WannaCry Ransomware Infiltrates Systems Around the World

    May 22, 2017

    As widely reported, on May 12, the WannaCry ransomware strain infiltrated computer systems around the world, encrypting data and effectively “holding it hostage” until a ransom was paid. It’s likely this particular attack was delivered through a zip file attached to an e-mail. The malware included a “worm component” that let it rapidly spread from system to system. Older operating systems were especially vulnerable, as were those that hadn’t been updated properly.

    While there is no perfect safeguard against the seemingly constant barrage of malware and ransomware, this powerful attack is just one more reminder that an organization can best minimize its information risk by effecting a strategic information governance (IG) program that’s grounded in a true collaboration of key stakeholders – legal, IT records and information management (RIM), privacy, business, audit.

    Inherent in an IG program are such components as:

    • RIM best practices (for example, adhering to an organizational retention schedule, and allotting program resources to protect the right data rather than all data);
    • a business continuity plan that backs up the organization’s data, especially its vital records;
    • an IT program, designed collaboratively, that considers such factors as privacy, security, and cyber-crime risk; and
    • employee training on how to sniff out “phishy” e-mails and recognize other cyber-crime efforts.


    ARMA International is dedicated to assisting those who manage and protect a company’s data. For more information on our tools and resources, visit

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