General news and tips

One Monday morning a company contacted us who advised they couldn’t access a file on their laptop. We went out to them to take a look and discovered a ransomware attack.  
 
The company had all their information and customer files stored on their laptop and NAS (Network Attached Storage) drive. This was now inaccessible. Their data was all gone. Calling your clients to tell them that all their data is lost would not be an easy phone call.  
 
A virus has infiltrated your network and demands a ransom to make all files readable again. The criminals target everybody including large companies and small companies. There is no pattern. This is a Ransomware attack.
 
 

 
One large company hit with an attack recently is Asco. They manufacture aircraft parts and aviation equipment. The attack caused “a serious disruption” to their activities. They immediately quarantined their systems. As a result, work at their sites in Belgium, Canada, The United States and Germany stopped.
 
Asco lost up to a weeks’ worth of production due to the attack. Imagine your business lost a whole weeks’ worth of production. Meaning customers wouldn’t get their orders, your staff would not be able to work. Therefore, your business would lose money and its reputation.
 
A Norwegian company Norse Hydro got hit by an attack in March 2019. Causing a temporary stoppage at their plants. With production changed to manual operations. Their chief financial officer Ervin Kaleva “The situation for Hydro through this is quite severe. The entire worldwide network is down, affecting our production as well as our office operations.” Alongside the reported impact to working practices the share value was also affected.
 
The appeal to the hackers is that companies do not always have the best security measures in place. Large companies appear to have money to pay a large ransom. A new strain of the Malware is one which stays undetected for some time. Allowing it to spread before causing the greatest amount of damage.
 
An attack starts with the infection of a computer within your network. It then attempts to spread before encrypting your files. Moving on to any storage devices attached including backup drives. This will spread over your computer and into your backups over a period. So, once you realise the virus has taken hold, it is already too late. Your system and backups are already encrypted. Recovery of the system can prove slow and expensive. With the hackers hoping you will pay the ransom rather than take the time and money to fix your system yourself.
 
 
 

What can you do to protect yourself? Install antivirus and firewalls. Keep them up to date. Educate staff with this information. Employ the services of an IT professional. Keep your data in a central place to make backing up easier. Backup to 3 different places, including a detached device. Include versioning in your backup plan. Allow you to revert back to the files before they were encrypted. Test your backups as if there was a disaster. Can you recover?
 
Do you feel safe in the cloud with Microsoft or Google? Unless you have paid for backups in addition to your account, you are not protected. Everything can be lost.
 
Here at Nash Business Systems, we are not an IT support company. Backup and patching (ensuring latest updates are applied) of laptops and PC’s are not services we provide. However, all our bespoke systems are backed up to ensure that data is not lost. In the event of an attack, and all our hosted services are kept up to date to prevent attacks. Hackers are very clever and able to inflict lots of damage to anybody. But they will often target those least protected or have known vulnerabilities. If you prevent the easy attacks, then you are less likely to be marked as a target.
 
If you have any doubts, get in touch with a professional IT Support company or Managed Service Provider.

At Nash Business Systems our experience allows us to put measures and controls in place. Therefore your business will be prepared for a problem or a disaster, should the unthinkable occur.

Such a disaster happened to one of our customers River Canal Rescue in October 2014. Their head office in Stafford was unfortunately set on fire when a fireworks factory on the same business park site exploded and went up in flames.

As you can imagine your office is the central point of your business. All your files, computers, tools are all in your office and just like that overnight it has gone. In this case through no fault of your own, an incident completely out of your control. River Canal Rescue have hundreds of customers and run a canal rescue service which simply did not allow for any sort of closure or down time.

Mark our managing director saw the blaze on the news. He knew instantly that this was the business premises of his customer. “We were immediately in contact with owner Stephanie Horton. After speaking to them we began to plan a strategy to get their business up and running as soon as possible. Once a temporary base was located, we were able to begin to assist our customer. Any business owner will know downtime is not acceptable. We will help you get back in control.”

 

 

 

 

Nash Business Systems made the decision to host this system in the Cloud. Meaning that in the fire their files were not lost. This decision meant that hundreds and thousands of customer details collected over many years were safe. 

Helping River Canal Rescue set up a temporary base and allowing access to their data meant that their business could continue to run. Meaning customers could be helped and great customer service could continue. Saving not only inconvenience for customers but also money as customers did not need to go elsewhere for this service.

It also allowed our Customer to have one less worry in the wake of such a devastating event. The system was one part of their business, but other parts of course had gone up in flames. Removing just one element of stress and upset for a customer was a massive help. 

Here at Nash Business Systems we really do become part of your business and your team. Our team of programmers work alongside you and once your system is in place we continue to look after your backups and hosting.

When this fire occurred, we joined to River Canal Rescue team and ensured that their systems were up and running as soon as possible. Working together with them and using our expertise to get the business up and running as soon as possible. 

Owner Stephanie Horton was able to make a statement to the press the next day to advise. “Although we’ve lost everything and our emergency lines are down, our database is up and running. Callouts will continue to be answered.” Being able to assure customers that they could be helped meant they did not go elsewhere and the business could continue. 

Thinking what’s best for our customers, through our experience is vital to allow us to offer what is best. Taking pride on doing a good job and right by our customers. Helping you to be prepared and when disaster occurs, we engross ourselves in your team and make sure that you will not fail. Going the extra mile so that you will be protected. So your business can continue to run. Making sure that we will save you the headache and stress and prevent further losses.