Leaked NSA Malware Poses Massive Risk to Organizations
Earlier this week, the tech world was rocked by the release of a cache of malware and software released to the general public that poses an immense security risk to organizations across the globe. Shadow Brokers, an organization that has leaked hacks and malware before, leaked software that targets systems from Windows XP to 10, and Windows Sever 2003 to 2016. The software is capable of breaking into and seizing control of these systems remotely. Unfortunately, most users work on an operating system that’s older than the latest version, putting millions of systems at risk.
Once this software was leaked, anyone with sufficient technical knowledge could immediately use this data to take control of server and desktop systems. These powerful tools were able to compromise a massive number of systems and were at the disposal of all hackers to use freely.
Threats like this one do not typically impact home users as much, since the system settings are not usually changed and firewalls not usually removed. There is a much greater risk to business users as they are more valuable targets, and system settings are often tweaked and customized to allow for actions like covert screen viewing, keylogging, data theft, identify theft, ransomware, and more. A server compromise can leave your entire network and your private, or your clients private, data open to theft, ransom, and manipulation. Hackers gaining information to access bank accounts can lead to crippling financial loss. Furthermore, it’s easy for organizations without a skilled and dedicated senior system administrator and IT team to fall well behind in their security and patching, opening a huge opportunity for attack and loss.
This software leak has organizations all over the world immediately searching for solutions to prevent or minimize the potential damage from these exploits, including future and undiscovered ones.
Luckily for many organizations, the updates released this month contained patches to protect organizations from the vulnerabilities cited by this leak. Microsoft customers using updated and supported Microsoft programs and systems are safe from these exploits – assuming the patches have been installed and verified. However, this means that those using an outdated system, such as Windows XP/Vista, Windows Server 2003, and Exchange 2007, are still at risk.
This event serves as a reminder to all customers to keep your systems updated and to only use Microsoft, and other, products that are actively supported by the vendor. Performing updates as soon as they are released help keep your system safe from large scale security threats like this one. If you still work with an outdated system that is no longer supported by Microsoft, now is the perfect time to upgrade.
If you work with Microsoft’s supported systems and most recent updates, when there are large leaks or security threats similar to this, typically you will be able to protect your system as soon as a patch or the next update is released. More often than not, systems get compromised or hacked because they aren’t using the most recent updates, not simply because of a malware leak.
Upgrade and Manage Your System with Outsource IT to Keep Your Data Safe
When there is a security threat of this level released to public, it’s essential that your IT Team reacts swiftly and effectively to protect you and your organization. At Outsource IT, we ensured that our Managed Services clients were immediately taken care of, addressing any concerns from them and working to better understand the threats. Our clients’ systems were thoroughly reviewed and patched in a high priority emergency manner.
If you are still working on unsupported Microsoft products or lack an effective IT management solution, contact Outsource IT. We can help upgrade your system and provide management and support of your system in an ongoing, proactive manner.