Ransomware’s is a serious threat to the healthcare industry and the apparent affinity only makes things worse. In 2016, some 88 percent of commercially-focused ransomware attacks hit healthcare entities, and that’s a testament to the industry’s reliance on digital records.
Encryption has made this money-grubbing malfeasance possible as hospitals rely on it daily in other contexts. This means infected users who can’t pay are out of luck. A technically sound strain using leading encryption techniques is effectively impossible to remove without paying up, though some variants may have other workarounds that a user can exploit to regain file access.
This bad news underscores the importance of preparation if nothing else. Knowing what to do following a ransomware attack is far preferable to trying to fix it after the fact in healthcare systems and other organizations. Preparation is a key factor in stopping any malware but few require as much “pre-work” as ransomware does.
This can mean a few things in practice. Since most variants of the malware still need to be downloaded and opened or run, education and strong scanning solutions can be a formidable pair. Reminding your employees of the ways a malware can be picked up (email attachments, bad links, infected websites, and so on) is a smart practice. Providing malware-scanning tools is also advisable if you provide employees with laptops or allow them to bring their own devices.
Keep watching this space to know more about how early preparation can save your healthcare organization from stopping ransomware.