Cyber Attack on NHS & How to protect against Ransomware

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Cyber Attack on NHS by Wannacry – it certainly makes you feel like doing that.

The latest Ransomware attack on Friday 12th May 2017 has effected the NHS and GP’s in the UK along with other industries in many other countries. It has found a vulnerability in the Server Message Block (SMB) server, which allows access to files on a networked system. This is the biggest ever cyber attack, and as announced by the latest news programmes and online, it has caused major disruption to GP and hospital appointments, and some operations have been cancelled.

Cybercrime is big business and if you think you will never be a victim, think again. It can literally happen to any type or size of business, anywhere in the world.

Cyber Attack - Why do people do this?

Hackers like to prove the vulnerability in systems which are not keeping up to date with current operating software. So far, nobody has taken responsibility for this particular cyber attack. In the past, the Hacker responsible has owned up to it as they love the notoriety of doing this. It’s almost like wearing a badge of honour to them. Microsoft support their systems for over a decade and are usually extremely proactive with bringing out “patches” which help protect your business from this type of attack.

Microsoft was alerted to this particular weakness and released  a “patch” on 14th March 2017. Yes that is over 2 months ago. Unfortunately, Microsoft rely on the end users (that is the term for anyone who uses a PC, Laptop, Tablet or Smartphone to carry out their business, to keep their Windows updates current.  If you have IT Support, then the supplier you are using should be ensuring you are running these updates, or do them for you.

This patch listed all the operating systems which could be affected by this ransomware attack. This includes Windows 7, 8.1 and Windows 10. It also includes various server software such as Server 2008, 2012 and 2016.

To check this article, please visit the MS 17-010-Critical article at Microsoft: 

Nothing is ever 100% effective, but you can help to minimise the risk of cyber attack. For that reason we are always emphatic about the safety of your system and recommend that you have a robust Anti-virus installed on ALL of the devices you use for business purposes. It is also vital to back up your data. You can do this by using a hard drive, which needs to be taken off premises on a nightly basis in case you suffer from water damage, fire or theft.  You can choose to do this via the Cloud. There is a small monthly subscription charge to do this, and although some people do not like paying, it is far cheaper than losing your data. Best practice is to do both of these methods, so that should one fail for any reason, you can always recover your information from the other source. In other words, quite literally have a BACK UP!

Cyber Risk insurance products provide a range of affordable protection, visit the Butler Evans Cyber Insurance page for information on these products.

A business continuity plan is a brilliant way of putting into practice the “What if” scenario, should you fall victim to cybercrime. That is why keeping your system as safe as possible should be a priority. If your business is related to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) regulations, you are legally required from compliance reasons, to have all these steps in place and to carry them out as prescribed.
Cyber Attack Risk - Ask yourself these questions:

  • Can you afford down time? It may actually force you out of business.
  • Could you afford to lose your relationships with your Clients or Customers if their details are compromised?
  • Above all, could you afford to lose your reputation and livelihood?

Food for thought? Yes it is.

The IT Men are happy to come and talk to you about the storage and safety of your data. After all, it is not only just your information that is at risk. It is your Client or Customers’ sensitive data, too. It takes a long time to build up a reputation of trust and only moments to destroy it. Imagine if your details were compromised. I am sure you would not be too impressed.

Call 01909512196 or e-mail us on for a 1  hour free consultation. You have nothing to lose, and maybe a lot to gain.


Pam Hardy

The IT Men – Because IT Matters!

01909 512196