What is WannaCry and how does it affect you?

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You will no doubt have heard about the cyber security attack of the last few days but if by any chance you’ve been on a remote island or simply not seen TV news or read a newspaper, please see http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-39915440

The headlines are focused on the fact that the NHS was worst affected but in reality it is a global threat that potentially affects any organisation, business or individual PC user in hundreds of countries worldwide.

What is WannaCry?

WannaCry is what is known as ransomware. This is a form of malware that encrypts and locks you out of accessing your files and applications on your PC or Laptop unless you pay a ransom fee. Paying the ransom fee does not however guarantee that your files and PC will in fact be released and in most cases does not.

What Should You Do?

  1. Don’t Panic!

If you are a BCS client then we already proactively assess and deploy patches directly to your servers and workstations so you should be OK. I say “should be” because some PCs are turned off at night or for whatever reason may not have been in use since this attack took place. Such devices should be updated as soon as possible. If you need assistance in doing so, please contact us by emailing helpdesk@365itsupport.co.uk  or calling our service team on 01843 572600.

  1. Be Vigilant

Notify your users to be extra cautious right now – even clicking on a suspicious attachment could instigate a ransomware attack. DO NOT download anything that claims to be a fix for the current problem. It won’t be. Please check with us if you are not sure, the team here will be happy to take a look and advise you.

  1. Beef Up Your Security

Ensure that your security software is not only up-to-date but still fit for purpose. There is sadly no such thing as 100% security (anyone trying to tell you otherwise is misguided) and it’s a question of making sure that computer security keeps abreast of the current “threat landscape”. There is no one piece of software or security gadget that provides complete cover.  All BCS customers have Webroot Endpoint Protection and OpenDNS included in the support package.  There are additional security features that can be put in place to help protect your data.  If you would like to discuss this further please feel free to give us a call or send an email.

  1. Review Your Backup and Disaster Recovery

Without 100% security, the importance of backup simply cannot be underestimated. Daily backups are essential in order that you have the ability to “roll back” to previous “good” data if the worst were to happen. Again, if you are unsure about whether you are backing up and/or what exactly is being backed up, please contact us for a sanity check. Now may also be a good time to review your disaster recovery arrangements. We are here to help.

  1. Train Your People

Unfortunately, even with all the necessary software and hardware protection the biggest risk to your data is the users.  Initially it is advised to communicate this message out to all your team so they understand the risk of opening a unexpected attachment or clicking on a link they are not sure about.  BCS also offer a number of training opportunities for your users, all included in your support package.  Our BCS Learning Zone can help your team feel more confident using their PC, please visit our website to see the courses available.

In addition to this BCS have our own online cybersecurity training for our customers at http://bcseduation.co.uk. To get a code for this course simply email us at hello@365itsupport or call us on 01843 572600 and speak to Amanda, David or Rebecca.

Not a customer of BCS? Don’t worry we hold monthly lunch and learns on cybersecurity that you can attend. You can find out more about these events here:

Remember, if in any doubt, please do not hesitate to contact us.