Police warning to businesses after Doncaster firms hit by cyber crime hackers

South Yorkshire Police has issued a warning to Doncaster businesses after a rise in cyber crime attacks.

Friday, 4th June 2021, 6:39 am

Businesses are being urged to stay safe amid an increase in ransomware attacks – malicious software that prevents you from accessing your computer, or accessing data that is stored on your computer.

If your computer is infected with ransomware, the computer itself may become locked, or the data on it might be stolen, deleted or encrypted. Normally you're asked to make a payment - the ransom - in order to 'unlock' your computer or data.

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Hackers have been targeting firms in Doncaster.

SYP Cyber Protect Officer Dannielle Lee works with local businesses, charities and other organisations to give advice on staying safe from cyber attacks as part of her role.

She said: "Ransomware attacks can have a devastating impact on organisations, with victims often requiring a significant amount of recovery time to re-enable critical services.

"The average cost of a cyber attack to a small business is around £11,000 and unfortunately there are thousands of successful attacks nationwide every day.

"Luckily, there are a number of things you can do to reduce your business's chances of becoming a victim. One of those is to sign up to a free tool called Police CyberAlarm, which acts like a 'CCTV camera' to monitor the traffic seen by a business's connection to the internet. I'd highly recommend this for organisations across South Yorkshire."

Businesses can sign up for a Police CyberAlarm on the cyberalarm.police.uk/#join website. They will then receive a unique code which, once added to the website, will provide access to full instructions and how to install Police CyberAlarm.

There is further help available for businesses in South Yorkshire via the North East Business Resilience Centre at www.nebrcentre.co.uk

If you are a business, charity or other organisation and think you have been a victim of a cyber attack, report it to Action Fraud online at www.actionfraud.police.uk or by calling 0300 123 2040. If you are currently suffering a live cyber attack (in progress), call 0300 123 2040 immediately.

STAY SAFE - advice from Cyber Aware from the National Cyber Security Centre

- Make regular backups of your most important files, such as photos and documents, and check that you know how to restore the files from the backup.

- Make sure the device containing your backup, such as an external hard drive or a USB stick, is not permanently connected to your computer.

- Turn on auto-backup so that data on your smartphone is automatically copied to the cloud.

- Keep your operating system and apps up to date. Apply software updates promptly, they contain patches that keep your device secure, including protection from ransomware and other types of virus.

- Make sure your antivirus product is turned on and up-to-date. Windows and macOS have built in malware protection tools which are suitable for this purpose.

- Avoid downloading dodgy apps. Only use official app stores, like Google Play or the Apple App Store, which provide protection from viruses.