The WannaCry cyber attack of May this year infected more than 200,000 computers in 150 countries, affecting government, healthcare and private company systems. This attack, and more recently, the Petya cyber-attack, has woken everyone up to the fact that the cyber-threat is real, growing and impossible to ignore any longer. Cyence, the cyber security risk company, estimates that the possible costs from the attack at £2.85 billion. The cyberattack is predicted to make 2017 one of the nastiest years for ransomware attacks, whereby hackers take control of a businesses computers and threaten to wipe out their data unless a ransom payment is made. For most businesses their main concerns, right now, centre around what they can do to protect themselves from falling victim to this kind of attack in the future. And although the initial wave of these attacks is over, their damaging effects are long lasting, with businesses still counting the costs.

So, how can you protect your business from cyber attacks?

If businesses implement strong cybersecurity practices, they minimize the damage and danger to their operational survival.

This is our advice on how to avoid being the next victim:

1. Bring all Microsoft security updates up to date – on servers and workstations. Make sure that you allow your workstations to reboot in order for updates to apply. Computer Geeks do this as part of our Remote Unlimited service.

2. Make sure your Operating Systems are up to date (e.g. Windows 10, Windows Server). Computer Geeks will review your infrastructure for out of date operating systems and will contact you with recommendations if required.

3. Keep your systems current – hardware & software 5+ years old presents a security risk on your network.

4. Continue to use Cloud Services in conjunction with your on-site IT services – the majority of cloud services (for example Office 365 from Microsoft and Google G Suite / Apps) were largely unaffected by the issues and contain powerful Anti-Virus & Anti-Spam functionality.

5. Make sure that your system has off-site Backups in place – Computer Geeks have a limited off-site backup facility in place for files & folders on your network (in most cases), however a true Disaster-recovery off-site solution should be considered to be fully protected.

6. Communicate with your team and be extra aware regarding opening emails (especially from unknown senders) which may contain malicious code. Be very careful about opening any attachments that seem unusual or unexpected. Please send an email to your entire workforce to broadcast the urgency of common sense and caution opening emails from unknown senders at times of heightened threat.

7. Consider investment in an Active Firewall solution – which scans each and every packet coming into and out of your network.

8. Start a budget towards Cyber Security in order to fund changes that will be needed along the way.

Cyber Threats are not going away. Continual cyclical reinvestment into your IT by replacing old with new and upgrading ahead of time is the way to stay ahead in this battle. Work with us and we’ll ensure that we continue to recommend changes and upgrades to keep you as secure as possible and ensure the continued safety of your business.

Please give Computer Geeks a call on 0117 325 0370 to discuss your options and how we can help you avoid being the next victim of a cyber-attack.