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North East Businesses Urged to Rethink IT Security after Ransomware Attacks

ByEmily

May 21, 2017

A NORTH EAST-based telecoms and IT company is warning businesses to tighten up their IT security amid fears of further cyber-attacks.

CCS, which works with household names across the UK, has seen a surge in enquiries after the recent ransomware cyber-attacks and has urged businesses to be vigil after the widespread disruption.

Ransomware is a programme that locks a computer’s files and hides them away with encrypted technology until a ransom is paid. Viruses such as this are not new but they are not usually seen on this scale.

This ransomware, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry, brought the NHS to a standstill and so far, has infected over 200,000 machines in 150 countries. Sunderland-based car manufacturing giant Nissan also confirmed that it had been affected by the attack which caused the manufacturing systems to go down.

Chris Lee, managing director of CCS, has urged organisations across the North East to consider whether their current IT security is up to scratch and warned of the consequences if it is not. He said: “The recent cyber-attacks have highlighted the importance of having a robust IT security plan in place. It is hard to calculate the exact cost of an attack like this on a business but it has the potential to cost them a lot of time and money.

“What this recent attack does show is the importance of using the most up-to-date operating systems. Outdated Windows XP systems still run on approximately five percent of NHS devices which left them vulnerable to cyber-attacks. While it has emerged that NHS Digital emailed people in the NHS last month warning them to protect themselves against the specific threat of ransomware this would not have helped those operating on an old system.

“While, hopefully, this strain of the ransomware is now under control there is a possibility that more attacks will be on the way. In the North East we have many critical industries, such as manufacturing, energy and transport, where IT systems need to be robust. Businesses need to invest in proper cloud-based systems which can protect all computers in a network.”

Established in 1986, CCS supplied and installed the first mobile phone for business in the North East and currently provides a variety of B2B telecommunications and IT technology, including mobile phones, IT products and services, desktop support and telephony platforms.

For advice and guidance around ransomware cyber-attacks contact CCS on 0191 511 1000.

By Emily