Is your business braced for a NHS-level cyber attack like the recent breach that spanned computers across the globe? There’s a good chance you’re more open to attack than you think.
Massive cyber attacks like the recent NHS attack are a new level of danger beyond simple computer viruses affecting one or two machines. Attacks like these can decimate an entire organization – or government agency’s – IT infrastructure, leaving them at the wills of hackers and putting organizations in constant threat of continued attack.
What made this attack different?
In 2017, the world is not naive to widespread cyber attacks. However, the scale of the recent NHS attack is global – and unlike any ransomware attack seen before.
This ransomware attack utilized the program WannaCry, which when opened accidentally, accesses and encrypts all the files on a user’s computer. In order to regain access to the computer’s files, the user would have to pay the hackers a ransom, in this case about $300 per machine. The worst part is, access to the files after payment can never be verified – it’s the cost of dealing with a thief.
How could this have been avoided?
WannaCry was used in conjunction with a vulnerability in Microsoft’s Windows platform, which powers the majority of the world’s professional computers. Avoidance of the NHS attack could have been completed with one simple step – the update to an outdated security flaw.
Microsoft realized there was a security leak in their software before the attack, and released a patch to fix the bug in March. However, many organizations don’t remain current on their software updates, so for any outdated computers that came in contact with the virus it was time to get locked down.
Remaining up-to-date on security patches and updates is vital for cyber security. If the UK’s NHS has made proper updates mandatory and ensured every machine was secure, the attack wouldn’t have had as crippling effect as it did on the country.
How can I avoid these kinds of attacks?
The first step your organization can take before enlisting the help of an IT consultant is to ensure your vital systems all have backups.
Having backups in place ensure that, if your organization is besieged by a cyberattack and all your data is lost, at least you’ll have most of your recent data ready for you to hit the ground running.
The next step is to find an IT consultant to work with to ensure your systems are fully updated and safe against the latest threats. When you work with a trusted IT consultant, they bring in the expertise you need to ensure your network remains clean of any malicious software. This means you’re ensuring that your IT and cybersecurity requirements are met with the top-notch care they deserve, meaning your business will be safer than ever.
You have enough to worry about when running your business – let us worry about preventing tomorrow’s cyber attack.