Important Ransomware Attack Information
As you are probably already aware via recent news reports, a massive ransomware attack has shut down a number of hospitals in the National Health Service (NHS) system, preventing patients from receiving care and causing panic across the globe. Although most of the focus has been on the NHS, other organisations have also been affected.
This version of ransomware is leveraging an exploit in Windows operating systems before Windows 10. Although Microsoft released a patch on March 14, it only prevents spreading the attack through internal networks.
What is Ransomware?
Ransomware is a version of Malware (Malicious Software). The most recent iteration of malware is called ransomware. Ransomware is software that takes control of the files on your computer, encrypts them with a password known only to the attacker, and then demands money (ransom) in order to unlock the files and return the system to normal.
How can I stop Ransomware?
Although there is no 100% way to stop a Ransomware infection, there are a few well established practices that can help reduce the chances significantly. These are:
End User Awareness – Make sure your users are aware of the types of viruses and threats that can affect computer systems. Engage with them on the most likely delivery methods of viruses, e.g. Suspicious Emails with links and attachments, Suspicious Websites etc.
Filtering & Security – Ensure your network is protected through multiple layers of filtering and security. These are most commonly Web Content Filtering, Email Spam Filtering, Firewalls, and local Anti-Virus.
Permissions – Make sure your users have the correct set of permissions according to the level of access to your network they require. Only administrators should have administrator privileges!
System Updates – Keep all of your network connected devices up to date by implementing and installing all released patches from manufacturers.
Network Access – Who is connected to your network, and do they need to be? If not then disconnect their devices. Also ensure any Public WiFi is segregated from your internal network.
Backups – Ensure you have a proper backup strategy. Also ensure that you are regularly testing your backups are working. Backups are your last line of defence, and need to be taken and checked regularly. Offsite, offline, and remote backups are also essential.
Atlas.ICT – IT Support Customers
If you are currently an IT Support customer our engineers are currently checking your networks, and implementing any changes where required. Our proactive monitoring tool, and managed antivirus will be protecting your systems and helping to mitigate any risk.
Our engineers will be working over the weekend, and will also be continuing checks into Monday. If you have any queries please do not hesitate to contact us via the usual methods.
Atlas.ICT – Non IT Support Customers
If you are not an IT Support customer, but require assistance or guidance please feel free to contact us on 01387 721721 or email@example.com