In light of the growing threat of ransomware attacks and recent events proving how easily such attacks can disable healthcare facilities, all industry businesses must take this threat seriously. Ransomware can bring any business not protected with effective IT solutions to its knees.
Ransomware attacks due to insufficient managed IT solutions can be even more serious for healthcare businesses, where access to ePHI is essential. Along with using the most secure technology, healthcare industry companies must implement the following three essential practices as part of overall healthcare IT solutions.
1. Keep All Software Updated and Patched
Out-of-date software is one of the most common vulnerabilities that gives access to various types of malware. Normally when new malicious programs are detected, software developers get to work making sure their programs are secure against such threats and repairing any vulnerabilities with patches. Yet software patches do little good when IT solutions do not keep programs updated by installing security patches as they are issued.
To ensure the highest degree of security against malicious programs like ransomware, every healthcare business must make checking for updates and patches, especially when new threats become known, a critical part of its managed IT solutions.
2. Perform Regular and Complete Data Backups
While updated software as well as strong device and network security work to prevent ransomware attacks, total IT solutions should also address how to deal with the aftermath should an attack occur. Since ransomware encrypts the data on local networks making it inaccessible, the most reliable means of regaining data is by having a backup.
Full data backups that include all software and stored data should be a normal part of all managed IT solutions for this very reason. Businesses that have access to a copy of their data can upload it and resume normal operations more quickly.
3. Provide Continuous Employee Training
Along with out-of-date and vulnerable software, employees are another prime reason why malicious programs attack business computers and networks. To address this, healthcare businesses must train their employees about the threat of ransomware and other malware and make regular training a part of ongoing security IT solutions.
Companies must create policies on the permitted use of all company technology and teach employees how to keep data secure. Continuous training on how to recognize malicious programs along with updates regarding new threats are very useful when implemented as a part of overall IT solutions. Over 80% of surveyed IT professionals agree that employees and lack of security training pose one of the biggest threats to healthcare businesses.
Ransomware has become a very serious issue over the past few years, affecting many businesses not protected with the right IT solutions. The best way to prevent disruptive and potentially damaging attacks from current and future malware threats is to utilize healthcare IT solutions that incorporate employee training, regular data backups, and timely software updates and patching.
When approached from both the security and management sides, healthcare businesses that have complete managed IT solutions are much less likely to fall prey to ransomware and other malicious attacks!