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By now, you will have heard about the massive outbreak of an encryptor called WannaCry. It’s received plenty of attention on both local and international news outlets in the last couple of days; with good reason.

It’s estimated that 81000 computers were infected in the first 12 hours. It crippled the UK’s NHS as well as the Spanish telco Telefonica. It’s also severely affected Russia, Ukraine and India, with at least 74 countries affected in total so far. It came into the networks via computers that were either outdated or had not had security patches installed.

This has been a fairly targeted attack which is good news in that it’s unlikely that your business will be specifically targeted. However, the critical thing is that we don’t become complacent about backups and data security. One infected computer means it can spread across your entire network.

Ways to defend yourself:

* Install any outstanding Windows updates. There?s probably never been a more important time to do this. Do this NOW, this morning. If you?re unsure on how to do this or worried it could impact your network, get in touch with our tech team and in most cases, they can assist.
* Make sure your backups are up to date and able to be restored
* Make sure your backups are up to date and able to be restored
* Make sure your backups are up to date and able to be restored
I deliberately put that in three times because that’s how important it is. Did I mention Make sure your backups are up to date and able to be restored??
* Use removable media to take the backups offsite and DON’T leave them connected to the computer. If they’re connected, they will become infected as well, meaning you’ll have backups but they will be useless for data recovery. Best practice is to have a rotation schedule in place so there are always backups somewhere else in case of fire, theft or infections such as this
* Use a reliable anti-virus. We recommend Trend Micro and have done so for many years now. We find it to be the least obtrusive option whilst remaining user friendly
* Use a Spam & Virus Filter such as our Barracuda product to filter compromised emails BEFORE they hit your network. For more info, have a quick look at

If the worst happens and your network becomes infected, an up to date backup means there’s an inconvenience to your business while the data is restored. Ineffective or non-existent backups will undoubtedly result in a catastrophe. Recent studies have indicated that 60% of companies that suffer a major data loss will close their doors within 6 months of such an event.

If you’re not sure how your backups are right now, why not ask our team to check your systems today? As you can appreciate, there is a lot of inquiry right now but we will be able to check your systems for you and make recommendations very quickly.

The QCS Team

Stuart Auld

Stuart Auld is a Director and Partner in QCS Group. He has 20 years experience in the IT and Communications fields. Passionate about gadgets and tech (and motorcycles and travel)

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