Ransomware Attacks On The Rise In The Healthcare Sector

The rate of ransomware attacks continues to rise in the healthcare world—do you know how to keep your practice secure?

Did you know that ransomware attacks accounted for 50% of cybercrime incidents in the healthcare industry in 2020?

That trend continued through 2021 as well, with 43% of medical organizations experiencing at least one attack over the past two years. As the healthcare industry ramped up vaccination research and production over the course of the pandemic, cybercriminals refocused their efforts on this valuable data.

Do you have a plan for defending against ransomware in 2022?

Ransomware Attacks On The Rise In The Healthcare Sector

Ransomware Continues To Evolve And Proliferate

Ransomware is a type of malware or trojan that infects a network and blocks access to data stored on those networks by encrypting all the files in a way that is difficult, if not impossible, to decrypt.

The hackers who deploy the malware agree to provide a unique decryption key in exchange for a payment, usually in Bitcoin or some other cryptocurrency, making tracing and prosecuting the hackers difficult.

The malware is mostly spread using emails with embedded links that are sent out en masse to thousands if not millions of email addresses that can be readily obtained for less than $100.

The hackers anticipate that at least some of those emails will be opened and some of the links clicked, downloading malware to the unsuspecting user’s PC and starting the encryption process. Overall, it is a very easy process to manage, and the rewards are exponentially higher than the cost.

How Should You Protect Your Practice?

The best way to defend against ransomware is to work with an IT company (like 4it) whose team can implement a range of cybersecurity protections that will keep your data protected and your business in operation, no matter what happens.

Recommended security measures include:

  • Access Controls: Access controls should be configured so that shared permissions for directories, files, and networks are restricted. The default settings should be “read-only” access to essential files, with limited permissions for write access to critical files and directories. Furthermore, only those needing local admin rights are to be provided with that access.
  • Firewall: Your firewall is your first line of defense for keeping your information safe. A firewall is a particular type of solution that maintains the security of your network. It blocks unauthorized users or suspicious connections from gaining access to your data. Firewalls are deployed via hardware, software, or a combination of the two.
  • Network Monitoring: Your IT company should be keeping an eye on your systems around the clock, identifying and suspicious activity and addressing it immediately to prevent any negative effects. The ideal way to handle this is with MDR, an outsourced service that provides organizations with threat hunting services and responds to threats once they are discovered. MDR fully manages your cybersecurity defense, both keeping an eye out for threats, as well as providing the expert team to address them when they occur.
  • Data Backup: If you have a data backup solution, then it doesn’t matter if your data has been encrypted. You can just replace it with your backup, simple as that. That’s why you should make a considerable investment in a comprehensive backup data recovery solution so that you can restore your data at a moment’s notice when necessary. Be sure to:
    • Back up data on a regular basis, both on and offsite.
    • Inspect your backups manually to verify that they maintain their integrity.
    • Secure your backups and keep them independent from the networks and computers they are backing up.
    • Separate your network from the backup storage, so the encryption process is unable to “hop” networks to the backup storage device. This keeps your backup data from being encrypted.

Need Expert Assistance With Your Ransomware Defense?

When you’re not sure if you have the skills or knowledge to get the job done, what can you do? Consult with cybersecurity professionals like those on the 4it team.

Our job is to manage your cybersecurity, simple as that. Instead of needing an employee or internal team to keep your tech and data secure, you let our team do it for you.

Get in touch with our team to get started on your ransomware defense today.

4it Tech Insights

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