The Business Exchange Swindon & Wiltshire TBE S&W JUNE JULY 2017 - Page 22

TECHNOLOGY Hear it from the experts… ARE YOU RANSOMWARE READY? In the wake of the recent global cyber attack affecting our NHS and other recognised companies such as Nissan, FedEx and Deutsche Bahn, many experts are wondering how 200,000 people succumbed to such a widespread attack. WHAT HAS HAPPENED? WHAT IS RANSOMWARE? The ransomware that affected 61 NHS hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies across England and Scotland, exploited a vulnerability in unpatched Windows XP machines, which form the backbone of many NHS systems and essential services. Once in the system, this ransomware was able to spread to other machines throughout the network like wildfire and impacted thousands of patients across the country. Ransomware is a type of virus/malicious software which sole purpose is to deny access to your computer files until a sum of money is paid out. Typically ransomware restricts access by encrypting your entire file system and in some cases, these files are not decrypted even when the ransom is paid! The strain of ransomware named “WannaCrypt”, which was the culprit of the recent attack, encrypted more than 200,000 devices in over 150 countries and demanded payment in the region of $500. The economic impact of an attack on this scale is still unknown and only time will 22 THE BUSINESS EXCHANGE 2017 tell. It is a bit cliché to say but “prevention is always better than cure” and it is advisable that essential measures are taken to protect your business against future attacks. HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF CIS are ensuring that all our clients and businesses in the local area are protected against this vulnerability. Our message is clear, it’s important that all machines are fully patched with recent Windows security updates, that an appropriate level of anti-virus is in place and that you have a strong backup position to recover your system if you are unfortunate enough to experience a ransomware attack. Disaster recovery is key and CIS are experts in delivering solutions that will help keep your business running if you’re affected. We would like to restate the message expressed by many cyber security experts of ensuring that best measures are in place and not to give into the demands of the hackers by paying the ransom. Contact CIS for a FREE vulnerability assessment by calling 01367 700 555 @CIS_Oxford