When a cyber attack occurs, your device may get infected by malware (including ransomware). This could lead to your information being locked, encrypted or stolen. If so, you may well be contacted and asked to make a payment in cryptocurrency (e.g. BitCoin) to regain access to your information. Paying the ransom to criminals does not guarantee that you will recover your files and it does not remove the malware from your computer. This also means you would be paying criminal gangs and that you are more likely to be targeted in the future.

What to do

You should report this to Action Fraud either via their website or by calling 0300 123 2040.

If you need advice and support you can also report this to the National Cyber Security Centre. They have also produced a list of things to do immediately if your computer is infected.

If the information affected by the cyber attack includes personal information, e.g. details about staff or service users, then you might need to report this breach to the Information Commissioner’s Office. If your organisation completes the Data Security and Protection Toolkit, you can report incidents within the Toolkit and it will help you decide if you need to report the cyberattack to the Information Commissioner.

There are lots of simple things you can do to protect yourself and your organisation against ransomware including regularly backing up your data and using antivirus and antimalware software.

Watch Nicola Taylor from Carisbrooke Healthcare Ltd talk about her organisation’s experience.