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A spate of global cyber security attacks have highlighted the need for businesses of all sizes to take steps to protect their IT infrastructure. Chris Hunter, director of Boost and Co member HM Network, explains why it’s vital to keep software up-to-date.

If your business were to suffer an attack where your systems were rendered useless, or your bank accounts were emptied due to keystroke tracking software – could you still trade? Even worse if customer data was leaked from your network could you handle fines of up to £500,000?

The recent attack that affected the NHS demonstrates that both consumers and businesses alike are vulnerable from malware attacks in general, especially on Microsoft systems that are not up-to-date.

On social media people were saying that it’s disgusting that someone would target the NHS. The truth is they were not targeted per se. This attack did not single out the health sector, it was simply malware that was being spread in anyway it could via emails that trick the user into thinking the message is from someone they know.

Check your spam box now, I bet you have some emails in there now that look like they are from someone you know or a service you use, but they are not. Be careful.

If your business doesn’t have systems in place to deal with spam, it’s time to educate yourself and your staff. Get help in to assess your vulnerabilities. All it takes is to click on one wrong link and your systems can be infected with internet nasties that could put you out of business.

We have noticed an increase in cyber-attacks, phishing and spoofing lately.

To help businesses understand these risks, we have teamed up, and booked in some FREE sessions with Boost, Lancashire County Council and the local chambers of commerce to help raise awareness about cyber security with some specialist partners to help highlight dangers.

Hand in hand with that comes data privacy and the upcoming changes with the Data Protection Act as the GDPR replaces it. IT and your data is the lifeblood of your business, so reviewing your IT and data security will help your business in more ways than one.

HM Network is running a series of events to help small businesses understand the risks of cyber crime and the upcoming GDPR changes. Here’s details of the events on June 27.

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