Cyber attacks are hitting the healthcare industry hard.
Hackers are shifting gears away from finance and retail networks to take out healthcare networks. Why?
- Hospitals and other medical organizations are attractive networks to hack because patient health information can be sold on the black market or used to commit medical fraud.
- Many healthcare organizations are lagging behind in secure networks compared to other industries making them more vulnerable to perpetrators.
- Hackers are taking out medical networks so staff are left without access to email and important patient data and must pay a fee to get the information returned to them.
Healthcare companies are not immune to cyber attacks, specifically ransomware—software that holds important data hostage until a sum of money is paid—because the number, sophistication and complexity of ransomware attacks has grown substantially over the years. On top of that, there are many techniques used to infect healthcare systems so there’s not just one solution needed to one ransomware problem, but multiple and evolving malware.
Two ways healthcare organizations can fight ransomware are:
- Educate employees on cyber attacks and prevention strategies. It has been said that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. That same idea is true with cybersecurity malware.
- Have response methods in place that minimize the impact on a business. Routinely and frequently backing up company data is one key practice. It seems so obvious, but there’s a reason why healthcare organizations are a target of ransomware.
We are recommending that healthcare facilities take the following measures to avoid and protect against such threats:
- Use a reliable, business grade anti-malware software
- Implement a business grade anti-virus software
- Deploy automated patching and logging service
- Purchase cyber insurance
- Implement internet proxy
- Have workstation policies in place to avoid the spreading of viruses
- Have a monthly staff in-service on cyber threats and internet safety
- Setup online data back-ups
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more information on how to protect your healthcare network from ransomware.
Image sources: http://www.businessinsider.com, http://www.bbc.com