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The latest ransomware attack targeting the NHS has sent hospitals and medical practices into chaos. Appointments cancelled and operations postponed, while patients complain and politicians point fingers. But to companies and individuals, the most important question now is: are you at risk?

First, let us quickly explain what ransomware is. It’s a computer virus, one that encrypts your files, preventing access and won’t release them unless you pay a ransom, usually in virtual currency such as Bitcoin. The virus gets into your computer by either tricking you to install it unknowingly, or by exploiting a security hole in software on your machine.

Is your computer at risk?

The particular ransomware that infected the NHS is called ‘WannaCry’. It infects only machines running Windows operating systems – in both big corporations and also small companies. Home users are believed to be at lower risk to this particular virus.

The five immediate steps to protect yourself are:

  • Update your Windows operation systems to the latest version, or make sure you have the latest patches installed.
  • Install firewalls.
  • Install anti-virus software.
  • Open and read your email with care. Do not read any emails that look out of ordinary or make you pause, like an email titled “XYZ sent you an invoice” which doesn’t fit into the pattern of XYZ nor your financial practice. 
  • Always keep a back-up copy. If you have backed-up your data on the cloud and offline, then you have no reason to fear.

It’s important to stress that nothing connected to the Internet is 100% safe. So apart from the five steps mentioned above, it may be worth using endpoint encryption to protect your data.

How Blackhawk can help

If you want to know more about cybersecurity, or if you suspect something is amiss, trust your gut and contact Blackhawk Intelligence instantly. We have a team of specialists helping companies to fight cyber crimes and conduct digital forensics – down to helping the legal enforcement prosecuting cyber criminals.

Not only we can help with reactive, post event scenarios, but we can also proactively assist your operations and minimise any cyberattack risks. We’re just a phone call away and will be pleased to discuss this in depth with you.

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