Ransomware, Coming to a Health Care Provider Near You

BY Brad Robinson | October 8, 2019

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Visiting your local primary care physician or dare I say it, your dentist should be an inherently safe experience. Unfortunately, housing and interacting with patients sensitive data is increasingly putting businesses in the crosshairs of hackers. The weapon of choice as of late has been ransomware. Imagine showing up for a routine doctor's appointment and being told the practice and all of your personal medical records have been hacked. This is happening more frequently all over the country - putting patient information and privacy at risk as well as causing many practices to close down permanently.  This is not some made-up blockbuster movie-plot, as reported in The Wall Street Journal, the average cost of a data breach per customer record is over $400 in the Health Care industry. It is more important than ever for companies to be intentional and proactive with their cyber-security.

Prevent
The best solution to any cyber-attack is to prevent it from happening in the first place. Yes, we know that is always the goal - but there are specific steps your company can and should take to help deter such an attack. Make sure that all devices whether desktop, laptop, tablet, phone, etc. have up to date cyber-security software on those devices. Educate your employees, if they receive an email or text from someone in the company that is out of the ordinary (a boss asking you to go pick him up some gift cards, or an email with an urgent link) don't click the links or better yet don't open the emails. Employee education is a big sticking point - these hackers need to find an entry point and taking advantage of employees is often the quickest and easiest way for them to do so.

Plan
Even with the most up to date software system, secure devices, and informed employees - there is always the possibility that a hacker can still find a way to penetrate your system. Often when this happens, the problem is magnified because the victim company has not taken the time to think, what happens if we actually do get attacked? Who do you call to help? Who do you report such an issue to? What companies or agencies can help get this issue resolved? What sort of employee or customer outreach needs to happen? These are all questions that will inevitably arise after a cyber-attack. Starting to put a blueprint together of how your company will respond, at a minimum starts the conversation and can foster company-wide buy-in while educating employees during the process.

Bottom-Line Be Prepared
At the end of the day, even with the best software and practices in place, there is the possibility for a momentary lapse in judgment and someone clicks on a link or responds to an email they shouldn't. If your company is attacked you need to be prepared to react in a swift matter to keep your company afloat. The stories from The Wall Street Journal, whether it is the three hospitals operating under emergency procedures in Alabama since a cyber attack Oct. 1 or a medical center in California that had to close it's practice completely due to a cyber-attack, unfortunately, aren't unique. These types of attacks are becoming ever-more prevalent and companies need to take action.

IT Security is critical – a security vulnerability can potentially put your entire company on hold or even worse out of business. Liberty Technology Advisor’s team of IT experts can help determine if you are investing in the proper security technology for your systems and help identify any potential areas of weakness. In today’s world, IT security needs to be at the top of every business’s internal IT Roadmap.

Contact LTA Today!

Categories: Proactive IT, Software Challenges, security, Liberty Technology Advisors

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