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protecting business against ransomware

It’s very easy to get lulled into a false sense of security when things are working as they should. We don’t even think about them, especially those things that work in the background. Business carries on as normal so we just get on with daily tasks.

IT is one of those things. Except when it breaks. Then you realise that IT is actually the life-blood for your business. When your IT infrastructure breaks down, everything else breaks down as well.

FA Atkinson, based in Newcastle, recently fell victim to ransomware. Their IT infrastructure went from enabling the business to disabling it in one fell swoop. Ransomware is particularly nasty because it completely shuts down your computer system.

As plumbing, heating and electrical sub-contractors to the major house builders in the country (Barratt Homes, Persimmon Homes and Bellway Homes), this in-demand company currently operates over 25 contracts up and down the country. They have around 60 employees helping to turn houses into homes between Alnwick in north Northumberland to Darlington in the south of England.

The last thing they need is ransomware locking up their IT system, rupturing communications and preventing business continuity.

Two Powerful New Lines of Defence

FA Atkinson has invested with Eitex to beef up two key areas of their IT infrastructure and are now protected against any future attempts to hijack their system.

Firstly, they’ve invested in a new file server, which not only significantly improves performance across their network, but also gives them a cloud-based disaster recovery system. This provides full recovery within hours of a security breach, system failure or virus outbreak. With a traditional backup system, the same recovery would take days. At the same time, FA Atkinson took the opportunity to replace their computers systems with Windows 10 Pro.

Secondly, FA Atkinson has invested more strongly in their system defences:

Sophos Intercept-X

With artificial intelligence and deep learning capabilities, Intercept-X from Sophos is a powerful ally to have in your system:

  • Cryptoguard feature blocks all known ransomware.
  • Instantly stops threats buried in malicious email attachments.
  • Rolls back any infected files to their original state.
  • Exploit prevention technology.
  • Deep analysis to show where the threat came from and what is infected as well as how to deal with it.

Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection:


FA Atkinson was already using Microsoft Office 365, but now has Office 365 Advanced Threat Protection. This adds a layer of security by:

  • Scanning email attachments
  • Scanning web addresses in emails and office documents
  • Blocking malicious files in online libraries
  • Checking for spoofing
  • Detecting attempts to impersonate users or domains

Together these tools will stop ransomware in its tracks. Dean Spencer comments, “Hackers are always out there looking for weak spots in IT defences so companies have to be vigilant. We now recommend this double protection to all our customers, as we’ve seen too many companies suffer from malicious attacks.”

Have you experienced ransomware or any other cyber threat that’s damaged your business? Get in touch – we can help.

Adele Spencer

Marketing and Business Development Manager for Eitex

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