Steps Hedge Fund Managers Should Take to Defend Against the Rising Threat of Ransomware in the Wake of WannaCry

An aggressive ransomware attack – referred to as WannaCry, WCry or Wanna Decryptor – recently spread across more than 150 countries and quickly affected hundreds of thousands of victims. WannaCry was a wake-up call for many about the rising threat of ransomware, which extorts payments from people and organizations after infecting and encrypting their systems. In light of the recent attack, the SEC has issued guidance to its registrants on its expectations in this area. With WannaCry as its backdrop, this article describes common elements of ransomware attacks; provides background on the increased prevalence of these attacks; and outlines protective measures recommended by the SEC, as well as other suggestions from industry experts, that all hedge fund managers should review against their own policies and procedures. See “K&L Gates-IAA Panel Provides Comprehensive Overview of Cybersecurity Laws and Threats Applicable to Investment Managers (Part One of Two)” (Apr. 23, 2015).

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