It may seem a strange subject for a food supply company based in the countryside of Shropshire to focus on, but have you given any thought to the possible threat to your business of a cyber or ransomware attack? We only ask because this is exactly what affected our business recently.
At the start of September, Riverside Foods was hit by a rather nasty ransomware attack. This involved our server being illegally accessed by sources unknown and our files encrypted. Unfortunately, cyber-attacks of this nature are becoming increasingly common, with criminals now targeting micro, small and medium-sized businesses and demanding large payments in return for access to systems and files.
What is a ransomware attack?
As the name suggests, a ransomware attack occurs when criminals gain illegal access to files or systems and encrypt them. Once encrypted, it is no longer possible to access the system or files. The perpetrator of the attack will then demand money in return for the files being decrypted to their original state. The NHS’s 111 service was subject to such an attack back in August 2022. Criminals accessed the systems of a major service provider behind the 111 service, Advanced, and impacted a range of services, including patient referrals, ambulance dispatch, out-of-hours appointment bookings, mental health services and emergency prescriptions.
One particularly virulent and damaging form of ransomware software is Babuk. Babuk (or Babyk as it is called in Russian) is technically described as a “Ransomware-as-a-service (RaaS) malware” which originated in Russia in 2021. The latest version, Babuk V2, is specifically designed for data theft and extortion, with the group behind it threatening to publish data if a ransom is not paid. According to those who know, Babuk is spread in three ways: by email phishing, common vulnerabilities in widely used software, and by breaking into computers by taking advantage of remote access software.
What can I do to protect my business from ransomware?
Thankfully, by taking a proactive approach, there is a great deal you can do to protect your business from ransomware criminals, including:
- Speaking to your IT provider to ensure they have put in place measures to prevent ransomware attacks
- Training your staff to never open unsolicited emails
- Using strong passwords and changing these regularly
- Using a spam filter to prevent unwanted and spam emails
- Updating your servers, desktops, and network software and firmware to the latest versions and ensuring all security patches are installed
- Keeping encrypted and secure copies of your data
- Using the latest anti-virus software and ensuring this is always updated
- Implement two-factor authentication, especially for your core system accounts
Norton, a leading virus protection company, recommends that if you are attacked by ransomware, you should not pay the ransom as doing so only encourages and funds criminals. As they say, “Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that you will be able to regain access to your files”. When it comes to ransomware, prevention really is the best solution.
Call us on +44 (0) 1691 839288 or contact us to request a quote on our frozen chicken and turkey products – and find out how you can cater to increasing demands from consumers, and maintain a high level of customer satisfaction.