Hospitals and Medical Practices Beware…

Ransomware is officially targeting you. Learn how to protect yourself, NOW!

Recently, there was a cyberattack on MedStar Health, one of the biggest health-care systems in the Washington region. We are seeing these attacks in the news more and more, but now we are facing a new kind of security threat targeting an industry that is racing to digitalize patient records. According to the Washington Post, security experts and hospital officials say that the industry is ill-prepared to handle this kind of threat.

The article read, “For years, hospitals and the health care industry have been focused on keeping patient data from falling into the wrong hands. But the recent attacks at MedStar and other hospitals across the country highlight an even more frightening downside of security breaches: As hospitals have become dependent on electronic systems to coordinate care, communicate critical health data and avoid medication errors, patients’ well-being may also be at stake when hackers strike”.

Hospitals are always chasing the latest medical and technological innovations, but a new concern is now having to protect patients’ medical records and technology systems against these ruthless hackers. “An industry that has traditionally spent a small fraction of its budget on cybersecurity is finding it must also teach doctors and nurses not to click on suspicious links and shore up its technical systems against hackers armed with an ever-evolving set of tools,” said the Post. We are used to educating our small business customers on how to stay safe online. However, for a hospital, this is all new territory now that they are becoming a target.

Ransomware, is not new, as you know if you follow our blog. We talk about it a lot and how it is an old virus that hackers are using more aggressively in recent days. It’s on the rise and it does not discriminate, but as of late, hospitals are particularly vulnerable.  If you are not actively pursuing cyber defense, your chances of being the next victim are high. Too high not to take immediate action.

The post closed their article on MedStar by stating, “Craig Williams, security outreach manager at Talos, the cybersecurity research group of Cisco, said that the use of ransomware has exploded because it has good profit margins. He estimated it as a $100 million a year business”.

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