Like us, you have undoubtedly been horrified by the sheer scale and impact of the WannaCry ransomware worm attack that has infected over 230,000 machines across 150 countries since Friday.

The NHS was massively targeted and it has been reported that some 47 NHS trusts experienced major problems at hospitals and 13 NHS organisations in Scotland were affected. Up to 70,000 devices - including computers, MRI scanners, blood-storage refrigerators and theatre equipment - may have been compromised which caused huge disruption to services across the UK. Non-critical emergencies were turned away, scheduled operations cancelled and ambulances were diverted. The entire NHS IT system was put on lock down to prevent further attacks.

By targeting the Microsoft Windows operating system, encrypting data and demanding ransom payments in the cryptocurrency bitcoin, the virus, so far, has managed to entice people into making 238 payments worth more than £5 million.

The main reason why this kind of attack could wreak such havoc was due to outdated IT software running on older, aging equipment. Those machines that were not up-to-date with Microsoft’s latest security patch updates were targeted and massively at risk.

We guess the key question here is does this apply to you and is your IT estate vulnerable to cyber-attacks? Well, the answer is yes if you have machines running Windows operating systems and if you do not regularly run the Windows updates, use firewalls and anti-virus software. It sounds simple but we know it’s not. We know that some machines are so old that it is very hard to carry out a proper Operating System (OS) update and without that you’re more likely to fall prey to cyber-attacks.

There’s also the pressure of tighter budgets and smaller amounts of cash to consistently renew and upgrade your IT infrastructure. What many businesses and individuals don’t realise is that staying up-to-date with latest software and security measures doesn’t have to break the bank. We work with a wide range of clients, including those in the healthcare sector, where we have helped to upgrade their systems by using refurbished hardware that it just as high quality as brand new equipment but without the price tag.

In fact, our clients our able to actually save money that can be spent on other much needed resources. A prime example is Aneurin Bevan University Health Board who we have worked closely with to upgrade their IT systems with refurbished hardware, saving over £160,000 in the process. Interestingly, you’ll see in the news that NHS Wales has reportedly not been hit by the latest cyber-attack.

Hardware Associates has been delivering refurbished hardware and spare parts from Dell, Apple, HP and Lenovo for over 20 years. With that in mind we want to assure you that while buying refurbished computers can seem daunting we provide customers with warranties and our Q20 Promise, removing the fear of purchasing refurbished computers. All of our refurbished IT is rigorously tested and quality checked and by choosing to shop with us, you’ll pay up to 80% less.

If you want to find out how other businesses and organisations have saved thousands of pounds by buying top quality, refurbished desktops from us, with extended warranties on all machines, then do visit our case studies here.

To discuss your hardware requirements in more detail please do not hesitate to contact us on 01428 707900 or email us at