The NHS Cyber Attack – What Your Business Needs To Know
What exactly happened?
A major cyber attack hit over 200,000 computers in 150 different countries. The virus used known vulnerabilities in Windows server and desktop operating systems to spread from computer to computer and was extremely effective due to the fact that it was capable of spreading without any human interaction.
What happens when a computer is infected?
The virus scans the computer for certain types of files and encrypts them so the user can no longer access them. The virus then displays a popup demanding a ransom that the user can pay to regain access to their files. Cyber security companies are working to produce a tool to recover the files but due to the strength of the encryption this may be very difficult or even impossible.
Has the virus stopped spreading?
The virus in its current form is no longer spreading but it is extremely likely that there will soon be variants of this virus that will be more advanced and more difficult to stop.
Are the computers in my business at risk?
In March Microsoft released a patch that fixed this problem for all currently supported Windows operating systems. This means if your desktop clients are using Windows Vista or later and your servers are using Windows Server 2008 or later, and are up to date with the latest security patches, then you should be protected from the current cyber attack. Windows XP did not receive this update.
What should I do if any of my computers are infected?
If your computer has been infected then power it down and contact your I.T. support company for advice.
What measures should I take to prevent my business from this kind attack in the future?
There are steps that can be taken to minimise the risk of becoming a victim of a cyber attack. These include:
Antivirus – Having up to date Antivirus protection is very important for detecting incoming viruses.
Updates – It is critical that your computers have the latest updates and security patches. This can be managed and monitored by your I.T. support company for peace of mind.
Education – Most virus infections are caused by user error. It is important to educate your users so that they are aware of the methods used by cyber criminals and know how they can avoid infecting your network. Please read our previous articles here and here regarding how to avoid viruses and online scams.
Backups – In the event of data loss (or encryption) it is essential that you can restore from a recent backup. It is important that your backup systems are functioning properly and monitored regularly. Speak to your I.T. support company to make sure you have good backup systems in place.
Security – There are additional measures that can be taken to lock down your network and make it more secure. Speak to your I.T. support company about implementing additional security to protect your systems.
If you need any further information or if there’s anything we can do to help, let us know by replying to this email or by calling 028 9146 9751