Cyber Attack: What you need to know

15 May 2017

The weekend’s events have highlighted just how quickly a cyber attack can spread once released, with 200,000 computers affected across more than 150 countries*. Those affected have ranged for multi-national organisations, government bodies such as NHS trusts, and independent businesses of all sizes. Further attacks are anticipated during the course of this week, and ransom demands are set to increase.

The attack by Wannacry is designed to encrypt data files and demand a ransom to have them unencrypted.   Whilst the attack only seems to have exploited vulnerabilities in systems still operating Windows XP, we would recommend that all businesses and individuals check that their computer systems have their security fully updated. If in doubt, speak to your IT support organisation.

Our own IT consultants have advised as follows:

“The best way for you to prevent attacks from this type of software is to be particularly vigilant when deciding which emails to open.  You should be particularly suspicious of the following:

  • Unsolicited or unexpected emails.
  • Email from familiar organisations that have spelling mistakes or poor grammar.
  • Emails with multiple links to web sites – hover over the links with your mouse to see where the link is actually taking you to.  For example, there have been several emails in the last week purporting to be from NatWest Bank and just one of the links was to a suspicious web site.  The others were genuine.”

Keeping your IT security up-to-date is also good risk management advice, but no system can be made completely invulnerable. Businesses would also be well advised to consider buying Cyber Liability insurance, which for companies with turnover of less than £2,500,000, can be available for as little as £330.00 annually. This policy provides protection in respect of cyber extortion and cyber business interruption (revenue losses), as well as claims arising from data security incidents.

If you have any cyber insurance related questions please do not hesitate to contact CMJ on 0118 940 6175. 



*Source: BBC news, 15th May 2017