Healthcare Ransomware attacks: 10 ways for healthcare organizations to deal with against it
Healthcare Ransomware attacks are on the rise, making the data of healthcare organizations and other care facilities susceptible to demands from cybercriminals. sThe healthcare cybersecurity procedures that safeguard the world’s technological resources ought to expand with it. Any healthcare organization ought to prioritize having a ransomware defense strategy. Users and organizations with inadequate security can put themselves at risk of losing sensitive information without it.
From 34% in 2020, two-thirds (66%) of healthcare ransomware attacks occurred last year. The fact that healthcare cybersecurity has nearly doubled demonstrates that attackers are significantly more capable of carrying out the most significant attacks on a larger scale.
HOW DOES RANSOMWARE WORK?
Ransomware is a sophisticated type of malware that can infect a computer and hold personal information (PII) or sensitive data hostage until a ransom is paid. In order to extort money from victims, cybercriminals frequently employ a binary encryption key to restrict data access.
EHR downtime, data encryption, ambulance diverts, and other disruptions can occur as a result of healthcare ransomware attacks. In the event of an attack, healthcare organizations must quickly restore critical operations and get systems up and running, as patient safety is at stake.
However, healthcare organizations may be susceptible to future ransomware attacks even if they have a comprehensive incident response plan because they may overlook important considerations during the rapid response and recovery process.
Healthcare organizations can reduce their risk of becoming victims of healthcare ransomware attacks again by properly remediating the first time, ensuring that they have a comprehensive vulnerability management process, and learning from other healthcare organizations, despite the fact that risk cannot be eliminated.
There are, thankfully, a lot of ways to guard against and avoid healthcare ransomware attacks. In order to ensure that neither you nor your company are ever at risk from a ransomware attack, it is critical to adhere to fundamental healthcare cybersecurity practices and remain proactive in the face of technology’s ever-changing landscape.
- One of the easiest ways to reduce risk is to back up your data to an external hard drive or cloud server. The user can reinstall the backup files after wiping the computer clean in the event of a healthcare ransomware attack. At the very least once per day should be the ideal frequency for healthcare organizations to back up their most critical data.
- Always keep your operating system, web browser, antivirus, and any other software you use up to date to the most recent version that is available. Healthcare organizations should ensure that everything is patched and up-to-date because malware, viruses, and ransomware are constantly evolving with new variants that can bypass your current healthcare cybersecurity measures.
- Install firewalls and antivirus software
The most common methods for defending against ransomware attacks are comprehensive antivirus and anti-malware software. Cyberthreats can be scanned, detected, and dealt with by them. However, since antivirus software only works on the internal level and can only detect an attack once it has entered the system, you will also need to set up your firewall.
- Develop healthcare cybersecurity plans and policies.
Create a healthcare cybersecurity response plan so that your IT security team has a clear plan to follow in the event of a healthcare ransomware attack. Policies for controlling the ransomware attack and preventing damage to core assets, gathering forensic evidence, determining the extent of the damage, and communicating with vendors and stakeholders should be included in the plan.
- Protect your endpoints An endpoint is a device that communicates with a network from a distance. This includes the healthcare organization’s desktop, router, modem, printer, and any other Internet of Things devices. By ensuring that all devices have secure configuration settings and are not left with a healthcare cybersecurity gap from default configurations, you can protect your endpoints and significantly reduce the risk of a ransomware attack.
- Take into consideration cloud technologies A growing number of businesses are migrating their data from on-premise systems to cloud-based architectures. In the event of a ransomware attack, cloud storage solutions can restore your files to the most recent version and provide robust security that hackers are unable to exploit.
- Limit access Open access makes it easier for malware to spread quickly and easily through an organization’s network and infect everything it comes into contact with. Make sure that users only have access to the information they need to do their day-to-day work. This restricted access may limit the ransomware’s damage in the event of a breach.
- Establish a healthcare cybersecurity culture and make it clear to employees about the dangers of healthcare ransomware attacks and the devastating effects they can have on the business. Requiring a VPN service on a public Wi-Fi network and preventing USB sticks or other storage media from being inserted into a work computer are two examples of clear employee policies that can prevent a ransomware attack when an employee is working from home.
- As human error is the most common cause of a healthcare ransomware attack, ensure that all employees are properly trained to recognize malicious activity.
- Utilize zero trust technology to close the gaps
Despite the usefulness of the aforementioned precautions, zero trust technology is the most secure healthcare cybersecurity strategy. Healthcare Organizations can control who has access to their data, applications, and networks and prevent ransomware attacks on their businesses by adopting a zero-trust strategy.
Avoiding a situation is always preferable to attempting to resolve one. In the healthcare industry, failing to prepare for a security threat can result in significant financial and business costs. Therefore, it is preferable to take preventative measures to strengthen defenses against healthcare ransomware attacks right now.