By now, most have heard or been affected by the WannaCry ransomware that has spread to over 150 countries at last count.

The WannaCry ransomware started taking over users’ files on Friday, demanding $300 to restore access.

Hundreds of thousands of computers have been affected so far. Computer giant Microsoft said the attack should serve as a wake-up call.

The first line of defense in this is always having a properly maintained firewall both on your network and on each individual computer system. However, as we all know, your network can and will be breached at some point, whether or not it is due to WannaCry or some other ransomware or virus; it will happen.

What is the best defense against ransomware and other malware?

A good backup!

It sounds simple, but amazingly most either are not doing backups or not verifying that the backup works. I worked with an organization that had been backing up for several years, but had never tested restoring the files. Well, they got hit with a bad virus, and it was determined that restoring the previous day’s backup would be the best way to recover. Unfortunately, the backup was corrupted and would not work. We went back to previous days and weeks, and none of their backups were good.

Having a backup is not good for anything if you can’t actually recover the data when you need it.

  1.  To get started, investigate business level backup systems that will work in your environment. It truly is a case by case basis on which backup system is right for your organization; depending on size, speed, hours, etc.
  2. Schedule restore tests on a regular basis to make sure that you have a valid backup that you can recover from in the case of an attack.
  3. Maintain the backup system to ensure that it is considered “mission critical” as it is the last line of defense for your entire business.

Bottom line:  Stay ahead of ransomware by maintaining complete, working backups!

For questions about how to evaluate and improve your own backup practices or for a comprehensive Security Risk Assessment, contact us at


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