Information Technology

WannaCry cyberattack was a ‘worldwide wake-up call’: CEO of Sophos

WannaCry attack a worldwide wake up call: Sophos CEO

Friday's cyberattack in more than 150 countries has reminded the world it's important to get the basics of online security right, a chief executive officer of a cybersecurity firm told CNBC.

Kris Hagerman, CEO of security software firm Sophos, said he spends most of its IT budget on online security and it's time for people and companies to re-double their efforts to protect themselves from online attacks.

"When you have an incident like this WannaCry incident you mentioned, it only serves to remind all of us, it is sort of a worldwide wake-up call, that we have to really re-double our efforts to get the basics right in security and how important it is to do that," Hagerman told CNBC on Wednesday.

The U.K.'s National Health Service (NHS) was one of the victims of the cyberattack that struck 200,000 machines in 150 countries since Friday. The attack was dubbed by the EU's agency Europol as the "largest ransomware attack observed in history".

Sophos provides the U.K.'s NHS with tools for online security. Hagerman seemed to suggest that some NHS branches did not have enough layers of protection.

"The key thing with the NHS is to first understand, as everyone in Britain knows, the NHS is not one single entity, it's hundreds of individual trusts, they all have their own IT budgets, their own decision-making and their own approaches to protecting themselves," he said.

"We have a whole suite of products and there's multiple layers that effectively prevented against this attack and some of the organizations had one or more of those layers in place and some didn't and that determined… the effect they saw of this particular attack," Hagerman said.

On Monday, the U.K's health secretary Jeremy Hunt said that there was no evidence of a feared second wave of cyberattacks onto the NHS.

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