Recently the UK has become victim of two major cyber attacks, one on the National Health Service, the other on central government itself.
The problems comes that with a lack of funding, the UK government lowers it’s budget for the NHS and therefore the budget for technology takes a hit. The WannaCry ransom ware attacks older systems with a lack of security and demands money to reset the computer to working order.
How the ransom-ware impacted on the NHS
The problem of ransom-ware in the NHS spread within just a few hours, it can be hidden within word documents and PDF files which are usually transferred by email. This caused a number of emergency patients having to be diverted. Because the ransom ware demanded bitcoin, it made it impossible to trace the source, since bitcoin is an online currency which does not require a bank account to hold it. As the computer systems were not up to date – many still using Windows XP, they did not include the patches to stop the wares from spreading.
How a better data recovery strategy could have helped
When taking regular backups data can be held from a certain time frame. If a proper data recovery service is previously carried out then the data is stored and up to date it can be reset to the point in time before the malware was detected. You can find the source of the malware and ensure it’s blocked before it re-enters the computer system. Using RAID drives it is also possible to move the infected files away to another drive and keep the clean one running whilst the problem is fixed permanently.
Ransom-ware on the house of parliament
It wasn’t just the NHS that was targeted, soon after the UK government were also victim of a cyber attack, whilst not as large as the one on the health service, it still meant that up to 90 MPs were unable to access their emails, leading to some votes being put on hold for the time being. The attack was thought to be started from a brute force attack which targeted those who had weak passwords.
The problem in both instances is not having a sufficient data recovery plan for the event of an emergency. Emergency data recovery is often an after thought and should always be considered well in advance. If you have personal data that can be compromised then it must be talked about with a local data recovery expert or company with past knowledge of restoring data after cyber attacks.