Over the past week, a particular ransomware virus has been getting a lot of coverage, and has unfortunately infected over 200,000 computers in 150 countries. This particular virus named ‘WannaCry’ The nature of ransomware is that it spreads through email or through pop-up windows, and once infected a fee has to be paid to remove the virus and prevent the loss of data. In this particular case, the virus seems to have been aimed more at large corporations, hospitals, academic institutions and government departments.
Something that has become so apparent because of this virus, is the vulnerability of computer systems, particularly in large organisations where infecting one system can act as a gateway to infecting large networks. Also highlighted by this, is the simple fact that without organisations effectively training employees on the risks of online viruses, companies are leaving themselves wide open to such issues.
Perhaps the most frustrating fact about this virus, is that that Microsoft actually released a security update which would have rendered the virus harmless 8 weeks ago, but due to slow adoption rates many systems were left open. Food for thought the next time you choose ‘Later’ when prompted about updates on your computer.