WannaCry attacks. With these kinds of incidents threatening the security and safety of both private and public networks across the globe, the importance of a complete network review and more robust email security, along with well-designed back-up and continuity systems and processes cannot be more stressed.

In line with strengthening security, all organizations and even home users must make sure that their IT systems are updated on a regular basis. Microsoft’s security update release back in March addresses the vulnerabilities that both Wannacry and Petya ransomwares appear to exploit. If you haven’t yet applied this security update, deploy the MS Security Bulletin MS17-010 immediately. To stay up-to-date with these security updates, note that Microsoft releases these bulletins every Patch Tuesday or the second Tuesday of the month.

Those using legacy versions of Windows are advised to consider an upgrade so as to protect yourself from these vulnerabilities. If, however, this isn’t possible in the shortest time possible, Microsoft has also taken an unusual step of releasing an applicable security patch, which can buy you some time to make way for the upgrade of your operating system.

To ensure good security practices, it is critical that you remove or disable unnecessary network services that expose your system to more vulnerabilities. Unnecessary network services increase your potential attack surfaces, as these leaves certain protocols available for hackers and malicious actors to use and leverage against you.

Ransomware puts you in a difficult and pressure-filled position to pay exorbitant amounts in order to regain access to your data. This said, paying cybercriminals off does not guarantee that they will unlock your files all too easily. Furthermore, payment further motivates and funds their ransomware campaigns. The best defense is to always be in a position that you never even have to consider paying the ransom.

About the Author:

Mike Rana is the Chief Technology Advisor of Orion Network Solutions. Orion Network Solutions specializes in providing Computer Installation, Maintenance, and Consulting services along with 24x7 help desk services for small and midsize companies. We provide network solutions that enable small businesses to not only lower their management cost but also increases employee productivity at the same low price. We offer network solution that becomes an integral part of your organization and can provide an increase in productivity of your organization.

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Orion Network Solutions
Joined: May 14th, 2015
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