News coverage of recent cybersecurity attacks shines a glaring spotlight on the vulnerability of our endpoint infrastructure in this increasingly technology-dependent world.
Exploits in the News
When the WannaCry ransomware infected more than 300,000 computers in over 74 countries in May 2017, it forced the UK National Health Service to turn patients away, resulted in a two-day shut down of LG self-service kiosks in South Korea, affected more than 40,000 businesses in China and threatened thousands of individual systems.
According to a New York Times article, the hackers behind the attack leveraged a hacking tool they stole from the National Security Association (N.S.A.) called “Eternal Blue.” Eternal Blue enabled the rapid spread of WannaCry by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Windows servers. Even though Microsoft had addressed the vulnerability via a patch in a March software update, large volumes of computers weren’t up-to-date to defend against this attack.
The incident was quickly followed up by other global ransomware attacks including Petya ransomware initiated in June, and the series of Equifax data breaches which started in May and were discovered in July before being reported to the public 6 weeks later. The Equifax breaches, like the WannaCry attack, were enacted by exploiting a software vulnerability that the firm attempted to patch months prior to the attack.
Costs of Exploits
Incidents like these are more common than you might think. According to a study conducted by Ponemon Institute and sponsored by IBM security, the probability of experiencing a data breach is 1 in 4 and costs around $141 per record on average. If your company or the clients you serve have as few as 20k records, that’s equivalent to $2.8 million dollars at risk.
Protecting systems from costly exploits, like just the few we mentioned, falls on IT. It’s imperative to have a centralized approach to maintaining machines and keeping them up-to-date with the latest software patches that are vital to protecting your overall network. Automating updates and patch deployment will ensure that your systems aren’t left unprotected and can save hours of time over updating each endpoint manually.
If you’re not managing or automating this critical function yet, try LogMeIn’s Central Premier for free for 14 days or request a demo from one of our Central pros. Make security your #1 priority and protect your endpoints today!