The Internet Of Things

Ransomware attack

We’ve had several questions from customers about the recent “ransomware” attack which hit many individuals, organisations and businesses including the NHS.  Hopefully, you were not affected by it. However, it highlights the need to keep up to date with standard security updates to your system.  In fact, Microsoft did issue an update to Windows 7 and 10 users two months ago which protected against this attack. However, many businesses don’t enable automatic updates since they often have their own custom software which may be impacted by updates from Microsoft. The NHS is one such organization.  Many of their computers are still running Windows XP for this reason, so they didn’t receive the update and as a result infected.

However, we cannot rely on Microsoft getting an update to us each and every time, so this should be seen as a warning. If you have not done so you should implement the following as soon as possible.

  • Enable “Automatic Updates”. This is the default setting so it’s probably in place but best to check. Some people will tell you that you should wait with updates and that they can crash your system. Very, very rarely this may happen, but generally, you’re quite safe to do so.  The big downside to not installing the security updates is that you do leave yourself open to attack. Nothing is 100% but keeping up to date and following the next recommendations reduces your chances of being infected, and minimises the impact in the unlikely event that you are. 
  • Make sure that your security software is up to date and working (e.g. Norton, McAfee, Kaspersky or Windows Defender)
  • Make sure that you have a current backup of your most important information, photos, documents etc. Cloud-based systems are available which are secure and can automatically update your backup each time you change or add a document or photo.
  • Make sure that you know how to access your backup – sounds obvious but many people take the trouble to back up but do not know how to access their backup or even if it is valid and complete.

If you need any help with your security or in setting or managing your backup, please get in touch and we will be happy to help.

As a final reminder, we will be running our courses (which include how to implement the above recommendations) at the beginning of June. Call us or see the Training page for more details.