By Ian Bush

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The feared ‘second wave’ of devastating cyber attacks never materialized, but that doesn’t mean computers are out of the woods after 300,000 PCs were infected around the world.

New variations of this vicious ransomware are emerging, and they won’t be the last.

Kevin Hyde, the managing director at Layer 8 Security in Exton said, “We expect the unexpected. We say, ‘OK, a new strain of ransomware. Now, what do we need to do to help companies prepare for it?'”

Hyde says his teams first checked defenses of clients based in Europe or those who use data centers there, since that’s where WannaCry initially took hold.

“There’s always a way to get in,” he said “If you’re using an outdated system, that’s a great way to get in if you’re a criminal.”

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Microsoft has offered a patch for the security hole in older versions of Windows like XP, 8, and Server 2003 which allows this ransomware to encrypt computer files and demand payment to get them unlocked.

“The instruction is to elevate your security posture,” he said.

Make yourself a hard target, Hyde says.

This can begin with simple steps like backing up your files, patching software, treating attachments and links with caution. And businesses of every size should have a cybersecurity framework in place.

“A few years ago, it may have seemed like overkill; today, it’s the new normal,” said Hyde. “And the sooner companies adapt to that, the better off they’ll be.”

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