Suffolk IT expert warns of increase in Russian cyber attacks
- Credit: Prominent PR
An IT professional from Suffolk is warning businesses to improve their security in fears of a rise in Russian cyber-attacks.
Jonathan Smy, director of Capel St Mary-based SMY IT Services, made the call in the wake of a predicted rise in cyber-attacks from actors in the heavily sanctioned state.
Mr Smy is calling on firms to be heightened sense of preparedness to ensure they are not caught out.
He said: “The chances of cyber-attacks are always high, even in peacetime, but with the current sanctions on Russia, the risks are certainly heightened.
“We have been in similar situations before with the WannaCry attacks, a series of ransomware attacks on high-level organisations such as the NHS, believed to have been initiated by another heavily sanctioned state, North Korea.
“It is vital that businesses take every step to increase their security, as being caught out could have disastrous consequences.”
Ransomware is deemed the most likely threat for businesses in the west, with emails being the most common source of infection.
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The style of attack involves sending an attachment, such as fictitious invoice, CV or even blackmail letter, containing a malicious code which infects a user’s device, before encrypting personal and sensitive data. Criminals then ask for payment to decrypt them, typically via cryptocurrency.
Businesses deemed at the most risk include those in the healthcare, education and energy sectors. Small and medium sized businesses are also seen as easy targets as they have more restrictive operating budgets and less tech know-how.
Mr Smy added: “Cyber criminals are becoming much more sophisticated – it is no longer simple enough to trust your antivirus software to be the answer to all your security problems.
“Every company should review the security of areas of their business individually, from employees, to email, web browsers and document management systems – whether they be in-house or in the cloud.
“Investing in enhanced malware protection is highly recommended, as is enabling multi-factor authentication on all systems and devices.”