Back in May the NHS became victim to Malware known as WannaCry, sweeping across the world it took many computers hostage, demanding payment for them to be released. The consequences from the attack were tenfold, with operations being cancelled, appointments vanishing, and sending hospitals into complete disarray.
Britain’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has since led investigations into what happened to numerous national level organisations and where exactly it came from. Security sources have since made indications that the NCSC believe that the attack was launched by Lazarus, based in North Korea.
The revelation of the link to North Korea raises many questions as to what exactly can be done to both respond to the attack and deter similar attacks in the future. The ransomware did not target Britain or the NHS specifically, it was just a money-making attempt that managed to hit the National Health Service, and became massively out-of-hand as it spread its way across vast amounts of computers across the world.
Despite this attack taking place on such a large-scale organisation, businesses of all sizes are vulnerable to cyber-attacks if the correct precautions are not in place. In the case of this attack, the victims were all using Windows XP, Windows 7 or Small Business Server 2003, none of which are still supported by Microsoft, small mistakes like running out of date software and unsupported operating systems can end up costing your business thousands upon thousands of pounds.
If you run a business, government team, or charity – my recommendation is to identify old systems and update them to newer versions, and to identify and replace/upgrade outdated software with a secure software solution.
borwell specialises in in secure software solutions and cyber security services, for further information call borwell on 01684 377980.