As we’ve mentioned before, hackers show no mercy. Following a ransomware attack on an NHS supplier it’s reported that some doctors are having to resort to using pen and paper to take patient notes, and that they have no access to patient files.
Attacks of this nature once again highlight how unscrupulous cybercriminals are, taking advantage of organisations where money is tight and focus is elsewhere. Last year we reported on educational establishments that had been attacked, and this latest hack is based on a similar sector; a sector where the main focus is on taking care of people and where tight budgets are a hot topic.
In this instance the supplier, Advanced, has been attacked directly rather than the NHS – the hackers will fully understand the significance of the data that they are holding for ransom. Criminals have taken seven of Advanced’s health systems offline, including software used for patient check-ins, medical notes and the NHS 111 service. Medical practitioners are left having to help patients without access to their files, therefore increasing the time that they need to spend with each patient, but more importantly, putting patient health at risk. As we’re all aware, the NHS is already extremely stretched and an attack of this nature further adds to the burden. Staff who were already working at pace are now having to put in even more additional hours.
What are the lessons to learn?
Protect your customers and your reputation
Are you a supplier? If you are, how would your customers feel if a cyberattack on your business impacted their organisation? By taking care of your own Cyber Security, you are also taking care of others, and of your reputation. Whilst we can all sympathise with an an organisation that’s fallen victim, we want to know that they are doing their very best to protect our data. And once trust has gone, will it ever come back?
Ransoms are real
Attackers know how long it takes to get over a cyberattack and how much it can cost an organisation – their ransom may be cheaper than the costs of solving the problem. Governments and associated organisations would much prefer that ransoms weren’t paid as payment fuels the practice. But businesses often feel compelled to pay the ransom to get things back to normal ASAP, and to minimise reputational damage. It’s reported that around 80% of UK businesses were attacked with Ransomware in 2021 and most paid up! So, spending a little time and budget to keep your business as safe as possible is money and time well spent.
Hackers are clever and have no conscience
If you think your business is in a sector that is out of bounds – think again. You will have a price tag on your head and hackers will simply look at that.
Do your best
As we’ve mentioned recently, even the most rigorous Cyber Security can have vulnerabilities. Hacking is a big, profitable business, so staying ahead of the hackers is a big ask. BUT that doesn’t mean you should just surrender to it and give in. You need to have precautions in place but also have a plan to counter an attack (you wouldn’t leave a fire to burn – you would do your best to put it out and minimise damage). So, take action! Make sure you have as much Cyber Security in place as possible, a well trained team and a process for dealing with an attack. If you’re not sure where to start let us help.