It was only two months ago that the WannaCry ransomware attack hit global computers, creating headlines that warned everyone to update their computers and avoid risky online behaviour. Anyone, and that included companies, who failed to do so was at risk of losing any data stored on their computers.
Panic over WannaCry lasted for about a day, largely due to the fact that computer engineers discovered a way to shut down the attack, albeit largely by luck. Their method didn’t restore any lost data, but it did stop the attack from spreading. Within a week, the headlines faded away and people went back to their old habits of unsafe computing. Computers are not being updated. Unwanted emails are being carelessly opened. People are clicking on links from strangers.
This inability to learn from past mistakes means that this week, the tech world is once again being brought to its knees by yet another cyberattack, this one under the name Petya. Hackers DO learn from their mistakes, and this attack so far seems to be unstoppable. Petya has shut down factories, affected hospitals and closed law offices.
There is a long list of people we can blame for this, but responsibility must start with the user. Everyone, from the newest web surfer to IT managers, must start taking responsibility for their online behaviour and making sure their equipment has the latest updates and patches. This will at times be frustrating and it won’t always be free, but living in the internet age requires new responsibilities. Failing to do this will allow hackers to continue to inflict widespread damage. Take the time to make sure your devices are running the current software and everyone knows proper online behaviour.