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Cyber Storm is Far From Over: Here's How to Keep Protected
May 15, 2017
In light of this weekend's media frenzy over the NHS cyber-attack, it's become apparent that many of us have only just woken up to the importance of IT security. Too little, too late? We think not.
Friday's global ransomware attack - which has tallied an estimated 200,000 victims in over 150 countries, including the collapse of the NHS - could very well spring back to life this week, according to experts.
The UK's National Cyber Security Centre has advised firms on how to protect computers as they start the working week.
It said it knew of attempts to attack organisations other than the NHS, and warned more cases could "come to light" in the UK and elsewhere sooner rather than later.
Ransomware attacks are "some of the most immediately damaging forms of cyber-attack", it said, and advised companies to:
- Keep your organisation's security software patches up to date
- Use proper anti-virus software services
- Back up the data that matters to you, because you can't be held to ransom for data you hold somewhere else
The centre also suggests companies, which tend to be targeted for ransomware, should prevent staff from installing software on their computers without authorisation from an administrator.
“Remember that users may sometimes legitimately need to run code that you have not pre-authorised; consider how you will enable them to do this, so that they are not tempted to do it secretly, in ways you can't see or risk-manage,” it suggests.
Websites should also be filtered so that people will not click on a site that could contain the virus and staff should have restricted access to certain parts of the company system.
“Good access control is important. The compartmentalisation of user privileges can limit the extent of the encryption to just the data owned by the affected user,” added the NCSC.
“Re-evaluate permissions on shared network drives regularly to prevent the spreading of ransomware to mapped and unmapped drives.
“System administrators with high levels of access should avoid using their admin accounts for email and web browsing.
“Ransomware doesn’t have to go viral in your organisation; limit access to your data and file systems to those with a business need to use them. This is good practice anyway and, like many of the recommendations we make here, prevents against a range of cyber attacks.”
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