In an increasingly digitized world, we are all becoming extremely vulnerable to misuse of personal, professional and even national security data and what needs to be done. It is alarming yet not a surprise to see another mass scale ransomware attack just weeks after the havoc created by the Wannacry ransomware.

Image Source – Malware

To start with, the genesis of both these attacks appear similar. Both of them uses the Microsoft vulnerability called EternalBlue for which Microsoft had issued a patch. In both cases, they attacked institutional computer networks, which we unsecured – the NHS in UK and now the Ukrainian Government.

However, there is a slight but important difference. Usually in case of ransomware attacks, the demand is made from users and the email for communication is unique to each user. In this case it is observed that there is a single email ID that had been provided to all the affected users for communication. This email ID was since suspended by provider. This alludes to the fact that either the hackers were amateurs or more dangerously this attack is not a ransomware and was not unleashed with the intention of merely extracting money, but to destruct important data.

These new mutations of malware are increasingly getting more and more capable and complex in terms of the speed and reach. We are observing that the malwares are spreading automatically across interconnected networks more freely and with minimal or no human intervention. This, also is different from ransomware of earlier versions, which we more topical and pointed – say an individual hospital system. The free lowing nature of the current ransomware is particularly scary since we have limited control or predictive mechanism to guess which networks will be affected next.

As of now, the effects in India has been observed at the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust. This can be explained as one of the largest private enterprises to get effected is Maersk, the leading shipping and container corporation whose systems in all likely hood is interconnected with the networks of the JNPT. Having said that it is impossible to predict the next network where the ‘worm’ will sneak in. Also, the Petya ransomware is more fluid than Wannacry as the latter was linear and had one way to move from network to network. Petya has the capability to evaluate multiple options and can use another option of attacking if one fails. It is indeed quite petrifying to imagine a situation is it infects the national service such as the Defense, Police, Financial Institutions and UIDAI.

Considering this, it is clear that prevention is the best form of attack. It should be the responsibility of all computer and internet users – institutional as well as individuals to be aware of the threat and also be prepared for a future attack. Through CERT-IN [Computer Emergency Response Team of India] the Government must issue a ‘what to do’ advisory on prevention tactics to enterprises and individuals. We observe that most of ransomware attacks use ‘end users’ as entry point. The end user might be an individual or a user in an institutional environment. In most cases there is nothing that user can do as these types of ransomware are typically executed through ‘drive-by downloads’ in which legitimate website and browsers are infected. Some of the key action points that can be followed are through basic IT housekeeping such as keeping antivirus software updated & having URL CHECKERS. Also it is recommended that individuals keep only those plug-in’s and add-on’s that are absolutely necessary and used regularly.

Finally, it is high time that system administrators within enterprises and government agencies should have updated defensive security skills. Institutions and governments need strong cyber security and cyber-defense strategies. Cyber-defense capabilities, particularly, is an important mandate as hacking becomes extremely easy and pervasive and IT administrators should know how to ‘defend’ their systems.

Off late, I have been facing lot of issues with my Airtel DTH service & after repeated complaints there has been no actions taken by Airtel. The worst part is that every time when I call them, I have to repeat the entire Ramayan about the the issues that I am facing i.e. There was no one-point contact to look into my issue. The crux is that “Customer Service has become more important than before especially after the advent of Social Media where any information can spread like wild-fire !!!”. The end result was that “I finally gave up Airtel DTH”; as you might have rightly guessed the focus for this article is “Customer Service“…

Today, we have a guest article from Julie Robert who is a B2B wholesale trade & B2B marketing expert. She writes frequently on the topics related to UK Wholesalers & Wholesale supplies. She gives us some tips on how to maintain excellent customer service & how to convert your one-time customers into repeated customers.

It is an undeniable fact that no retail and wholesale trade can exist without customers. For a business’ success, it is important to work closely with your customers to make sure what you are offering to them is what they want and is according to their demand.

Increasing competition forces entrepreneurs to pay more attention towards a strong customer service that helps in bringing your customers closer to your business and satisfying them. Following are a few pointers that can make your customers feel valued and help you measure and manage customer satisfaction.

Focus on direct dealings

Direct dealing with customers is the most important yet the scariest and the most stressful experience for entrepreneurs, if they are not used to this. When you are working on a special project, you must meet your customers face to face to know their requirements and demands from your offers. The process gets easier with every meeting.

Be confident while meeting your customers and ask them what their needs are and what kind of solution they seek from you. The meeting over time makes it easy for you to propose a solution and close a deal.

Keep your customers well-informed

How annoying is it to wait for days to get a response for an important email or query? Customers do not understand that it is difficult for you to deal with a number of queries within a few hours so you have to manage to at least email or call them back to satisfy them that you have received their queries and you will contact them back with a solution as soon as possible.

Even if you are busy working on another project and cannot cater to a particular set of customers, you can assure them that their issue is in your knowledge and you are working on it.

Define customer service policy

Another annoying thing for customers is when they have any problem but do not know who to turn to. You are likely to lose a customer, if you pass him from person to person without solving his problem. To avoid any such situation, you must define a sound and a comprehensive customer service policy so that both your employees and customers know exactly what to do at each stage of inquiry.

Make sure your customer service policy is visible to your employees and your customers also have access to it so that both parties know what to do and how to proceed at each stage.

Keep your promises

The most important factor that helps you run a successful business is honouring and fulfilling your promises. Experts suggest entrepreneurs should always deliver to their customers and do exactly as they promise. Never disappoint your customers. It is essential to keep your customers connected to you.

A valuable customer service can help you achieve your targets and you must practice this art continuously though it takes time and effort to master. Treat your customers well and keep them connected to your business and they will surely want to buy from you again.

About the author

Julie Robert is a B2B wholesale trade and B2B marketing expert. She writes frequently on the topics related to UK Wholesalers & Wholesale supplies.

I am sure there are many other tips to make Customers Happy & Delighted, if you are aware about any such “Mantras”, please leave them in the comments section & we would include them in the main article.