Last month saw one of the most widespread ransomware attacks in the world, which locked computers and demanded a significant payment to release the information. Systems including the NHS were affected by this cyber attack which spread across 150 countries.

This high profile cyber attack, serves as a reminder just how important it is to stay vigilant online and protect your business at every opportunity. If this happened to your business, how would it affect everything from your computer networks to your phone system?

Understandably when most businesses think of cyber attacks, they think of their computers. However, a number of PBX phone systems users could be vulnerable to attack due to inadequate security protection and policies or simply not updating the system. Attacks of this type can also lead to financial loss.

iCS advice for businesses to protect from cyber-attack:

• Understand your estate. This includes any legacy operating systems that your business is running and which security systems you have in place for protection. Think carefully about their vulnerability and consider for example whether you should upgrade to a cloud based phone system

• Know your exposure. Document in an easy-to-access plan exactly which cyber defences you have in place and where your areas of risk/exposure are (and do something about that exposure)

• Understand your network connectivity. Which servers connect to which

• Almost every business has some business mobiles. Smartphones are vulnerable to the same virus, spyware and phishing threats as your computer. There are also some unique risks that can affect mobile devices. Be wary of downloading apps. Only download them from dedicated app stores which include iTunes, Amazon and the Android Market. Have a strong password and use encryption. Ensure you are running the latest version of the operating system

• If your business has a VoIP phone system then it is reliant on an internet connection and could need further protection. VoIP phone systems are susceptible to the same kind of attack as your internet connection and emails

• Another type of phone system hacking is commonly known as toll fraud. This occurs when hackers hijack a service (your hosted or hardware-based phone system), making unauthorised calls to either long distance or premium rate numbers in order to generate extensive income for themselves. In severe cases thousands of pounds in call charges can be racked up within just a few hours (typically overnight or during holiday periods when a business is closed). A quick and easy way to help protect against toll fraud is by regularly changing passwords to access individual or group voicemail boxes.

Contact iCS on 0800 9 77 88 99 or email us or visit our website to discuss further.

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