Ransomware is not a new kind of cyber-attack. In fact , it’s been around for a long time, but don’t let its age group fool you; ransomware is not “yesterday’s news”. Ransomware is just as alive like ever before, continuing to dominate sectors across the globe, and healthcare is not immune system from its threat.
You might be familiar with some of the more prominent ransomware attacks that made headlines during the last few years. Perhaps you’ve heard of Petya, a form of malware that affected a large number of computers across the globe in 2016 plus 2017. Then there was WannaCry ransomware, the infamous ransomware that required the world by storm in 2017. Let’s take a closer look at the WannaCry outbreak that caused chaos plus damage for many organizations.
The WannaCry Epidemic
WannaCry hit many organizations worldwide but possibly gained its notoriety by hitting several significant, high-profile systems, including Britain’s National Health Service as well as the United Kingdom’s National Health Provider (NHS). WannaCry showed just how harmful (and inconvenient) ransomware can be. Hostipal wards had to cancel operations and check ups, relocate patients, revert to pen and paper, and more.
Some businesses were hit harder than others by the attacks, like Erie County Medical Center who lost access to 6, 000 computers, forcing them to do their processes manually. Recovery costs for the infirmary reached $10 million.
Could It Have Been Prevented?
Microsoft actually released a patch had a need to prevent WannaCry infections BEFORE the attacks began. Unfortunately, despite the patch being deemed “critical”, many systems weren’t patched, leaving them vulnerable when WannaCry began sweeping the globe. Infected systems left their organizations with two choices: pay the ransom (and potentially still not regain access to your data) or recall your files from a backup.
This serves as a very important tip of two things:
- ALWAYS ensure your systems are unquestionably patched and kept up to date
- Backup your files inevitably
Fast forward to 2018-2019 – ransomware is still alive and doing very well. You may have heard of GandCrab, which developed surfacing in 2018. We’ve similarly seen LockerGoga, a form of ransomware who began surfacing early this year this is likely responsible for an attack on Norwegian aluminum manufacturing giant Norsk Hydro. And, in recent news, Robbinhood, pretty new variant of ransomware has demonstrated what damage it can cause, severe the city of Greenville, North Carolina in the past few months (April), and striking Baltimore state earlier this month.
Irrespective of what variant of ransomware we are seeing at any given time of any given for anybody who is, one thing remains the same – will be destroy your system, your data, your history, and can even close down your organization.
Protecting and Getting ready Your Organization
Health-related organizations must remain diligent for implementing and enforcing security solutions to protect against cybercrime. The worst should be to you can make is to assume you are not a meaningful target for cybercriminals – and consequently a target, from small businesses on the way to large corporations. If you access or simply store data, you have what scammers want.
Learn your employees. In the event that, your employees must be trained at security awareness. Not only should they are capable to spot and prevent malicious attempts while cybercriminals, they should also know how to open up if they suspect a data breach quite possibly inadvertently cause a security incident.
Ensure your réseau are properly segmented. If your organization would suffer a trigger, having segmented networks would make the much more difficult for the ransomware on spread across systems.
Patch your applications but also operating systems. If there is one specific known vulnerability, it is critical that you plot it as quickly as possible. Looking previously at WannaCry for example , had very much more organizations patched that vulnerability may well have yielded a much different results.
Frequently duplucate your files. Employing data backups is critical, for every data recovery and HIPAA compliance. Your current system is hit by ransomware, back up copies would provide you with access to method to prior to the intrusion. Make sure that your registers are backed up at an offsite place of business or in the cloud that way should the organization is struck by a health and safety incident or disaster, your a back up won’t go down with the rest of your main systems. You should also test your backups over and over to ensure they are not corrupted.
Have a disaster recovery furthermore an incident response plan. Your organization and your employees should know how to respond when a disaster and / or suspected security incident strikes. Come with these plans well documented keep in mind, not every incident will be handled exactly the same. The type of incident and the magnitude of this history incident will dictate how you respond to.
Cyber insurance policy is a must-have for every organization. Despite all preventative labors, breaches happen, and when they do the cost add up – quickly. HIPAA filiforme, legal counsel, breach notification, and credit worthiness monitoring are just some of the expenses chances are you’ll incur after an incident. Internet insurance can help protect you from losses with reference to data breaches or security traces.
While we’ve spotted several ransomware variants come and go in conjunction with chatter may seem to have silenced, don’t for one second be fooled down into thinking ransomware is dead. In case patches are issued for weaknesses and decryption tools are created for the purpose of regaining access to encrypted files, cybercriminals don’t just give up. Attackers get sophisticated and will continue to advance the company’s tactics and come out with new injuries of ransomware. Be prepared for an internet attack at any given moment which means you never know when one may find a way into your organization.