This week’s Knowledge Update talks about how the NHS could have prevented the WannaCry ransomware attack, SME’s need to understand cyber security, not fear it and A Reaper Botnet has come for the Internet.
NHS ‘could have prevented’ WannaCry ransomware attack
The WannaCry Ransomware attack severely compromised NHS trusts across the country, more than a third of trusts in England were disrupted by WannaCry and at least 6,900 NHS appointments were cancelled. The government review into the attack has found that NHS trusts were left vulnerable as cyber security recommendations were not followed. The review found that NHS trusts had not acted on critical alerts from NHS Digital and had not acted on a warning from the Department of Health and the Cabinet Office in 2014 to patch or migrate away from vulnerable older software.
The NHS is a vast organisation with numerous legacy software requirements and a heavily interconnected network, making the organisation especially vulnerable to ransomware attacks. Small to Medium sized Enterprises (SMEs) can better implement prevention measures such as regular secure backups and the timely implementation of software updates.
The latest advice and guidance from the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) can be found here.
Understand cyber security, don’t fear it
A survey reveals that mid-sized firms have inadequate cyber protection with three-quarters of survey respondents revealing that their organisations had recently fallen victim to a cyber-attack, with 40% occurring in the past year.
The head of the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) has urged organisations to ensure that they understand cyber risks and put appropriate controls in place. According to Ciaran Martin, Chief Executive of the NCSC, the government can help create the right framework to improve basic cyber security. Cyber Essentials provides a framework, backed by the UK government, for businesses to improve their information security. More information can be found here.
In the 12 months to September 2017, NCSC have seen 47% increase globally in detected phishing attacks. But the UK’s share of those attacks fell from 5.1% to 3.3%.
Staff should be made aware of the threats posed from phishing through training and awareness sessions. Policies in regard to the acceptable use of computer equipment, handling data and payment processes should be implemented and adhered to. Prevention advice for phishing can be found here.
Reaper Botnet has come for the Internet
A new botnet comprised of the Internet of Things (IoT) devices has been discovered. According to CheckPoint’s research team, the new botnet dubbed “Reaper” is recruiting IoT devices such as IP, wireless cameras and DVR’s at a much faster rate than the 2016 botnet, Mirai did. It is already estimated that it has infected multiple devices in more than a million organisations worldwide. The potential DDoS attack from such a large botnet could cripple a single organisation or severely affect the wider internet.
It is important for organisations to note which devices within the business are on the network or are connected to the
internet, and take appropriate measures against their exploitation. Prevention measures include changing default
passwords on the device, ensuring networks have firewalls incorporated and disconnecting devices when they are not