Amid fears that Friday’s large-scale cyber-attack may cause further disruption to businesses, Operations Director at Nottingham based insurance brokers Russell Scanlan, Andy Jenkins, discusses the importance of increased protection against hackers.
The Ransom-ware attack on the NHS and other businesses over the weekend has seen unprecedented system failure on a global scale, affecting 200,000 computers world-wide and continued disruption for Nottingham businesses, schools and hospitals.
There is no surprise that this attack has been labelled a ‘wakeup call’ by both Microsoft and the Government – the hackers behind this virus strain have preyed on new-found weaknesses to target businesses who have failed to keep their Windows systems up to date.
As cyber criminals become more and more sophisticated we have seen an influx of businesses looking to step up their cyber security, but cases like this show that more needs to be done. Small and medium enterprises who do not see cyber protection as a priority are particularly vulnerable to attacks and reports already show that this sector has been more likely to pay ransoms to hackers.
Hackers’ techniques are constantly evolving, which means patching the problem simply won’t suffice. Protection and insurance against attacks must be constantly reviewed and developed to protect your company from harmful new methods of infiltration. It is essential to implement the following risk management techniques:
- Have robust back up procedures in place
- Keep your software patching up to date
- Implement regular phishing training for staff
- Arrange adequate cyber insurance cover
Consider backing up files to multiple locations and if portable drives are used, ensure that they are encrypted.
If yours is one of the unlucky companies that has been hit by this most recent wave, our most vital piece of advice is: do not pay the ransom. Communicating with cyber criminals will do more harm than good; there is no guarantee that your data will be restored and the potential of repeat attacks is increased. Review your insurance policies and contact a cyber expert who can get your system up and running again.
Ransom-ware is likely to have irreversibly lost thousands of business files across the globe and seven NHS trusts that were hit are still facing serious issues which are sure to have knock on effects for thousands of patients in what appears to be one of the biggest breaches in cyber security on record.
This latest attack is a prime example of how cyber security simply must be a priority for every business owner, whatever the size of the company.