15/05/17

Cyber Attack on NHS – How to Keep YOUR Business Safe

The cyber attack on hospitals across
England has locked staff out of their computers and forced many NHS trusts to
divert emergency patients. Reports show the IT systems of NHS sites across the country appear to have been simultaneously hit, with a pop-up message demanding a ransom in exchange for access to the PCs. It has been reported that as well as details of patient records and appointment schedules, internal phone lines and emails, have all been rendered inaccessible. With the data inaccessible the business is brought to a halt.

Ransomware, a malicious software designed to block access to a computer system until a sum
of money is paid, has been used large-scale to freeze information, including
patient records.

We warned in
February that this malicious software was targeting organisations across the
board and that businesses should take action to protect themselves against cyber
threats and implement essential security controls. Many have, but as we can see from the
fallout from the NHS ransomware attack – those who haven’t could face terrible
consequences. 70% of businesses which suffer
catastrophic data loss are closed within 18 months (UK DTI). If the sum of the
ransom is fairly low, and results in immediate access back into systems, it may make sense to some business owners to pay it. The NHS, victims of such a large scale
cyber attack, will not be faced with a small ransom and the data could be
frozen for some time.

At PC Net we encourage businesses to become part of Cyber Essentials, a new Government-backed and
industry supported scheme to guide businesses in protecting themselves against
cyber threats. A lot of businesses think they have
adequate security in place but viruses and malicious software adapts over time
– and security measures often remain unchanged. The Cyber Essentials scheme provides
businesses of all sizes with clarity on good basic cyber security practice. By focusing on basic cyber hygiene,
companies will be better protected from the most common cyber threats.

Cyber Essentials is for all
organisations, of all sizes, in all sectors and the Government is encouraging
businesses to adopt the requirements as appropriate to their business. This is not limited to companies in the
private sector, but is also applicable to universities, charities and public
sector organisations. For more information search for Cyber
Essentials on www.gov.uk

If you are a PC Net Solutions client we
can guide you through the process so please feel free to give us a call at
anytime on (01743) 290588.