Ransomware is a colossal problem for organisations around the world. Understanding what it is and how it can affect you is important if you want to stay safe.
Ransomware is a type of malware that intended to prevent you from accessing your systems and data by encrypting computers and servers. The encryption is only unlocked when you pay the ransom but it is unwise to do this as many cases have been reported where ransoms have been paid and no decryption has happened.
Businesses impacted by Ransomware are encountering a number of issues over and above access to systems and data. More often than not, organisations suffer productivity loss, loss of revenue and crucially, customer confidence is negatively affected.
The UK government are now categorising cyber threats as ‘Tier 1’ issues; this is a threat level in the same tier as acts of terrorism, such is the chaos caused by a severe attack.
What can you do?
The approach encompasses a number of areas and no single counter measure exists that can provide 100% protection.
Below are a few examples of steps your organisation can take to reduce your attack vectors:
- Update and replace software that is end of life. Windows XP being a prime example
- Ensure patch management and change control procedures exist for your systems
- Deploy up to date antivirus software for all devices
- Educate staff and mandate user IT policies to make sure they understand their responsibility
WannaCry – NHS
The recent WannaCry attack highlights the need for good IT management and governance. Following some simple steps can reduce the risk posed by these threats.
The NHS was crippled across large areas due to poor patch management and running old operating systems – Windows XP. What makes this much worse is that senior management were notified a patch was available to update the flaw WannaCry exploited. This maintenance was not actioned and the results were disastrous.
How HW Technology can help?
Our managed IT service covers off the management and monitoring of your devices. As part of this service, HW Technology will perform regular maintenance to patch and update software, monitor antivirus software and provide educational information to staff on a regular basis. We also deploy additional counter measures that can improve your security. End user support is also included and we have a hosted desktop solution that can improve security across any organisation.