The Lesson to Learn from Ransomware Attacks: Investment in Technology Needs to be Taken More Seriously

The Lesson to Learn from Ransomware Attacks: Investment in Technology Needs to be Taken More Seriously

It has been a nervous start to a new week as many within the NHS, small businesses, public sector organisations, security agencies and governments held a breath as computers were freshly turned on after Friday’s ransomware attack.

The ransomware, called “The WannaCry” started taking over users’ files on Friday, demanding $300 in bitcoins to restore access, the malware was originally stolen from the US National Security Agency and has rapidly spread across 150 countries affecting businesses and organisations indiscriminately.

It successfully targeted 47 NHS trusts in England, 13 NHS organisations in Scotland, Germany’s rail network, Telefonica, FedEx and Russia’s Interior Ministry to name a few. As the weekend passed there was growing fears that Monday would see a fresh wave of attacks as workers returned to work. In response, GPs and local NHS hospitals have urged patients to stay away, thousands of operations, tests and appointments face disruption. But it is not isolated to healthcare, there are fears and it is a very real possibility that the attack could spread across a wide swath of industries as many infections go undetected.

In response, the UK’s National Crime Agency has warned those affected to not pay, as there is no promise of regaining access, instead the only option is to roll security updates and for large organisations like the NHS who often run outdated operating systems across a wide network, this is no easy task. Although there have been no further attacks or increase in ransomware reports, the clean-up operation could see the disruption continuing for days or weeks.

It raises and highlights an important consideration of making sure that your infrastructure is secure and up-to-date. There are reports emerging that the NHS had been sent essential updates in recent weeks, but they weren’t implemented further highlighting that inefficient systems and processes can cause major difficulty for organisations if they aren’t easy to manage.

Here at Totalmobile, security is our priority, because we work with customer data we ensure that security is of paramount importance in all development work and that our systems are constantly tested thoroughly, both internally and by a third party. Any weak areas are fortified and regular updates ensure that our customers are up-to-date, secure and always running. Features such as using only HTTPS to transfer data from servers to devices and vice versa is a commonplace feature for us. It’s important when you are seeking a provider for any service that security comes top of the list.

Security of network of connected devices and personal data security, concept on virtual interface with consultant in background

It’s not only your infrastructure that you need to be concerned with, but also field staff and the tools they have for working. Many industries have an over reliance on paper, causing a high risk of lost records, duplication and human error. By using a Digital Workforce Management solution all information can be stored on the one device and with extra security features like lock outs and native security, those devices are kept secure as well.

The process of mobile working with a digital workforce management platform provides workers with the reassurance that all their job information is secure, they can take images, capture signatures all whilst being backed up automatically. No signal? No problem, it’ll be stored locally until back in signal.

These recent attacks have shone the light on the security issues that we face in a digital era, but also the further issues outdated systems can cause across all industries. Without proper investment in new technology and digital workforce management platforms to enable staff, future problems will continue to increase. Only by implementing new solutions that reduce paper use, outdated systems and help minimise processes will we see the pressure lift from staff and organisations.

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Melissa Devlin-Spratt

Melissa is all about the creative content, whether it's writing industry blogs or ebooks that guide our customers, her belief is that content is definitely Queen.

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