Ransomware Cyber Security

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As you may be aware, there has been an outbreak of a 'ransomware' type of computer virus called WannaCry, affecting users in many countries around the world. These have included firms such as FedEx and many NHS trusts. It is believed to have led to 57,000 infections in 99 countries.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks and encrypts a user's files until a ransom is paid. Cyber security experts strongly advise against paying a ransom as there is no guarantee that the files will be decrypted and the user is often placed on a list of people who pays ransoms - making them more of a target in future.

WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft, which released a software patch to fix it in March. However, many users fail to install updates and patches on their computers meaning vulnerabilities can remain open a lot longer and make it easier to exploit.

Up to 80% of cyber-attacks can be prevented by undertaking Cyber Essentials - the Government-backed cyber security certification scheme that sets out a good baseline of cyber security suitable for all organisations in all sectors. https://www.cyberaware.gov.uk/cyberessentials/

If you have been affected, the National Cyber Security Centre has advice on steps to take: https://www.ncsc.gov.uk/guidance/protecting-your-organisation-ransomware

Remember Cyber Liability insurance cover is available for these scenarios, this provides technical support in the event of an incident and covers costs (including the ransom with some Insurers). Whilst it won't prevent an incident from happening it is a good way to protect the business if it does. Please contact us if you require further information or an indication of costs.

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