Immediate steps were taken to contain the spread, but it took five days to minimizeits growth. Around 200,000-300,000 computers were affected by this ransomware, and an estimated loss of $4 billion was incurred. Nearly 150 countries were affected by this attack. This cyberattack created a scenario that if the most prominent tech conglomerate could be affected by the cyberattacks, what cyber security measures should other companies invest in so that it does not happen to them.
Lessons of this debacleare:
·System updates are essential:Wannacry targeted systems running on Windows operating systems that were not updated and lacked cybersecurity features. Many personal computers still run on Windows XP which is a 16-year-old operating system. According to stats, 78% of the affected systems were running on either Window 7 or Windows 8. Updates are essential because they provide better features and security. There may be more ransomwares like Wannacryin the future, so systems should be updated before their security services start slacking.
·The vulnerabilityof devices:The devices that run on software are easily accessible to hackers if not provided with adequate cybersecurity features. During this attack, medical devices were also affected. The EHR, CR, and DR were the firstmedical devices to be hacked. As these devices are directly concerned with the patient's medical condition, the hacks on these devices can be life-threatening.
·The deviousnessof hackers:There are number of malware present online nowadays,including Zeus Trojan, Spyware, Adylkuzz, and ETERNALROCKS aka BlueDoom. Such malwares are even capable of disrupting software and accessing all information available. The Spyware software can access information on a device without the user knowing about it. According to statistics,cybercrimes will cost $6.1 trillion by 2021.
·Ransomware awareness:A survey by Wombat Security of 2,000 adults (1,000 in USA and 1,000 in the UK) found that 42% of USA residents knew what a ransomware was and only 37% in the UK had knowledge about it. Awareness about the existence of such ransomware is low. A company is hit with a ransomware every 40 seconds in different ways, and stats show that it infects 71% of them.Global ransomware damage has increased to $5 billion from $325 million in 2015.Every major industry sector has been affected by it, be it education, IT, entertainment, government, and finance (source – cybersecurity ventures).
·Subscription services are a viable alternative:The main reason why Wannacry created havoc was the availability of oldoperating services. Subscription services are one of the few ways through which these old operating services can be flushed out. With subscription option,cybersecurity services could be provided efficiently. In March 2017, Microsoft launched the services and the people who had installed them were able to take immediate steps to stop the attack.Right now, fail-safe options to malware and hackers are past their prime, thusthe subscription services are better positioned to provide the required safety.
Steps that can safeguard your Windows operating system
·An unpatched vulnerability often facilitates the ability of a malware to spread quickly through networks on its own. That is the case with WannaCry. Patching critical problems that can lead to remote code execution (RCE) promptly would help remove exposure to malware that takes advantage of these vulnerabilities.
·Avoiding internet access directly to electronic systems, like television and music systems, is another significantmeasure that would help remove attacks such as WannaCry. Systems accessing the internet makes them vulnerable to infections like WannaCry.
·For home networks, splitting hosts into separate devices such that communications aren't wide open between the tools can help prevent the spread of malware infections. It can be done byfirewall filtering and provide a physical intersection between networks. Having an Intrusion Detection System (IDS) or Intrusion Prevention System (IPS) between segments of local hosts can help provide cybersecurity.
·Updating antivirus software on every device can help against these kinds of infections. While an antivirus software misses detections when the malware is new, applying updated signatures can help protect against the malware.The challenges that the software industry may be facing because of cybercrimes could be many. The need to prevent oneself from these obstacles, improvement for cybersecurity should also be adopted and fast. Updated Date: 14 March 2018, 14:34