Ransomware: Don’t Become a Statistic

October is National Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) and there’s no better time than now to focus on protecting yourself from ransomware. More and more healthcare practices are becoming victims of ransomware.  Here are the facts on the impact ransomware has on the healthcare industry:


– A business will fall victim to a ransomware attack every 11 seconds.


– Ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations, the number 1 cyber-attacked industry, are expected to quadruple in 2020.


So how does a practice get hacked:


1) By clicking on a legitimate looking attachment or URL within an email OR


2) A website is seeded with a malicious code.


Once the infection hits the system, the malware begins encrypting all data that resides on the computer including data within the network. The victim no longer can access their files and receives computer messages demanding the ransom in exchange for the decryption key. It’s important to note, authorities do not recommend a victim paying the ransom.


One may never be able to be completely protected against an attack; however, listed below are some key steps to help prevent and prepare.


– Implement a training program for office staff on the threat of ransomware and how a system can become infected.


– Firewalls, antivirus, antimalware and anti-exploit security programs should always stay up-to-date and schedule scans to be automatic.


– Always upgrade operating system, software and firmware to the latest version.


– Perform daily secure backups of critical data locally and off-site to a reputable cloud backup provider.


For a detailed list of steps to help prevent and handle an attack, review Ransomware by the RCMP http://www.rcmp-grc.gc.ca/scams-fraudes/ransomware-rancongiciels-eng.htm and How to Protect Yourself from Ransomware by the FBI https://www.justice.gov/criminal-ccips/file/872771/download.


Cloud backup is crucial in fighting ransomware. Practice Perfect has partnered with DataHEALTH, the leading provider of cloud backup to the healthcare industry. DataHEALTH is PIPEDA compliant plus the only cloud backup provider to be both URAC HIPAA Security Business Associate and National Institute of Standards and Technology FIPS 140-2 encryption certified. Take advantage of the 30-day free trial along with waiving the annual licensing fee for first year. Pricing starts at $19.90 USD. Contact DataHEALTH TODAY at 888-656-3282 ext. 280 or visit http://www.datahealth.com/practice-perfect-emr. Offer expires Friday, November 6, 2020

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