Wake-up call on cyber-threats, My View…By Zach Gray
It can’t have escaped your notice that the news is alive with stories of a global cyber attack. At the time of writing the attack has been felt in over 150 countries with our National Health Service being one of those organisations affected. As someone who is simply delighted to successfully switch my computer on in the morning, the specifics of this particular piece of ransomware remain something of a mystery to me (along with, it seems many in the country).
What I do know is that the internet going down in our family home leads to nothing short of the outbreak of utter panic as various social media feeds are out of reach (as an aside, it is at this point that I – self confessed Luddite at work – immediately become a qualified IT consultant and am expected to get everything up and running). It is therefore fairly clear that an outage in the working environment can bring a similar level of panic.
I am sure that many proper IT consultants have had a busy few days and while we might be relieved that we can all switch our machines on this morning, it is important that it is not only governments who are prompted by this ‘wake-up call’. What this latest attack has shown is that, while the big companies grab the headlines, a virus like this has the capacity to spread and cause damage to us all. Having in place quality IT defences and making sure staff are properly trained to spot the dangers is critical – the governments basic security scheme, Cyber Essentials, is a starting point. Undertaking a risk analysis is a key part of the work and – if appropriate – having concluded this, you might want to consider an insurance policy. And before you ask, there is no policy out there to protect you if your teenage daughter can’t get on Instagram, trust me, I’ve checked…..