May 12 — A full five years have passed since WannaCry first started to spread across corporate networks; jumping from one Windows system to the next. As the ransomware took hold of computers, files were held hostage, and users were instructed to provide Bitcoin payments in exchange for their safe return.
Why were hundreds of thousands of devices compromised by WannaCry? On account of the continued use of outdated systems, poor education around the need to update software, and poor patch management. The damage induced by WannaCry was in-fact largely avoidable.
More than 200,000 and possibly more than 300,000 devices suffered through WannaCry encryption. Major entities were affected by the attack, including critical healthcare organizations. WannaCry is estimated to have caused roughly $4 billion in damages.
Today’s ransomware landscape
Across the past five years, experts have observed that ransomware attacker demands have increased. Ransom payments have escalated, with the average ransom demand topping $2.2 million. This represents a 144% increase over the prior year.
Organizations are still struggling to effectively prevent, identify and mitigate ransomware attacks. Although organizations may believe that they have adequate security strategies in place, the number of successful ransomware attacks that continue to occur suggest a different story.
Addressing ransomware now
Ensure that your organization works to prevent large-scale attacks, like WannaCry, from affecting you operations. If interested in ransomware prevention and defense insights, please review the following resources:
- CISO’s Guide to Ransomware Ransomware Prevention eBook
- Security Implications of Weakened Supply Chains
- How to Keep Your Organizations Safe on Social Media
- Ransomware On the Rise in the Public Sector
- Infographic: Major Ransomware Attacks, Groups and Variants Since WannaCry
For further WannaCry insights, please be sure to see CyberTalk’s Lessons Learned and Carried Forward article. Lastly, to receive more cutting-edge cyber security news, best practices and analyses, please sign up for the CyberTalk.org newsletter.