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10 February, 2018

Ransomware in Health Industry

The threat of ransomware in all industries is real. The malware has caused so much havoc that information security experts come from all walks of life just to discuss the malware and look for ways to combat its effect. The agreement is that it is a huge threat that will hit many entities. One of the things discussed was whether to pay the ransom or not, but it has been realized that the payments give the criminals money to improve their creation.

This threat brought to the forefront one issue – that companies aren’t doing an excellent job regarding safeguarding, backing up and recovering of their data. If companies were following the best practices of backing up and securing their data, they wouldn’t have to pay thousands of dollars in ransom. All they need to do is take a daily snapshot and voila – they will have saved thousands.

The Health Industry Has Not Been Spared

Over the years, the integrity of health records storage has been questioned with various measures put in place to safeguard this highly sensitive data. However, with changes in employees and upgrading of systems, many of them have been found wanting.

At good health facilities, data backups occur every 15 minutes, with complete daily backups. The backups are made on more than two locations, both physical and cloud-based. The onsite backups are the most important because of ransomware attacks; the data is restored easily.

However, there have been cases of health facilities becoming victims of ransomware. This malware takes over the data and encrypts it, making it impossible for anyone to access the data. Being a health facility that needs data access 24/7, it becomes hard to provide some services that need the health workers to access relevant data.

Data Backup Isn’t the Only Solution

Regardless of where you store your backups and software configurations, you shouldn’t depend on the backups alone. Instead, you need to have another kind of security that will monitor and alert you in case of any problem. For instance, you need to keep every aspect of your network up to date and properly patched. This includes the operating system, the BIOS, the firmware and all network related firmware.

You MUST identify anything that is obsolete and not working and stop using it. This includes software and hardware.

What Should You Do If You Get a Ransomware Message?

It is possible that a node on your network might be infected with the malware. If a user gets a ransomware “note,” he or she should disconnect from the network but leave the computer running. The next step is to call in the experts from amazingsupport.co.uk to come and handle the issue.

In Closing

The importance of health records to your facility and your patients is unmatched. However, anyone can hold you at ransom using this sensitive information. Instead of paying thousands of dollars due to ransomware, it is better to undertake preventative measures to prevent the issue happening in the first place. Work with a professional to achieve this level of protection.