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And what it may mean to public assembly facility operations in the future. By Russ Simons

Unless you have been living under a rock or producing multiple events simultaneously, perhaps you have been coordinating change- overs, settling shows, booking future events, conducting a renovation or been involved in any of the multitude of activities that public assembly facility professionals regularly deal with, you have heard about the latest global Ransomware attack “Wannacry.” Before I address the “Wannacry” attack, I want to set the foun-

dation for Ransomware. Simply stated, Ransomware is a program that takes control of your computer, encrypting your information,  photos, are no longer available to you. The perpetrator will then hold the information hostage until you pay for the encryption key. Should you pay? Most experts agree that you should not pay the ransom. Easy for them to say, as it is not their information that has been kidnapped. The reason that experts recommend not paying is because there is no guarantee whatsoever that the payment will  encourages more Ransomware attacks.

How to protect your information: According to Carnegie Mellon University’s Software Engineering Institute, the best tool you have to protect your information is a very   -  system restore points and shadow copies, which could have been used to partially restore data after a ransomware attack. Backups should be stored on a separate system that cannot be ac- cessed from a network and updated regularly to ensure that a system  many people who thought that their information was protected, but failed to check to ensure that the restore protocols were viable. That is when they understood that their data was truly gone.

Other strategies: • Educate employees. Ransomware often infects a system through

email attachments, downloads, and web browsing. Organizations should conduct regular training to help employees avoid common malware mistakes.  • It is also important to regularly verify the data backup process to

ensure backups are capturing all necessary data and that the restore process works properly. You don’t want to discover that it is defective at the point you need to restore data from it. It is also important to point out that popular online backup solutions may be vulnerable to a ransomware attack, as the backed-up data may be overwritten with a newer version that is already encrypted by ransomware. • Restrict administrative and system access. Some strains of ran-

somware are designed to use a system administrator account to per- form their operations. • Maintain and update software. Another important, yet basic, rule for protecting against and/or ensuring early detection of ran-

36 Facility Manager Magazine

somware is to maintain and update software, security and anti-mal- ware software. • American Security Today suggests that you ask yourself one funda-

  to be compromised?”

Establish an incident response team: Far too often, internal confusion about how to respond to an active cyber threat delays an adequate response. Lines of communication must be established in advance, along with a clear chain of com- mand and a decision-making tree. Note, the chain of command to            needed. This team needs to be intimately familiar with which systems can be safely shut down. Do not forget that it is important to know how to shut the systems down including sequencing. You are encouraged to think through in advance what the expected and unexpected con- sequences will be from those actions. If this is not communicated and trained in advance, then there is a very real chance to cause additional harm. It is also important to determine if a live threat    A variety of threat scenarios need to be considered and drills de- signed to identify gaps in procedures and what tools or resources are  The cyber event incident response team also needs to have a means of communicating that does not rely on the availability or integrity of the organization’s IT. Finally, you need to address a common problem experienced even

by organizations that have an incident response team in place. This team needs to have the authority to make decisions and changes. Bottlenecking the decision-making process can delay response times  

“Wannacry” Ransomware: The most recent wave of ransomware, “Wannacry,” appeared on Friday, May 12, 2017 and quickly spread across the globe. It has been determined that the ransomware spreads on its own by scan- ning for systems vulnerable to MS17-010 (a vulnerability within Mi- crosoft’s SMB protocol). We are, in my opinion, only at the beginning of more frequent and destructive ransomware attacks and other malware attacks. My  to minimize exposure, as the vast majority of these types of attacks FM

          Solutions Group. Russ leads the Cyber Working Group for the IAVM Safety & Security Committee.

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