Cyber Security In The Workplace

Cyber security

Cyber security has been launched into the forefront of the public conscious over the last few days with the news that a large scale cyberattack was in process. The attack used ransomware called WannaCrypt and was found across the world with companies such as Telefonica in Spain being hit.

The United Kingdom’s National Health Service also found itself the victim of the cyberattack, resulting in systems being down for periods of time over the weekend. This attack meant that almost everything except emergency services were halted with services such as surgeries postponed due to hospitals and doctors surgeries being unable to access their computers.

As such, it’s understandable that people may be worried about the security and safety of their computers in the workplace. The National Cyber Security Centre, the authority on cyber security in the UK and part of GCHQ, released a statement on 14th May 2017 that confirmed their belief that the attack would likely continue.

As a new working week begins it is likely, in the UK and elsewhere, that further cases of ransomware may come to light, possible at a significant scale.”

What Should Companies Do?

With the threat of cyber attacks still a prominent worry, it’s important that businesses and employees ensure that they are taking the necessary steps to try to prevent an attack. One of the most important methods of prevention is to always keep all security software up to date by downloading the relevant updates.

The main victims of the recent WannaCrypt ransomware used Windows PC computers, laptops and notebooks. On March 14th, Microsoft had released a security update that patched the vulnerability and helped to protect computers.

Unfortunately though, many computers were not updated meaning that there are still computers that could potentially be attacked. Make sure to update all computers, laptops, notebooks and devices, even if you think they won’t be affected. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Computers that were using Windows XP were more likely to be hit by the ransomware as Microsoft officially stopped supporting this operating system in 2014. In an unprecedented move, Microsoft has revealed that it has released a patch for Windows XP systems that can be found here at their website.

As well as this, make sure to sure proper and up to date anti-virus software that will be able to detect any viruses as well as potentially warn you of something that could be harmful. Keeping your data backed up will also allow you to have more potential to avoid the ransomware.

If you constantly back up your data, then there will be less chance that ransomware will affect you; if you already have your data somewhere safe then you can’t be held to ransom.

What Should Employees Do?

As important as anti-virus and operating system updates are, it’s equally as important to make sure that employees are aware of how to prevent an attack. The most important thing to note is to be aware of what you are clicking on when receiving attachments via email or looking on websites.

If an email has an attachment that looks suspicious, do not click on it. It may be advisable to instead delete the email immediately and warn your IT services. Do not forward on email that you suspect contains malicious attachments as there is nothing that will prevent the person you have forwarded this to opening it.

Employees should make sure that their devices are kept up to date, while a business can attempt to push an update through; there may be unlinked laptops or mobile devices that require manual updates.

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Sarah Jubb
Sarah Jubb

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