There seems to be no lasting solution in sight to the series of malware attacks ravaging the cyber security space. Attacks that have proven to be very much successful in times past are still reutilized today by persistent hackers who are not relenting on their oars to develop malware. The Locky ransomware was recently revived by hackers who are currently using it to infect thousands of computers on a global scale.
This post is set to demonstrate how healthcare IT practitioners can safely secure their practice.
Old tricks still on the rampage
Known as “IKARUSdilapidated,” the new ransomware strain operates just like the other Locky variants. Users are sent deceptive emails and are tricked to download and open a ransomware-infused zip, jpg, pdf, or Docx file that is capable of encrypting the local files on their PC. Once everything’s locked down, users will be demanded to make payments in Bitcoin before their files can be released.
There is no doubt, that a good number of users in their thousands could have already been infected by the ransomware. On August 28 alone, over 23 million ransomware emails were sent and delivered. This is credited to statistics obtained from recent reports.
Unlike the original Locky code, which can now be easily detected by systems with updated security measure, the new IKARUS variant is capable of slipping through outdated security tools as it is often identified as an “unknown file.” These hackers have learned to regularly update the malware so it can evade being detected. Interestingly, the fraudulent emails they send are now more convincing than ever.
Healthcare remains vulnerable
Since the healthcare sector is concerned with the management of a large amount of patient information that it can’t just afford to lose, it has always been a lucrative target for these miscreants. Despite being experienced in handling ransomware attacks for some time now, there is still no guarantee that healthcare IT professionals can prevent future attacks from occurring. Most attacks are targeted at the healthcare sector because they are more likely to pay the ransom.
It’s easy for hackers to pick off most firms because of their inability to run basic security tools, slowness to properly update their software, and failure to implement solid security systems from a managed service provider.
Are there any preventive measures to take?
Believe it or not, hackers will not stop at delivering dangerous ransomware to unsuspecting users. But it’s good to know that you can your patient data and servers safe in the midst of these. Here is what you must do;
– Ensure regular and proper update of your systems. If possible, run the latest OS and check for frequent updates.
– Set your antivirus software, email protections, intrusion prevention systems, and firewalls to stop the download of unknown file types until they are ascertained to be safe.
– Encourage your Healthcare IT team to attend security training seminars.
– Backup your files with a reliable managed IT provider.