Hospitals – the biggest threat to Ransom-ware

Our lives have been revolving around the internet and it is a common phenomenon that loopholes and weaknesses start to escalate when people start relying on something. Similar is the scenario with the internet and applications that depend on the use of the internet, each day we come across a malware that operates in a different manner to the one that are already been cured in previous security applications.

What is Ransomware?

Ransomware is one such kind of malware as the name suggests, it works in a way that the intruder binds the system and only releases the system once paid for. Ransomware is designed for a data breach which keeps a person from accessing the data until a certain amount of ransom is paid against the access and is demanded in Bitcoin. Ransomware goes toe to toe with cryptography that encrypts the data within a system with the help of a private key, which is impossible to decrypt unless the private key is matched with the one used during encryption.

Health Care & Ransomware

Ransomware is becoming a profitable business based on how it is being used for digital extortion. The reason behind this is that business owners are prone to paying the ransom because they cannot afford to have a downtime on their systems for a long time. The best targets for intruders attacking with Ransomware are Healthcare departments such as hospitals. Doctors tend to lose their calm based on the fact that there are human lives dependent and they have to make sure they have up-to-date data with relevance to each and every patient.

Without instant access to medication, surgery directives and other information, patient treatments can get delayed, which makes hospitals more likely to pay a ransom rather than taking the risk since it can put result in lawsuits and deaths.

Another reason that makes Hospitals a better option is because Hospitals normally don’t tend to invest in an Information Technology Department which puts them under the spotlight for Ransomware attackers. Without the help of on-ground technical support Ransomware cannot be stopped or tackled.

How Can Hospitals Tackle Ransomware?

There is always a solution to the problem, however, the efficiency can vary based on the practices used before and after the system is infected or encrypted. Hospitals must keep themselves registered to an IT security company that can help with the problem one a timely basis. The advantage of having an IT person or team, depending on the scale of the system and the size of the hospital, is that the issue can be addressed without floating the news to patients that can hurt the reputation of a hospital.

Timely backups or daily backups of active systems should be stored on a daily basis. This can help restoring the system immediately after an attack takes place and data access is denied. The biggest advantage is that backups can bring the system back online instantly before the actual system is recovered from the attack.

 

 

by Kamran Khan

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