WannaCry or Change the Oil

The wannacry hack was a gut wrenching experience for owners of 200,000 computers. The rest of us may have spilled breakfast cereal in the morning worrying about it. If only £60,000 exchanged hands as the BBC reports, then only 260 machines were sanitized at best. Auger is worried about the value of the other data stuck in digital limbo.

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The critics are flowing in fast. With the benefit of hindsight, it was all so incredibly simple. All we needed do was welcome Microsoft updates, instead of complaining about the time wasted doing them.

According to David Venable, former US National Security Agency intelligence officer, “These aren’t new challenges – anyone running these networks should have had this solved long before now. This isn’t rocket science; it’s an oil change.”

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However, changing the oil is not always quite so simple. Auger understands some blood analysis systems and MRI scanners are tricky. In the first instance, the patch can affect the equipment. At other times, “the vendor simply refuses to do it,” according to another cyber security specialist.

Correspondents Mark Ward and Matthew Wall believe these cyber-attacks have become inevitable. Our hope lies in maintaining firewall, antivirus, application, and operating systems to latest standards. And backing up key data regularly to offline hard drives. We should prioritise our data, and make this a key strategic priority.

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