The NHS have just published that some of their systems have been attacked and hacked by Ransomeware. It’s not surprising considering they are using antiquated versions of windows, but saying that they do have a whole army of IT and security experts at their disposal so how on earth can you stay safe.
The first thing to do is recognise what risk means with the info you keep on your pc. You could find yourself in any one of these situations:
- Accidental data loss by a system user within your office
- Hackers and virus attacks resulting in partial or total data loss
- Hardware failure resulting in partial or total data loss
Whatever situation you find yourself in, the solution in some way will cost you in both time and money, so it is obvious that knowing these problems exist means we have to make some sort of plan to reduce damage.
Damage limitation is pretty simple and costs very little, but many of you ignore the risks and only react when the proverbial has hit the fan.
There is a belief that having anti virus installed will be everything sorted, but that is not true. There are many types of virus and the anti virus companies are always playing catch-up. By the time you update your pc anti virus it may be too late and your files could be infected. Once infected, not all viruses can be cleared, especially Ransomeware.
Many of you have probably never actually paid for your antivirus software after the initial trial period and that is a huge mistake. You have in effect left your front door open to attack.
Viruses can get on your machine in so many ways including:
- email links to websites that trigger an attack when loaded
- email attachments like microsoft files with macros embedded
- inserting peoples usb dongles that may already be infected
- surfing the web
A basic method of damage limitation for all scenarios.
- Every day make a backup of data. Better still don’t keep data on individual machines, but keep it centrally on a server or network drive called a NAS.
- Risk involved with any storage device like a hard drive or usb drive is a virus or failure could affect them and in that case the backup you have made will also fail.
- Every week make a backup of the more critical data to an offsite location, maybe Dropbox or similar.
- If you upload an infected file to Dropbox you will then reinfect your pc when downloading it later.
- Every week or two make a cd or dvd copy of this critical data and then archive it.
- The archiving of data onto a single write medium like cd or dvd is the only fool proof way of having a non infected copy of the info.
- Actually pay for an anti virus program and do not let it lapse.
- Do not let any member of the public or client bring USB sticks in or cd roms they have made.
- Do not let people use your wifi.
- Do not let staff use the office machine or wifi to do their own web browsing.
What don’t you need.
I’ve seen some riding centres go way overboard with complicated networks and lots of machines that far outweigh the use they actually have. Keep it simple and life is so much easier to maintain.
How can we help
If you ‘re unsure on anything mentioned than we’re happy to give you some free advice and time.