LHS works closely with NCC Group, an information assurance and cyber security company, to provide valuable cyber advice to small business owners.
In light of the recent media coverage on cyber-attacks we've asked NCC what advice they can offer to small business owners. Ashley Newton of NCC Group has issued the following guidance:
"There is currently a large scale ongoing ransomware campaign impacting businesses of all sizes worldwide (most notably the NHS).
Home and business users should take the following steps to protect themselves:
- Ensure that devices are kept up to date with all available software patches. This includes patches to operating systems (Windows/ Mac OS) and additional software used on the devices (such as Microsoft Office). Devices using outdated operating systems should be upgraded where possible.
- Ensure that you’re using an updated antivirus or anti-malware product on all desktop and laptop computers and allow it run regular scans of your machines
- Maintain multiple frequent backups of all critical files and systems with at least one copy stored off-site or on the internet (‘Cloud Backup’)
- Be suspicious of all emails, links and files received and confirm their legitimacy before taking further action. Ask yourself:
- Am I expecting to receive this?
- Is the sender, website or file type what I expected?
- Can I speak with someone by other means to confirm this is genuine/safe? (phone sender/bank etc)
- If legitimacy is not confirmed take no further action and delete the email/file in question.
The advice above should adequately protect users from being a victim of not only ransomware such as ‘WannaCry’ but from all forms of malware.
Those responsible for enterprise infrastructure and wishing to remediate against this type of attack specifically should follow the National Cyber Security Centre’s guide on the topic. Details can be found here.
Devices running outdated Windows operating systems (Windows XP, Windows 8 or Windows Server 2003) should go to the following link to download and install a patch specific to ‘WannaCry’.
Anyone wishing to learn more about the ransomware and this attack can visit the NCC Group's blog on the following link: https://www.nccgroup.trust/uk/about-us/newsroom-and-events/blogs/2017/may/Live-incident-blog-global-ransomware-outbreak/"
That’s why earlier this year we decided to offer advice and insurance as part of the package of being a FSB member. With a warning from the National Cyber Security Centre this week that further cyber attacks may be imminent, it is vital that small businesses take steps to protect themselves. Cyber crime is one of the fastest growing risks to small businesses, and one of the fastest growing areas of crime globally. Attackers are becoming more effective, while victims are becoming less able to discover attacks. FSB figures show that, on average, a cyber crime incident costs a small business victim nearly £3,000, and takes more than two days to recover from. According to a recent report FSB published, a staggering seven million cyber crimes are committed against smaller businesses in the UK every year. That’s 19,000 every day.