The Guardian reported this week that leading global brands such as Maersk and DLA Piper have been victim to the latest Ransomware attack “Petya”. Just a month ago we sent a mailer highlighting “WannaCry”, which hit over 150 countries and more than 200,000 victims - causing chaos for Renault, FedEx and, in the UK, meant that the NHS had to cancel many operations and appointments. The BBC reported that it had even affected speed camera operating systems in Australia, meaning nearly 600 speeding tickets had to be cancelled! Joy for some but a huge cost to put right.

So, if these big brands are open to attack, how do you do put in place the tools to help prevent this happening to your business?

Firstly, some explanation: what is Ransomware?

Ransomware is malicious software that encrypts files stored on a device (such as computers or servers) and then demands a ransom to unlock them, often the cost of the ransom is increased after a certain amount of days, it can also threaten to delete files if the ransom is not paid.

Ransomware has quickly become one of the most infectious and feared threats in business environments. Ironically, the main cost is not the ransom itself, but the business downtime it causes – so it is not surprising that only a third of businesses believe they will recover from a ransomware attack without significant losses.

How can you avoid it?

Our top tips for avoiding any kind of computer virus or malware, including ransomware are:

  • Install Anti-Virus/Malware Software – and run regular scans
  • Keep your software up to date - including operating system and antivirus program
  • Think before you click – don’t open email attachments or links from someone you don’t know

If you don’t have anti-virus installed, or the ransomware was too sophisticated to be stopped in time and your data is infected, there is very little that can be done to unlock the files, even if the ransom is paid the files are often never unencrypted.

We highly recommended implementing a reliable backup solution and performing regular scheduled backups, this would allow you to restore infected files and minimise damage caused.

Together with our newly acquired group company, Landscape Networks, (see our latest press release) we can offer a wide variety of backup solutions to protect PC’s and servers, hybrid solutions which provide on-site backups with off-site cloud replication.

If you have any questions about ransomware, anti-virus and backups, or have any cyber-security needs or concerns, please do get in touch for a no obligation chat on how we can help you prevent attacks hurting your business!