WannaCry Dont Let Your Business Be Held To Ransom

Date Added 02.07.17

WannaCry is estimated to have affected over 300.000 computers worldwide. In the UK the NHS was the worst hit but worldwide major companies such as Telefonica in Spain, Deutsche Bahn in Germany and Fed-EX the international shipper were all affected. The immediate problems caused by cyber-attack have now abated but what can business do to protect themselves from future similar ransomware attacks?

In simple terms ransomware attacks are commonly delivered by emails which trick recipients into opening attachments which then launch the attack. On gaining access to your computer the criminals then lock and encrypt your files and demand payment (usually by Bitcoin). Whether or not the victim pays up is entirely a matter of choice but if you do there is absolutely no guarantee that the criminals will release your files. They may simply demand further payments or even delete the files.

What you should do is:

  1. notify Action Fraud; and
  2. turn off the affected computer and disconnect it from your network.

Preventative steps that everyone should take are simple:

  • Always install updates and patches issued by your software suppliers.
  • Make sure your anti-virus protection software is up to date.
  • Never download software or apps from unofficial sources.
  • Always make sure you have available a full back up of your files which is stored outside of your network and so will still be accessible if a cyber-attack occurs.
  • Educate your staff about the risks of opening attachments to emails if there is anything at all suspicious about the address from which the email has been sent. Do not just look at the name of the sender – check the email address too.

Businesses can also sign up to Cyber Essentials the government endorsed standard on cyber security. If you supply, or you aspire to be a supplier, under a government contract then Cyber Essentials certification is now mandatory.

The National Cyber Security Service in the UK has issued new guidance for businesses and home owners.

It is reported that 1 in 4 UK businesses reported a cyber breach or attack in the last 12 months. Everyone should take steps as a matter of course to protect their systems. If you would like more information please talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and ask to speak to Liz Appleyard in our Commercial Team.

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