Microsoft have urged their users to take precautions following a massive cyber-attack that saw the NHS join a host of huge institutions around the globe targeted by a sophisticated ransomware virus. Hitting 150 countries worldwide, more than 150,000 victims have fallen foul of this intricate virus, most notably the NHS; affecting hospitals, GP surgeries and pharmacies.
In the face of this sophisticated and large scale attack, Microsoft have been quick to warn users to update their systems to the latest version of their software. The company released a Windows security update in March in a bid to avoid such a virus, but a number of users are still yet to update their systems, inadvertently leaving themselves open to an attack.
For businesses, having a secure and reliable security system in place for networks, data and devices is crucial to staying safe and minimising the chances of being the victim of a cyber-attack.
A statement from Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith said: “As cybercriminals become more sophisticated, there is simply no way for customers to protect themselves against threats unless they update their systems.”
As well as warning customers to keep their software up to date, Microsoft have also criticised governments for the method they store up information about security flaws in computer systems. The ransomware locked users’ files and demanded payment in order to allow access again, quickly spreading to 150 countries, including Russia, the US and China.
As well as the NHS, courier giants FedEx and Spain’s main telecoms operator were also victims of the attack, Windows-based systems were ‘experiencing interference’ due to malware and that it was trying to fix the issue as quickly as possible. The team here at Konnetix have a record of helping businesses stay safe from cyber attacks, minimising the risk of disruption and financial loss as the result of cybercrime.
The virus, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry, is believed to have already generated over £20,000 for the hackers, who are expected to continue to attack vulnerable users. While the NHS has been quick to tighten security and attempt to get their systems back up and running, this incident highlighted the importance of cyber security to big organisations as well as smaller businesses.
To find out about your security options, contact the team at Konnetix by calling 0800 999-3-365