If your IT provider didn’t reach out to you about the WannaCry threat, you might want to reassess your relationship. Being pro-active should be an IT providers first priority when it comes to your technology security. At one time deploying patches so quickly to ensure patch stability was not common practice. Now it’s good policy to automate and report on patches before issues arise. A good IT professional, makes sure you have the latest protections in place. For instance, we now deploy critical patches asap as the risk in today’s security climate is too great to wait and see if a patch is good or bad. We automatically deploy patches as part of our standard service agreement with clients. The result is a safer network and peace of mind for our clients. In fact, we had deployed a patch for the most recent threat back in March when Microsoft first discovered the vulnerability. The last thing any client wants is a disruption in their business. Our pro-active approach allowed our clients to continue business as usual.
Rest assured there will be more threats in the future. The question then becomes “How can I make sure my IT provider is protecting me from the next threat?”. If you haven’t done so already, it’s a good idea to contact your IT provider and see if deploying patches is part of your normal service agreement. If you were affected by WannaCry it could mean that your provider wasn’t staying on top of the latest security updates. Moving forward you can set-up your Windows machines to automatically install the latest software updates. Make sure to confirm with your IT provider that they are running up-to-date antivirus software on your systems. The software is not foolproof, but it will help decrease your chances of being infected with a virus. Also, don’t open any suspicious emails or links. It’s believed that the WannaCry virus first infected machines via email attachments. Avoid clicking on pop-ups is also highly recommended since this is another known method of infecting your computer.
The bottom line is if you use an IT provider to make sure you know what you’re getting. Know what is included in your service agreement and be vigilant about your security. Make sure your data is backed up as a precaution. It’s easy to get complacent, especially when you hire an IT team. When it comes to your business never assume you’re protected, confirm it directly. At the end of the day if you’re not satisfied that your IT provider is working diligently to protect you, you might consider moving in a new direction.