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British architecture firm suffers a ransomware attack

Sheppard Robson refused to pay the ransom and reported the incident to the police.

The Sheppard Robson IT team noticed unusual activity on their network on July 24 and publicly disclosed the incident on August 5.

“We immediately took steps to limit the damage caused by the attack by disconnecting our systems from the internet and shutting down any systems still in operation. We have now recovered access to our servers, and our team has done a fantastic job to keep projects running, with a clear plan in place to get back to business as usual,” the company said.

Established in 1938, Sheppard Robson employs almost 400 people and is one of the biggest architectural practices in the UK.

“We take cyber security and the protection of data extremely seriously and have the government-approved security procedures and certification. However, although security is in place, professional criminals have still managed to impact our network,” the company said.

As is typical with a ransomware attack, the criminals contacted the company asking for ransom. Sheppard Robson refused to pay and reported the incident to law enforcement.

“Recognising that the technology and tactics used by cybercriminals are constantly evolving, we are working with our firm of IT specialists to further enhance our cyber security defenses to protect our businesses against future attacks of this nature,” the company said.

In April 2020, another well-known architecture firm, Zaha Hadid Architects, fell victim to a ransomware attack and refused to succumb to cybercriminals’ demand. The company, attacked in the middle of the pandemic, stressed the importance of data protection and privacy with so many people working from home.

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