Since November of last year, health care organizations have seen an increase in cyberattacks by a whopping 45%. While attacks have increased by 22% across all industries globally, hospitals and other health-focused groups are the most targeted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Cyber criminals are utilizing DDoS attacks, botnet and remote code execution, as well as Ryuk and Sodinokibi ransomware.
Since many hospitals and healthcare groups are feeling the intense effects of the pandemic, criminals believe they’ll be more likely to answer ransom demands. Ransomware attacks cause major disruptions to patient care and the ability of staff to perform their jobs– which puts lives at risk. Bad actors believe they’ll receive the biggest financial return for going after the most vulnerable, in a time where providing critical care is crucial.
At first glance, it may seem like giving in to one of these threats would help minimize the consequences. But even with potential loss of life on the line, paying a ransom to a cybercriminal guarantees nothing. They may not decrypt your data or personal information, and it’s unlikely they would waste time assisting you when they’ve gotten the reward they’re after.
Having layers of defense to protect your organization from suffering a devastating loss is paramount to maintaining cybersecurity best practices. You’ll need strong layers of defense to protect yourself, your data and your clients. Listed below are some tips you can use to prevent ransomware or phishing attacks:
- Use tools with remediation features: Having software in place that alerts you to Trojan infections, which are usually the first signs of an incoming issue, can help you remove an opportunity for ransomware to infect your network
- Employee training: Many cyberattacks start with a phishing email. If your staff isn’t educated or up-to-date on how social engineering works, it may be time to look into training your end users. Simulated phishing attacks and other methods will teach your staff how to spot a suspicious e-mail and, hopefully, prevent them from succumbing to it
- Take note of weekends and holidays: Since most internal IT departments are away from their desks on those days, it just so happens those are the most popular times for ransomware attacks to occur. Make sure to increase security during those times
Remember that in no circumstances should you ever pay a ransom to a cyber criminal. This not only deprives your organization of much needed resources, it also encourages hackers to keep up their act.
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Written by Emily M.
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