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Gloucestershire Business News

Cyber attacks highlight need for better protection

The recent global ransomeware attack has led many companies and organisations to urgently consider how they can be better protected in the future.

The onslaught by the computer virus called WannaCry, affected thousands of users in 99 countries, including firms such as FedEx and many NHS trusts in the UK.

Neville Mills, managing director of Gloucester-based Brunsdon Insurance Brokers Ltd, (pictured) says there are steps that can be taken to help safeguard computer users in the future.

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that locks and encrypts a user's files until a ransom is paid. Cyber security experts strongly advise against paying a ransom as there is no guarantee that the files will be decrypted and the user is often placed on a list of people who pays ransoms - making them even more of a target in the future.

WannaCry exploits a vulnerability in Microsoft, which released a software patch to fix it in March. However, many users fail to install updates and patches on their computers meaning vulnerabilities can remain open a lot longer and make it easier to exploit.

Neville Mills said: "Up to 80 per cent of cyber-attacks can be prevented by undertaking Cyber Essentials - the Government-backed cyber security certification scheme that sets out a good baseline of cyber security suitable for all organisations in all sectors.

"We strongly recommend that businesses undertake cyber essentials to help reduce the risk of succumbing to an attack.

For more details go to: cyberaware.gov.uk/cyberessentials/ 

The National Cyber Security Centre has advice on steps to take at

cloudfront.net 

Neville Mills said: "In addition, Brunsdon Insurance Brokers Ltd have access to Cyber Insurance Protection Schemes for businesses."

The types of cover available includes immediate response from experts; deployment of IT forensics; legal response and PR (to contain reputation damage); insurable fines and penalties by data protection regulator and digital media liability (breach of intellectual property rights).

There is also insurance cover available for defence costs and damages for breach of personal or corporate data; contaminating someone else's data with a virus; theft of systems access code and a negligent act or error by an employee.

Anyone who would like further information or advice in this area should contact Trevor Hough, Technical & Development Manager at Brunsdon Insurance Brokers Ltd on 01452 623632 or email trevor.hough@brunsdon.co.uk

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