Attention: All company computer/ IT system users
The most recent ransomware attack on the HSE IT system, has exposed sensitive and confidential information and crippled the health system. It is important for us to remember that we are all open to being targeted by these cyber criminals regardless of the size of the business, its geographical location or sector. Prevention is of course, better than cure so our over-arching advice is to focus on awareness.
So, What Is Ransomware?
It is a malicious program similar to a virus which is designed to scan our hard drive and encrypt as many files as possible to disable our ability to access them. The encrypted files are then held and you have to pay – the ransom – in order to retrieve the files. Other types of ransomware can appear as an email attachment – often a password protected PDF or Word document. Typically these attachments can appear to be invoices or quotes from legitimate- appearing companies. Infection can also occur on an exploited or hacked website.
- Check twice before you open any attachment, even if you know the sender.
- Do not open any attachment from an unknown sender.
- If the mail or its attachment looks slightly unusual – Do Not Open It.
- Do not store important files on your local PC – Important files should be saved to the server/ SharePoint/ One-Drive server which have a have backups.
- Install computer updates regularly, when prompted.
- Regularly change passwords. Avoid reusing the same password for different accounts (use a password manager)
Files stored locally (i.e., on your computer/ laptop “c” or hard-drive are not backed up – if you have no backup your files cannot be restored. The anti-virus software on your computer may not always protect you from ransomware – It is however set-up to update automatically.
If You Have Been Infected or suspect you have Been Infected
- Shut down the infected machine immediately.
- Disconnect all the shared network drives (network cable)
- Run your anti-virus.
- Call our IT Support; Intuity on their helpdesk on 0818 987 900 immediately .
Peace Of Mind
We have back-up systems in place for critical files on our main office server and on Microsoft 365 (Outlook/ SharePoint/ One Drive/ Teams), but common sense, as the user is critical.