How to protect yourself against cyber attacks

The continuous and relentless virus attacks are a serious threat to virtually every business. We are being bombarded with advice and it can become overwhelming.

The threats are real, and should be taken seriously. You need to ensure that you’re taking a few positive steps to protect yourselves.  Long term we do advise that you get in touch to arrange a cyber health check with CT Business Solutions.  GDPR will come into force in May 2018 and if you collect / handle data it will be even more crucial to ensure you’re cyber-safe.

FOR NOW –

  • If you use Windows, install the patch Microsoft released. This will block the specific vulnerability that the WannaCry ransomware exploits. These instructions are located on this page in the Microsoft Knowledge Base
  • If you are using an unsupported version of Windows, like Windows XP, Windows 2000 or Server 2003, you can get the patches for your unsupported OS from the Microsoft Update Catalogue. We strongly recommend that you consider moving to a supported version of Windows as soon as possible.  We can help with this transition if you need assistance.
  • Update your antivirus software definitions. Most AV vendors have now added detection capability to block WannaCry.  All CT Business Solutions clients were unaffected by all the recent attacks.
  • We can’t stress this strongly enough – BACK UP regularly and make sure you have offline backups. Would your business survive if you lost all your data, not just relating to a cyber-attack?  If you have a back-up and you are infected with ransomware, your backups won’t be encrypted.
  • Businesses should also be monitoring their logs closely for suspicious activity across firewalls and anti-virus software. This facility is done in-house by CT Business Solutions for all our managed clients.  If you are worried and want to discuss the benefits of our services, then get in touch.

CT Business Solutions offer a wide range of IT support and services. If you are in any doubt about your current support get it touch. We offer a free IT audit that will give you a basis to work from to ensure you’re getting the most from your IT infra-structure.

ERIC ARNOTT

Director at CT Business Solutions

T. 0161 798 4336

Ransomware: how safe are you?

Cyber security hit the headlines again this week with several high-profile victims including the NHS having their data held to ransom with a demand to pay up $300 to get the affected files decrypted.  You can learn more about this attack here.

The National Cyber Security Centre is involved in the investigation of this case, but what are the implications for you?  What is ransomware and what measures should you take to protect yourself?

Ransomware is the name given to malware which encrypts the data files on a computer and demands payment to provide the encryption key which will give access to the information.  There is no guarantee that your data will be released; after all, you are dealing with cybercriminals who are intrinsically not trustworthy.

If you find yourself in this situation, the best solution is to restore your information from backups once all traces of the malware have been removed.  You might find that the attack has also disabled your security software; these will need to be checked too.

However, as you all know, prevention is much better than the cure.  It pays to take measures to ensure that your systems are protected from cyber attacks.  In practice, this entails the following steps:

  • Install antivirus protection
  • Make sure that Windows updates and security patches are applied
  • Run Malwarebytes
  • Check that all important data is backed up regularly, and the backups can be restored.
  • Antispam protection will prevent many malicious emails from getting through
  • Implement a strong password policy; consider using a password manager
  • Be wary of clicking on suspicious email attachments or pop-ups.

Our service plan customers can rest assured that we monitor the system and antivirus status for all your computers and we will take steps to bring you up to date if issues are discovered.

The biggest danger for computer systems comes from the computer users themselves.  In a busy office, it is easy to assume that an email is from a legitimate sender and the rogue attachment is accessed. It is well worth taking a moment to examine the email to check that it is genuine.  Our blog ‘How to Maximise Cyber Security for your Business’ is a good place to start; you can read it here.

User training in cyber security will go a long way to protecting your systems.  Get in touch with the CT team in Manchester today about ensuring you, your business and your employees are cyber aware.

Contact – T. 0161 798 4336.   E. eric@ctsmanchester.co.uk

Eric Arnott, Director

With special  thanks to Suzanne Rice at CT Tonbridge for this article.  www.

General Data Protection Regulations – What you need to know.

GDPR is the ‘General Data Protection Regulation’ which from 25th May 2018 will affect every single organisation that collects and even handles data relating to all EU residents.

The age of digital is upon us, and continues to gather pace. GDPR has been introduced to ensure that an individual’s data protection rights are regulated fully.

  • What is the purpose of GDPR?

To simplify the free flow of personal data in the EU by applying a consistent data protection framework across the member states.

  • Who does it apply to?

Every single organisation that collects or handles data relating to EU residents.

  • Why you need to start now.

You need to start preparing now. Ensure that you are fully compliant. GDPR requires organisations to develop clear policies and procedures to protect personal data. You will be required to adopt appropriate technical and organisational measures and ensure that all staff are fully aware of these procedures.

Failure to meet all the requirements could cost you 4% of annual global turnover, or Euro 20 million – whichever is greater! Unfortunately data breaches are commonplace, and increase in scale and severity almost on a daily basis.

  • I’ll do it later!

Don’t under-estimate the length of time if can take to put new policies in place. Consider how you will have to dismantle, recreate, adjust and amend your current data protection policies to ensure you comply! Fines of 4% could quite easily lead to business insolvency.

Brexit!

UK organisations handling personal data will still need to comply, regardless of Brexit! This has been confirmed by the Information Commissioner.

 

 

The GDPR will introduce a number of key changes, which you can read in full at – More information about the GDPR >>

If you want to discuss this with CT Business Solutions to start implementation procedures then get in touch with us on 0161 798 4336, or email eric@ctsmanchester.co.uk.

CT will help you understand GDPR in full

  • Assist in its implementation
  • What to do with international data transfers
  • Data subjects rights and consent
  • Ensuring your staff are aware of your procedures.

Best regards

Eric Arnott ~ Director ~ CT Business Solutions

T: 0161 798 4336