Hackers Threaten To Expose Patient’s Private Data – Are You A Target?

 Is Your Healthcare Clinic A Target For Ransomware?

Usually, when a ransom is involved in a healthcare industry cybercrime attack, it’s a part of a normal ransomware scam. The hacker installs malware that encrypts the target’s data and prevents access to it unless they pay a ransom.

A recent attack against a Florida facial restoration clinic is a little bit different. Instead of preventing the doctor and patients’ access to the data, the hackers are blackmailing them, by threatening to release the data to the public unless a ransom is paid.

The cybercriminals have communicated with Richard Davis, MD, as well as several of the patients, in order to secure a ransom. Davis has lodged a complaint with the FBI, but in the meantime, the personal data of up to 3,500 current and former patients is at risk.

Healthcare Clinic Protected With Cybersecurity Services

Is Your Clinic At Risk?

Although the hackers are executing this attack differently than a conventional ransomware attack, the root of the problem was the same. Davis wasn’t properly protecting his patients’ data, which allowed hackers to access his systems.

No matter how cybercriminals choose to try to make money off of you, you need to be prepared to defend yourself. Data protection is a crucial part of operating in the healthcare industry – in failing to do so, you risk noncompliance fines, lost business, and further expenses in ransoms like these.

How Can You Protect Your Clinic From Similar Attacks?

Protecting your data requires a comprehensive approach to cybersecurity. You need to understand how your data is stored, how it is protected, and how to watch out for attempted penetrations.

To kickstart your data protection processes, begin by answering these five questions:

1. Do You Have An Inventory Of Your Data Assets?

You have to start from a place of understanding. Begin by taking stock of your data – what it is, where it is stored, etc. With that information, you can then move forward in protecting it.

2. What Would Happen If You Lost Those Data Assets?

You also have to consider the worst-case scenario. What would it mean to you if you lost your data right now? Do you have a backup plan? Do you have redundancies and contingencies in place?

3. Is Your Data Backed Up?

Do you have a data backup policy in place?

If not, then you’re vulnerable, right now, to ransomware. If you have a data backup solution, then it doesn’t matter if your data has been encrypted by ransomware. You can just replace it with your backup, simple as that.

That’s why you should make a considerable investment in a comprehensive backup data recovery solution so that you can restore your data at a moment’s notice when necessary.

Be sure to:

  • Back up data on a regular basis (at least daily).
  • Inspect your backups to verify that they maintain their integrity.
  • Secure your backups and keep them independent from the networks and computers they are backing up.

4. Does Your Staff Help Protect Your Data?

A comprehensive cybersecurity training program will teach your staff how to handle a range of potential situations:

  • How to identify and address suspicious emails, phishing attempts, social engineering tactics, and more.
  • How to use business technology without exposing data and other assets to external threats by accident.
  • How to respond when you suspect that an attack is occurring or has occurred.

5. Can You Detect Intrusions?

Security information and event management (SIEM) technology is a secure cloud service that provides 24/7 IT security and operation monitoring to oversee a given practice’s security needs. A SIEM solution offers a monitoring service, with adaptive threat protection that identifies active cyberattacks and takes action in real-time to protect your practice.

By integrating intelligence from global threat monitoring feeds, this solution responds to network-based zero-day exploit attempts, drive-by downloads, and advanced malware that routinely bypass conventional firewall and antivirus technologies.

This works in concert with a Security Operations Center (SOC) – this is a team of people, employing a range of proven processes and using carefully implemented technologies (such as SIEM) which are often centralized. They gather and analyze user reports and a range of data sources – such as logs — from information systems and cybersecurity controls.

Typically, the main point of a SOC in the healthcare setting is to identify, address and eliminate cybersecurity events that could negatively impact an organization’s information systems or data.

Need A Hand Keeping Patient Data Safe?

By far the best way to keep patient data safe is with expert support from Where To Start, Inc. As a part of the commitment we make to our clients, we save you money and reduce your risk, by aligning your business and IT goals. When properly integrated, these services make you more profitable and secure – that’s our promise.

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