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Evan Standish, OnDeck Systems
You’ve seen the headlines: the latest rounds of viruses are shutting down health care facilities, automobile plants, and other business around the world. These viruses (WannaCry, Petya, and the like) are encrypting key business data and holding it for ransom.
While most businesses house their key data on servers, and spend a lot of effort protecting those servers, the attacks rarely start there. Rather, the not so obvious threat to your data are all the other devices that connect to your server: the desktop PCs, laptops, and tablets you and your employees use everyday. These viruses usually start on one of these devices and spread to your server (and other computers) from there.
Did you know that the most recent attacks spread across networks mostly through a vulnerability that was patched by Microsoft back in March; a full month before the first version of WannaCry was unleashed? That means if your computers have all their Windows updates and patches installed, those particular viruses will not spread across your network.
But doesn’t Windows run automatic updates? Shouldn’t that keep my computer(s) safe?
In a word: no. Many computers either have automatic updates turned off, or if they are turned on, not all updates get applied successfully, or the update service is “broken”. And unless you go looking specifically to check the status of updates and critical patches, you many never know there’s a problem.
If you’re not spending IT time and effort on ensuring the health and security of your computers as well as your server, you may well end up being the next business owner trying to figure out how to buy bitcoins to pay some hacker in the hopes they’ll actually decrypt your data.
Evan Standish is sales manager for OnDeck Systems, which has been helping North Island businesses secure their computers for over 20 years. Contact Evan at 250.334.0638 or firstname.lastname@example.org.