Cartoon: Ignoring software update pop-ups? You may get a ransom note instead.

    September 28, 2017

    Hackers prey on complacency like thieves checking cars in a parking lot: They don’t have to break windows if you leave the doors unlocked.

    They bet organisations won’t make simple software updates, and they’re often right.

    Just look at the WannaCry attacks earlier this year. The ransomware was designed to exploit a known weak spot in Windows—one for which Microsoft had issued a patch months before. Thousands of victims, who didn’t install the updates, were left with a tough choice if they didn’t have backups in place: Either pay a Bitcoin ransom to unlock their data or say goodbye to that information.

    Maybe we ignore regular updates because we’re too busy, or we don’t think they’re necessary. Or we see the pop-ups so often, we don’t give them a second look before we dismiss them.

    But regular updates are a crucial part of your cyber security—well worth the 15 minutes it takes to install them. Taking the most basic precautions by making sure every system in your organisation is up to date can’t prevent every cyberattack, but it’s often enough for hackers’ tools to skip your organization for one that’s less prepared.

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