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Your 4 Steps to Defend Against a Cyber Attack

The recent global cyber attack affected hundreds of thousands of computers and caused widespread confusion and concern. As we reported recently, we’ve helped schools who have been hit by similar ransomware.

Here are four essential steps you can take now to avoid being a victim of a cyber attack.

1. Verify your backups

Immediately verify your backups, using a test restore of sample files, to ensure that your backup system is providing you with accurate reporting.

It’s important to check your files carefully. One school we’re aware of believed its solution was efficient and secure but then discovered it had been consistently backing up corrupt data. 

2. Challenge your current disaster recovery plan

For example, you can run a test scenario emulating the loss of access to your systems, including the deletion of all files and folders, followed by the need to restore the school to normal.

If you then discover gaps, what do you need to do to plug them? Who is responsible for getting this done, how will they do it and by when? 

3. Update all software to ensure the most recent security patches are applied

If relevant, this should include Microsoft critical security updates across all systems. Upgrades should be budgeted for any unsupported software, as this software will not be receiving updates and will therefore be vulnerable to attack.

4. Provide guidance to all staff, including:
  • Do not open emails they do not recognise. Delete the emails, then delete them from the recycle bin.
  • Regarding external emails do not click on links, or download files or attachments, even if the sender asks you in person or by phone (for example a parent, visitor or school supplier).
  • Before opening an attachment or clicking on a link from an external sender, ensure someone internal to the school verifies the identity of the sender and the origin of the attachment or link.
  • Always report anything they believe to be suspicious to the ICT team - especially if they have mistakenly clicked a link. This will help to identify the threat early and prevent it from spreading.
  • Restart and apply updates daily, to ensure your devices are protected. 

By following these steps, you will go a long way towards defending your school against a cyber attack.

In the meantime you can also read our recent Ransomware blog to see how we have helped schools overcome similar cyber attacks. 

Read our Ransomware blog >

Alternatively, if you have any questions or would like to find out more about how we can help you protect against cyber attacks and ransomware, you can reach us on 020 8144 6916 or leave a message on our contact us page.