Hacker gets denied access due to firewalls

Ransomware Attacks on Healthcare Increase in Q4 2020

The frequency of ransomware attacks is exponentially increasing every year, and these attacks are getting increasingly more sophisticated in their ability to attack businesses. 

One of the sectors they are particularly interested in attacking are the businesses in healthcare. There has certainly been a dramatic increase in attacks over the last few years in this industry. It seems that the number of attacks on healthcare in Q4 2020 are going to follow these same trends.

What is ransomware?

Ransomware is a type of malicious software that encrypts the files that are owned by the victim in question. The ransomware is often sent as an email link or other corrupt file. Once the victim’s file or data becomes compromised, the fix is then held over the victim’s head until some form of ransom is paid. 

When you own a business, you become increasingly vulnerable due to public awareness that exists around your business. Therefore, it’s essential to protect yourself and your data. Managed IT services, such as IT services in Indianapolis, can help to protect your business.

Are ransomware attacks rising for healthcare in Q4 2020?

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, there has been data collected that portrays a steady rise in ransomware attacks over the last few years. 

In 2018, there were only 35 breaches reported by healthcare companies. However, this rose to 193 breaches in 2019, and during 2020 so far, there’s been 144. 

This data proves to businesses within the healthcare industry that the threat of becoming the next victim is very real. These businesses should be raising awareness of these attacks, as well as implementing preventative measures that can protect their sensitive information.

An example of a recent ransomware attack is from September 28th, 2020, when Universal Health Services was hit by a ransomware attack. Universal Health Services is one of the largest healthcare providers in the US. This shows that even the big providers can be at risk of cyberattacks. 

Fortunately, it appears as if no patient information or employee data was copied or stolen, but it is still unfortunate and alarming that it happened.

How do you go about protecting your own business?

It’s not possible to completely eliminate the risk of ransomware attacks from happening. However, there can still be preventative measures put in place. 

There are a variety of ways to ensure your organization is protected, and these include the following:

Train Your Staff

Training your staff to be aware of the dangers that malware and other cyberattacks present is probably the most important preventative measure to take. Staff are the most vulnerable element when it comes to cyberattacks. One simple human error can result in your information being compromised. 

Regular training can help prevent this and keep your staff confident when navigating the online world.

Make Regular Back-Ups

Regular back-ups of your data will help you to prepare for any future attacks, and it offers peace of mind that if anything were to happen to your data, you have a copy of it.

Use Mitigation Strategies

There are a few mitigation strategies worth utilizing when it comes to your business. These include whitelisting certain apps and websites, as well as patching operating systems.