You may have received a similar warning from your bank but during the past weeks we have been made aware of a number of businesses that have suffered security breaches. These have included

Payments made to bogus companies because of an email that appears to be genuine but most certainly isn’t

Yet another new Ransomware virus that again leads to locked system files

The bogus emails look like real requests. Some appear to be from a senior colleague asking for a payment to be made. Others appear to be from a known and trusted supplier saying that they have changed their bank account. Either way, following those instructions could result in money being sent to the cyber-criminals!

Security products such as firewalls, anti-virus software and email security applications provide protection against many threats. But the various manufacturers have to regularly update them to include new fixes for the latest scams and tricks. Therefore, ALL users must be alert and aware at ALL times.

Please remind everyone to be careful opening emails (and their attachments) unless they are sure they are from a known and trusted source

If they have any doubts about it being genuine – contact the sender to check before opening it. Or just delete it.

And if it is a request to

Send money
Update bank details
Change account passwords
or
Provide private confidential information etc.

check before proceeding. It’s better to annoy your boss asking if their payment request is genuine than it is to tell them you just paid a cyber-criminal several thousand pounds!

If you do get infected by something like Cryptolocker, you probably won’t want to pay the ransom. Time consuming data restores will therefore be required to reinstate clean files. So for anyone still relying on manual backup systems, it is important that you make sure your disks and tapes are inserted when required. If you don’t back them up, they can’t be restored.