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Cyberattacks

There have been some high profile businesses affected by the recent attacks by cyber criminals.  Over 20% of NHS systems were affected causing many operations to be rescheduled and thousands of staff to revert to paper records.

The common issue has been linked to running Windows XP on a majority of the equipment which Microsoft no longer supports.  We often hear the adage “If its not broke then don’t fix it” however Windows XP was a stable system for many years.  In a similar way as many old COBOL systems were used until the year 2000 bugs were found.  If you think that replacing a PC is costly every 3-5 years then how much will a couple of days of downtime cost you trying to restore systems?

Cyber attacks enter your systems in a number of ways.

1. Email – receiving an email from someone who has been infected or a spam email

2. Web – most cyber attacks come via users accessing websites such as forums or social media sites such as Facebook.  

Ways to protect yourself.

1. Backup your data – should the worst occur – ensure you have a working copy of any data including pictures which you may need to continue working. 

2. Ensure your PC is up to date – applying the latest windows updates

3. Run Antivirus software – many pcs come with a 30 day trial of antivirus software, but it is important to ensure you have a working antivirus product.  If possible use one that has anti malware as well.

4. Common sense – even with all of the above the best protection is common sense.  Antivirus software can only protect us for virus that they know about.  New virus come out each day and a single character change in the code can prevent the software detecting the virus (this is known as a variant).  Looking out for emails with attachments or links to offers you don’t know or have not requested and then ensure you have scanned the files before opening.  If you are unsure – delete and get the person to resend.

Alternative systems

It’s wise to have an alternate method of working without your computer.  Such as email via your phone or a pen and paper for records.  

Cloud systems can be affected by viruses in the same way, so if you are moving to the cloud it is still important to backup your data or ensure your provider is backing up the data and applying updates.

Should you need assistance with your systems please speak to one of our sales team.