Ellis Jones
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Date Published:28 Jun 2017 Last Updated:13 Oct 2021

Keep your business safe from Ransomware attacks

The current cyber attacks on businesses worldwide highlight the vulnerability of organisations to a new type of criminal. At least one prominent law firm has fallen victim.

No individual or organisation is safe from the attentions of cyber-criminals. While some cyber-criminals continue to focus on trying to steal your money, there is a growing appreciation of the value of sensitive information/data. Even where this has no intrinsic value and can be readily replaced, theft of your data or data you hold on behalf of customers may expose you to blackmail, prosecution by the Information Commissioners Office and reputational damage. It is no exaggeration to say that this could be fatal to your business.

Computer systems and digital communications are not 100% secure. However, there are some fairly painless steps that should be adopted to combat the risk of attack and the damage this causes:

  • Regularly back up the data held on your computer system and mobile devices, whether to hard storage devices or the Cloud
  • In addition to the firewalls on your business computer system, download current anti-virus software onto home computers and mobile devices
  • Use strong passwords to protect all your devices and accounts and change these regularly
  • Consider technical measures to ‘wipe’ data on a lost or compromised device (e.g. a mobile)
  • Avoid communication of bank details by email, even if the information is encrypted
  • Don’t open attachments and hyperlinks within emails unless you absolutely confident of the source (“think before you click”)
  • Regularly check your name and that of any business you run via search engines, to ensure that your identity has not been copied (cloned)
  • Consider cyber crime insurance cover for your business.

While technical measures have their part to play, the weak link is likely to be you and your staff. We would encourage you to read into the subject; the high street banks all produce helpful guidance. Ensure that your people understand the ways in which cyber-criminals work so that practical steps can be taken to minimise the risk posed by cyber-criminals.

If you would like to speak to us, our compliance team would be delighted to help.