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NHS Cyber Attack: Make sure your business is safe

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The cyber attack and ransomware events of Friday and the consequences over the weekend have been a huge wake up call for many.

Ransomware is a kind of cyber attack that involves hackers taking control of a computer or mobile device encrypting ALL of the files, so that they can no longer be used and then demanding payment for the return of those files.

The impact on the NHS isn’t what any of us wanted to see;  Operations cancelled and NHS services brought to a halt means the impact of a cyber attack like this is felt by many.  Of course it wasn’t just the NHS that was affected, businesses across many other countries have been affected too.  It is a timely reminder that if you fail to spend the money investing in your computer systems and have the right back up measures in place, the inevitable will happen.  If you are a user of Windows XP, 8 and Server 2003, then please keep reading as a link at the end of this page will provide assistance.

What can we do as businesses, right now to ensure we are safe?

  1. Back up your data. This is essential, because if you are a victim of a cyber attack, then all your data is backed up securely and ready to use again.  Back it up somewhere that is external to the internet, so the hackers can’t gain access to anything.  Our backup[ solution, Fifteen Cloud provides reassurance that all of your files are backed up to our servers securely.
  2. Be aware of emails, websites and unknown apps. For any ransomware attack to take place, the files have to transfer onto your computer system.  For this to happen, the user would normally have to open an email or file from a website or app that immediately starts this process.

Be vigilant.

Don’t open any suspicious emails, or download any files you are unsure of.

Also check any apps or programs have been officially verified before you download them and if in doubt, read any reviews online if in doubt, check with the person who sent the file or your IT team.

3.  Make sure you have installed the latest updates. Operating a system which isn’t updated is leaving it very vulnerable to attacks.  Make time regularly to run thew windows update program and install everything.

4.   Use anti-virus software. This alerts the user to potentially damaging files which can infiltrate your system.  It is your first line of defence as they scan files before you download them and block adverts and malware as you browse the web.  Fifteen Digital recommend the use of Office 365 together with Microsoft Advanced Threat Protection.

5.  Never pay the ransom. All you would be doing is funding the crime which doesn’t even guarantee that your files will be recovered.  If you suddenly realise that your files have been encrypted, call your IT support company or contact a member of your IT department immediately.  Your back up files can be retrieved and programs can be used to try and decrypt those files.

6.  Take out a Fifteen Digital managed IT Support Agreement to provide real-time monitoring of your systems and data.

7.  If you become infected, switch the PC off IMMEDIATELY and remove all of it’s wires!

Microsoft have taken the unusual step of issuing patches that immunise Windows XP, 8 and Server 2003 as these are operating systems the company stopped supporting  up to 3 years ago.  If you believe you are vulnerable using some of these systems, go to:


For further advice and guidance, please contact us or visit https://www.fifteendigital.co.uk/internet-security/

Fifteen Digital specialise in ensuring your business is operating as securely as possible.  We work alongside our clients so their businesses are adequately protected against cyber attacks.

We provide out of office hours and weekend IT support, so help and support can be accessed if business owners feel they their data may have been compromised.

We make your business Smarter though Technology but always in a safe and secure manner.

Contact us today on 01782 326 644 to discuss your requirements in more detail.

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