The need for Cybersecurity in the Healthcare Industry

    Mar 20, 2018 2:13:00 PM Keeran Networks Dental Practice Management, Security, Dentistry

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    Cybersecurity threats are continually evolving. Cybercriminals are getting smarter every day. Keeping up with these changes can be a hassle, but they must be taken seriously. Cybersecurity is becoming increasingly crucial for dental offices.

    Ransomware attacks are becoming more common. According to the FBI, ransomware attackers collected more than $209 million in ransom during the first three months of 2016 along.

    Healthcare providers are not immune to this kind of attacks. In fact, in 2016 88 per cent of all ransomware attacks targeted hospitals.

    Below are some tips on how to implement ransomware protection in the Healthcare Industry. 

    What is ransomware?

    Ransomware is a class of malware that can lock user’s files and hold them until the victim pays the ransom. Attackers use two main ways to infect your system with ransomware. One is through an email with a malicious attachment. The other way is by visiting a compromised website.

    Today’s cybercriminals are very smart and are crafting emails that are indistinguishable from genuine ones. This makes it especially hard to prevent ransomware attacks. 

    Recently, dental offices have been under threat from increasingly aggressive and brutal ransomware attacks. These attacks not only cause the dental practice to lose access to critical files, but they can also damage the reputation of the office.

    How to create ransomware protection

    The first step to take when implementing a ransomware protection package for your practice is to conduct a professional assessment of your network. This will determine where your system is vulnerable and make recommendations of ways to ease your chances of an attack.

    This assessment should look into three key areas: firewall, router, anti-virus software.

    • Network firewall: You should have a business-grade firewall when an active anti-malware program that is regularly updated.
    • Network router: You should have two separate Wifi connections. One for guests and employee personal use and one for the office server.
    • Server’s anti-virus software: You should use top-of-the-line anti-virus software that is regularly updated.

    Related: The Importance of Layered Online Security for Your Dental Practice

    In addition to these technical steps, you should also educate all staff members on how to protect against ransomware. This includes how to avoid camouflaged malware that is hidden in emails or on websites.

    Another way to help protect your practice is by regularly backing up your files. Make sure to encrypt your backups and keep them in a different location – preferably offline and offsite.

    We are at the point where most dental practices use cloud computing to complete daily tasks. Using digital methods has allowed for productivity to increase but has also allowed for the threat landscape to expand as well.

    It is essential for dental practices to work with IT professionals to make sure that their networks and data are safe.

    Key aspects to remember when protecting yourself from ransomware attacks are: evaluate your firewalls, anti-malware software, and backup and disaster recovery systems in place, as well as your system for patching your software. Be proactive in your approach to ransomware attacks.

    Keeran Networks

    Written by Keeran Networks