Don’t Leave Your Medical Practice Facility Unprotected From Ransomware

In the technological age, protecting data has become a vital part of everyday business operations – and a difficult task.

With the digital security landscape ever changing, it’s important to have a strong password on all your Internet accounts and mobile apps. This allows you to keep secure in the knowledge that your personal and business information is not protected from those who would try to do you harm.

Hackers and cybercriminals are constantly looking for ways to victimize those who aren’t properly protected with their scams and attacks. And no one – big or small – is safe. Just ask Sony Pictures Entertainment, which suffered a very public series of data attacks last year.

Targeting Health Care Systems and Medical Practice Facilities from Ransomware

Recently, cybercriminals have found new victims to target and extort in the health care realm.

Why are cybercriminals targeting health care facilities and medical practices? According to The Washington Post, it is because their budgets are very small for cyber defense, leaving them more vulnerable to data hackers and extortionists than other organizations.

Medical Data SecurityHealth care systems and medical practices with various amounts of data have found themselves victims of ransomware and malware attacks, and these types of issues are happening across the nation.

In New Orleans, a medical practitioner’s office was left unable to function properly following a ransomware attack, reported WWL-TV. All the practice’s data was gone and they were left with nothing but a ransom note asking for a ransom payment in bitcoins – initially in an amount equivalent to about $400 – to get back their patient information. The ransom demands kept increasing each day it wasn’t paid.

The New Orleans doctor was able to recover most of the records and data but at a cost, and now has a deeper appreciation for cybersecurity.

If hackers were able to wreak that kind of havoc at a small practice, imagine how devastating the data loss could be from a ransomware attack at a bigger facility.

MedStar in the Baltimore-Washington region runs 10 hospitals, 250 clinics and more. Hackers locked several employees out of their system with a software attack, asking for 45 bitcoins – valued at almost $19,000 – to recover their files or after 10 days they would make it impossible to get their data back.

MedStar responded by taking down their system immediately, and was able to restore their data, but had to revert to paper filing during the downtime. Physicians were also unable to access the network or their email remotely, patients had to be turned away, and surgeries and medical appointments were rescheduled.

How to Protect Your Data from Ransomware

Ransomware hacks do not typically extract the data. Instead, these attacks more often make the data inaccessible to the employees. There aren’t any exact numbers of the number of health care data breaches available at this time, yet as you see from the above examples the attacks can happen to any sized facility.

Having a secure, up-to-date and complete data backup both on and off-site can protect your medical facility if you become the victim of a ransomware attack. At CWP Tech Solutions, we specialize in on- and off-site disaster recovery and business continuity services that will assist in protecting your medical records and data. With on-site virtualization, CWP can immediately get your office back up and running as soon as there is a ransomware attack.  This keeps your facility running properly based on the latest backup data, while our technicians work to recover new data and remove malware from your server as soon as possible.

Want more information on our data recovery services or about any of the services we offer? Contact us at 301-662-6219 today!

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