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Catalan companies contribute to the development of system to prevent ransomware attacks

The project consists of a 20-minute training course with pointers on avoiding risk 

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10 August 2017 05:28 PM

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ACN | Barcelona

Two Catalan companies contributed to the development of an innovative system to prevent ransomware from hacking computers of companies around the world. The project, called SafeUser, consists of a 20-minute on-line training course in which employees working with computers learn to identify where there might be a risk of being attacked and what measures to take to avoid threats. It may seem like a simple system. However, the firms involved believe that attacks at a global level like the ‘Wanna Cry’ one in May 2017, affecting over 300,000 computers worldwide including the British healthcare service, could be avoided if more care was taken. 

“The human factor is vital to guaranteeing the security of corporate computer systems,” said Antonio Herrera, director general of one of the promoters of the course, Catalan-based TechClass Academy. “It’s true that popular antivirus software and firewalls have managed to limit cyberattacks, but hackers have found a weakness that helps them infiltrate networks: every user account or profile.”

  • "Hackers have found a weakness that helps them infiltrate: every user profile"

    Antonio Herrera · director general of firm TechClass Academy

A seemingly inoffensive email can become a nightmare not only for the employee who opens it, but also for the whole company. According to Herrera, emails are among the greatest threats, so he recommends being very careful with the sender. “We have to be very careful with the attached files that we open as well as the addresses,” he added. Links asking for system data which seem real are also frequent ways to “steal information” in order to break into the computer, highlighted Herrera. Once they are in, ransomware such as ‘Wanna Cry’ encrypt data and ask for money to get the information back.

Any type of company can use the training course, which includes a test to check if the user has reached the skills needed. SafeUser launched a month ago as a result of a joint effort by Catalan companies TechClass Academy and Microblau/Colt, along with Madrid-based The Security Sentinel and ELIUM Advanced Technology Education. 

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  • Antonio Herrera, director general of TechClass Academy

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