Ransomware attacks against medical practices are surging in the US over the past year. Ransomware is a term used to describe malicious software designed to block access to data until a sum of money is paid. Cybercriminals use ransomware because it is highly profitable and very difficult to trace. An infected email attachment or fake website is all it takes to initiate an attack. In fact, these criminals can spoof any sender e-mail address. This gives the illusion that a co-worker, friend, or family member sent the email. As a result, these attackers infect your computer or servers and encrypt all of your data. Shortly thereafter, they demand a significant payment before releasing your data back to you and your business. Alarmingly, this amount can range anywhere from two to fifty thousand dollars, or more.
“These detection spikes and tactic changes suggest that the cybercriminals are investing more to maximize their profits.” according to experts.
The Ransomware Epidemic
This epidemic is just the start and will continue to get worse. As we all know, access to patient health records is critical for medical practices. That’s why these attackers are setting their crosshairs on healthcare.
John Dritsas, our CTO, stated “To prevent these attacks It’s essential that medical practices have proper protections in place. Some of the desktop safeguards include antivirus software and encryption. On the network level, adequate backup procedures and a disaster recovery plan are also important. Also, implement a Virtual Private Network (VPN) and disable Remote Desktop from public access. In my opinion, Healthcare IT needs to pay close attention to this epidemic. If they don’t, cybercriminals will win this war.”
ICS Assisting the FBI with Ransomware Investigations
The FBI recently contacted Innovative Computer Systems for assistance in their war on ransomware. We were happy to provide them with detailed information on the origins of these attacks. As a result, the FBI Agents found the data we provided very useful in their global investigation. After all, we’re all in this together and we owe it to our clients to end this heinous crime.
Subscribe to IT Matters, our monthly eNewsletter. IT Matters is full of technology news, advice, and useful tech tips to help you through your busy workday!