What was this virus that crippled the NHS? Was it a dedicated attack on the system? Was it a group of hackers determined to undermine the NHS system? Was it a threat posed by an insider? No! It was an ordinary, run-of-the-mill worm, not spread by email as some reports incorrectly state.
For the technically-minded amongst you essentially the Wannacryransomeware was installed by an SMB exploit known as EternalBlue, which in turn was enable by a DoublePulsar backdoor.
For the no-so-technically-minded business owner/manager, it could be you! Like most companies I am sure you have invested in your IT systems and probably have a great IT support provider/staff that you trust implicitly. But in today’s volatile cyber landscape just blindly trusting the technical team is simply not good enough (just ask Construction Materials Online: https://unitymetrix.com/50k-fine-construction-materials-online/).
So what can you do about it? The reality is you absolutely have to do something; ignore these things at your peril. Here are some suggestions:-
- Ask your IT team what their strategy is for patch management – How can you be sure that everything is as up-to-date as it can possibly be?
- Test your attack surfaces – What is accessible from the outside? Who and what can get in and why? HOW HAS IT BEEN TESTED?
- Don’t be complacent with your staff – Look What controls and procedures are in place on the inside in order to control potential threats.
- Review your equipment – So many companies by security equipment that, for some reason they expect to last a lifetime. Like any other equipment it gets old and is often unable to deal with newer threats, review and update as necessary.
- Review your security software – Is it still the right software for you? Or have you just kept it because “it’s what you’ve always had?”
- Review your Business Continuity or Disaster Recovery plan – Haven’t got one? Then more fool you! If you only take away one thing, let it be this: Cyber-criminals are winning! Now that is not intended to be an over-inflated view, that is the truth and is substantiated by innumerable quality journals. It costs very little for a nefarious threat actor to sit in his basement trying to run exploits on as many systems as possible, whereas it costs businesses substantially more to attempt to protect themselves from him. The gains for the threat actor are potentially huge, so he will keep trying and trying and one day maybe hit the jackpot. The only thing the business owner has to look forward to is the almost certainty that they will be hit by a successful and costly attack one day. It is impossible to completely eliminate cyber risk, so you should definitely have a plan for when it happens.
Unity Metrix can work alongside you and your IT support people in order to ameliorate the greatest risks of cyber-attack. We perform audits and using industry standard calculations produce a cost/benefit analysis for the protection of the business against cyber threats. We can also help to keep your business running through the implementation of procedures, policies and training, and create plans that will ensure recovery from any attack or other disaster is smooth and efficient.