The NHS Cyber Attack in retrospect could have been worse; it could have also been a data breach.
This time the cyber attack was a simple email attachment that was designed to lock people out of their IT systems and data, it could have also contained a virus that was designed to harvest patient data! The failings of the NHS with its vast array of inter-connected systems, some dating back over 30 years to prevent a ransomware attack should act as a warning to all.
The average cyber-criminal is not particular about who they attack, so long as the attack makes the headlines and they make money.
The supply chain is a prime target, so SMEs whose livelihood is derived from supplying household names are a prime target. If you communicate with your customers electronically you could be used to infiltrate and infect your customer’s systems just as if the virus had been delivered directly.
The Government views cyber-crime as being on a par with terrorism. In other words, it is a ‘Tier 1’ threat.
Cybercrime is a challenge for smaller organisations without big IT budgets, but all is not lost. With care, owners can protect their businesses.
The West Midlands Regional Cyber Crime Unit has recorded that 80% of cybercrime is easily preventable if organisations adopt some basic security measures.
Do not think because you have anti-virus software and email filtering solutions in place you are protected. The exact solution to cyber security covers a range of areas including patch management, anti-virus software, gateway security, user education, company policies and procedures.
There is plenty of advice available online, such as on Government sponsored sites, but if you are not honest with yourself about your approach to cyber-security and you don’t take the threat seriously sooner or later you will become a victim – don’t let that happen.
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