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How the war in Ukraine impacts your business’s IT systems

The Ukraine crisis has shocked us all, and UK businesses now need to prepare for the possibility of impact to their IT systems. Russia has launched a number of targeted and untargeted ransomware and cyber attacks on Ukrainian banks, government and private companies during February and March and with UK sanctions against Russia there’s a strong possibility that they’ll do the same to the UK – especially in launching untargeted ransomware attacks.

The implication on UK businesses is that there is now an increased risk of ransomware and cyber attack.   While I’m confident in our clients’ backup regimes and the fact we check them regularly, including manual checks which many IT support companies don’t do, we shouldn’t overlook the fact that a virus infection almost always results in:

  • Unexpected downtime for IT systems while data is recovered from backups
  • Loss of productivity while systems are secured and recovered
  • Additional cost from system recovery and temporary measures

Most ransomware and security compromises arrive by email.   Most of our clients subscribe to additional layers of email security, but we still urge everyone to be extra vigilant when receiving emails that you aren’t expecting.   Phishing emails can appear to be from a legitimate source – a supplier, team member, Microsoft, Amazon, HMRC, but can trick you in to giving access to your accounts.   Attachments might appear to be important but can run software on your computer to install a virus, which then spreads across the network.   Being vigilant, curious and sceptical is key.

I want to reassure our clients of steps we’re taking under our support and maintenance agreements.  Your agreement includes the following precautionary and proactive work as standard:

  • Regular system patching including security and software updates
  • Regular firmware updates to network equipment
  • Regular backup verification
  • Proactive system security updates, including identifying and blocking remote access attempts by unknown third parties
  • Verification that your security software is updating correctly

This work isn’t carried our simply by automated software (although we do use a lot of automation in our service delivery and highly recommend it).  We have a dedicated team in-house who proactively check, maintain and manage your systems remotely so you don’t have to worry about whether your systems are up to date and working.

We would urge everyone to call our friendly support team if you have any concerns over your IT system security – we’re here to help.

If it’s not pandemics it’s wars lately!

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