Friday's ransomware attack affected tens of thousands of computers worldwide, including some at 40 National Health Service hospitals in Great Britain. The ransomware, called Wanna Decryptor, WCry or WannaCry, targets a Microsoft Windows vulnerability.
To make sure you're not the next victim, you need a combination of technological and personnel actions, said David Chou, chief information and digital officer at Children's Mercy Kansas City.
Here are three steps systems can take to prepare:
1. Update your computer systems. Microsoft patched their weak spot last March but those that didn't update their software were vulnerable to the hack. Make sure you always are running the latest version of Microsoft's software.
2. Train your staff to recognize a suspicious email—and know not to open it, download any attachments or click on any links in it. Ransomware creep in through email, which is likely what happened on Friday. "Your biggest risk in terms of security isn't actually external—it's internal," Chou said.
3. Back up your data. If you have a copy of all the information stored on your machines and it is encrypted, you won't have pay a ransom to access your files; all you'll have to do is load your backup.