Technology Services • Published 5/15/2017 Worldwide Ransomware Attack: How to Protect Your Computers & Networks  


On May 12, hundreds of thousands of machines were infected worldwide with a ransomware cyber-attack. The “Wannacry” virus is the biggest ransomware outbreak in history affecting over 150 countries and the effect is still uncertain. Criminal hackers have released a new strain of ransomware that spreads itself automatically across all workstations in a network, causing a global epidemic. It is critical that you take steps immediately to protect your computers and networks from this new cyber-attack.

What is Ransomware 

Imagine you get a pop-up message with a ticking clock on your computer saying all of your data has been locked and will be destroyed unless you pay a ransom. This is known as a ransomware virus or CyptoWall. The virus encrypts your data allowing the perpetrator to request sums of money to unencrypt the data. Data that is lost could include emails, accounting records, client information, company records and legal documents. Your business could experience a significant financial impact if you are not able to restore your data.

How to Protect Your Computers & Networks  

  • There is a Microsoft Windows patch that needs to be applied urgently if you have not done that already.  It has been available since mid-April and helps stop the virus from gaining access to your system. For information on the Microsoft patch click here: This link will redirect you to the Microsoft site, but you can copy and paste the link or search for Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010.
  • Stay alert - Do not open any attachments for which you did not ask for. If there is an attachment, do not click on it, but delete the entire email. Be cautious of clicking links that you do not recognize. 
  • Keep reputable up-to-date antivirus software and a strong firewall
  • Back-up your data often and in multiple places
  • Disconnect from internet and the network immediately if you suspect you may have gotten a ransomware virus
  • Block user access to malicious or vulnerable websites
  • Educate employees on best practices such as creating unique passwords, avoiding clicking links within emails, not opening unsolicited email attachments, etc. 

More Resources: 

To learn more about ransomware, symptoms of the virus, next steps if you have been infected and protecting yourself from future cyber-attacks, download the Ransomware Rescue Manual. 

Read the Ransomware Rescue Manual

Need Help? 

If you have been affected by ransomware or have questions about your cyber-risks, please contact our Technology Services Group and they can help mitigate your risk.  Fill out our contact form or call 800-259-2922.

Been affected? Contact us


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