Over recent months ransomware has infected the computer networks of multiple organisations causing significant downtime and incurring huge financial losses.  Just this week the BBC has reported on a hospital in Alabama which has had to turn away patients due to IT outages.

Some of the infected organisations have resorted to paying huge amounts of money in order to get their data back, others have been able to restore from backup but at the expense of significant downtime.

Prevention Better Than Cure

It goes without saying that the best protection is not to get infected in the first place.  Whilst anti virus software, firewalls and other security tools all have a part to play,  the human factor tends to be the weakest point.  Making sure that your business has a strong information security policy which is actually communicated and understood is a must.  Followed up by training to highlight the risks – opening attachments, downloading software, following links and good password management.  Westcom can assist with training sessions, reviews of information security and additional protections such as two factor authentication for services like Office 365.

Could It Happen To Me?

The cost of launching an attack is very low,  whilst many of the high profile ones have no doubt been targeted,  opportunistic attackers are aiming their weapons at businesses all over the world – irrespective of size or location.

The Growing List Of Victims

Just a few of the other organisations hit, as reported by Armor, have included:

Lake County, Indiana
Rockville Center School District in Rockville Center, New York
Moses Lake School District in Moses Lake, Washington
Mineola Public Schools in Mineola, New York
The Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey
New Kent County Public Schools in New Kent, Virginia
Nampa Idaho School District, Nampa, Idaho
Middletown School District, Middletown, Connecticut
Wolcott Public Schools, Wolcott, Connecticut
Wallingford School District, Wallingford, Connecticut
New Haven Public Schools, New Haven, Connecticut
The Watertown Daily Times in Watertown, New York
Hospice of San Joaquin, San Joaquin, California

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