Advice for schools on the Ransomware crisis

Posted  15th May 2017
NHS Ransomware crisis

Following the recent NHS Ransomware crisis, as well as many other organisations being impacted, we feel it is important to send out an update on this subject.

As covered in our previous blogs, there has been a substantial increase in this type of malicious attack over the last year and there are numerous ways in which ransomware can get into a network, and numerous ways to defend against this threat.

Key advice for school staff

  • Do not open any files attached to an email unless you know what it is. Even if it appears to come from a friend or someone you know, some ransomware can replicate and spread through email. Confirm that your contact really sent an attachment.
  • Do not reply to or open any files attached to an email from an unknown or suspicious source. Do not open any files attached to an email if the subject line is questionable or unexpected.
  • Exercise caution when downloading files from the internet. Ensure that the source is a legitimate and reputable one. Verify that a regularly-updated anti-virus program checks the files on the download site.
  • Review your school IT security policy. Outline clear rules and procedures for staff who access the school’s systems.
  • Be prepared. Backup school files offsite on a regular basis.

Statement from LGfL - for London schools

For those schools who are protected via LGfL, the following statement has been released (abridged):- “LGfL is aware of the reported cyber attack in the NHS network and we are monitoring the situation. Please be assured that the LGfL network employs multiple layers of firewalling to protect against similar threats. However, please be extra vigilant during this time, particularly in opening attachments or clicking on links found in emails from unknown sources.”

What should schools do?

Please circulate the above information amongst your colleagues, and please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you wish to discuss how you can be better protected in more detail. Please see the link to our previous blog for more information - click here to view blog.

How can SBS help?

Service Desk support

If you are concerned that you have been targeted by Ransomware or any type of virus, please call us on 0345 222 1551 • Option 1 (existing ICT customers) or 0345 222 1551 • Option 5 (non-ICT customers).

Disaster Recovery Solution - Be proactive and backup your data offsite

The safeguarding of critical data is our primary concern and we don't want schools to pay to get their files back. With this in mind we have developed a Disaster Recovery Solution to backup, secure and restore data in the event of an attack from ransomware. For more information, call 0345 222 1551 • Option 5 or email us, and we can recommend the amount of storage you need to backup your files offsite and out of reach of virtual threats.