The NHS Ransomware attack crippled the UK’s health service this April. With 43% of cyber-attacks targeting small businesses, it’s not just big organisations, like the NHS, that are targeted.


What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious cyber-attack, which is designed to stop you from accessing your data. The attacker then asks for money in exchange for releasing your data.


What can be done to stop Ransomware taking hold?

There are a few basic steps you can take, that will help minimise the risk posed by ransomware.


Anti-Spam: Software that monitors your emails, to predict malicious      emails and stop them, before they reach your computer. This works because many attacks are transported on innocuous looking emails.

Anti-Virus: Software that detects and destroys viruses and ransomware.

Operating System Up to Date: Ransomware often exploits old Operating Systems or flaws in current ones. Make sure you have performed all relevant security updates.

These pieces of software must be kept up to date so they can effectively stop an attack before it takes hold.

Educate Colleagues:

Ransomware can slip through both anti-spam and anti-virus software, there are a few steps you and your colleagues should take to minimise the risks.

Do not open emails from untrusted senders.

Do not use unauthorised storage devices. Ransomware can be transported on USB sticks and other storage devices.


What do I do if I am hit with Ransomware?

Turn off the affected device. If you can stop the ransomware spreading through the entire network, it is easier and cheaper to remove.

Call your IT support provider. They can help manage the aftermath of the attack and get your network running again.

Make sure you have a secure offsite back up. If hit by ransomware you can restore your back up, which will be free of the ransomware, and your system can return to normal.


This is not an exhaustive list of steps to take. A Cyber Security Policy should be put in place between yourself and your IT Support Provider to help manage any other risks that are relevant to you and your business.


Ransomware Checklist

1.       Secure Offsite Backup

2.       Up to date Anti-Virus, Anti-Spam & Operating System

3.       Don’t open untrusted emails

4.       Don’t use unauthorised storage devices