Many smaller healthcare practices erroneously assume that they won’t be the target of ransomware attacks, but the increased risk to practices of this size require a more proactive approach to cyber security.
The global risk of ransomware continues to grow, as do the potentially crippling effects for business of all types that experience such an attack. Healthcare organizations face a particular set of risks from the potential loss of protected and confidential data. All companies should take steps to protect themselves against this cybercrime threat, but smaller healthcare practices, in particular, have reason to be more vigilant in the face of this growing risk.
Many smaller practices fall into the trap of assuming that they face fewer cybersecurity threats than large healthcare organizations such as hospital groups. In fact, cybercriminals are increasingly likely to target these smaller healthcare practices, despite the lower amount of protected health information (PHI) such practices have compared to their larger counterparts. Why? The reason is simple; smaller practices tend to be less experienced with cybersecurity procedures, are less likely to have an internal IT department and are usually more dependent on quick access to their data than larger organizations. All of these factors make smaller practices easier targets for ransomware attacks.
The most important thing that you can do to protect your healthcare practice from a crippling ransomware attack is to be proactive. Train all of your employees on how to spot the potential ways that cyber criminals can initiate a ransomware attack. This includes educating your staff on the risks of downloading email attachments and clicking on suspicious links in emails. Once your employees are well aware of the potential risk factors that can lead to a ransomware attack, your practice will have created an effective first line of defense against this threat.
Backing up all of your critical data including PHI is also important. If you do fall victim to a ransomware attack, having a secure backup to rely upon will allow your practice to keep working while finding help to deal with the removal of the ransomware.
Luckily, if your practice has taken steps to prepare beforehand, a ransomware attack will be less disruptive. Even those firms with robust cybersecurity protocols can fall victim to an attack, however. If you do face a ransomware demand, many experts including the FBI recommend that you do not pay the ransom. Disconnecting infected machines from your business’ server can help stem the spread of the ransomware infection. At the end of the day, however, those without experience with cyber security threats can only serve to make the damage worse by trying to take corrective steps themselves. If your healthcare practice does not have an internal IT department, utilizing the services of a managed IT provider may be your best course for getting your practice back on its feet.
Are you concerned that your healthcare practice might be vulnerable to a ransomware attack? Our cyber security experts can help you assess your risks and institute better defenses. Contact us today at (416) 291-7377 or firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.
Thanks for helping us upgrade our Macs and get them working exactly as our business needs! Fast, convenient and very knowledgeable! You’re the best!
Alary Technologies has been our IT support team for the past year at the START Clinic for Mood and Anxiety Disorders. They have done a excellent job in upgrading our system, organization, and supporting us in technical computer matters. Compared to other IT companies we have worked with, Alary Technologies comes on top. Ahmed Kufaishi the Managing Director at Alary Technologies is solution focused, knowledgeable and makes an effort to really understand his clients’ needs. It has been a pleasure to work with Ahmed and Alary Technologies. I would recommend their services to other companies and clinics.
“We continue to work with Alary Technologies due to the fact that they are quite educated and knowledge based with current upgrades, and their commitment to their customers.”
Ahmed has been providing our company with expert IT services for close to 3 years. He has guided us through hardware upgrades, server back up procedures and was instrumental in brokering a custom software program that fully automated some key functions in our business. Ahmed has always been thoroughly professional in all his dealings with us and has provided consistent and sound advise for all of our IT requirements. We consider Ahmed and Alary Technologies to be an important partner for our business.
It is refreshing to work with someone who can organize things and describe in plain language. I have a large and growing knowledge base for my work as an architect. I have realized that I can’t do everything, that I do need a team member who can look after this one relatively small by crucial part of my practice.