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Nearly one million new malware threats are released via the Internet every day. The most common type of malware is ransomware. You’ve seen enough headlines to grasp the sharp reality conveyed by the following statistics:
[SOURCE: Healthcare Informatics]
WHAT IS RANSOMWARE?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software designed by hackers to hold for ransom a user’s files (such as electronic health records). Hackers infiltrate a system and activate software to encrypt the user’s files. Then the hackers demand the user pay a fee for access to a decryption key. Often payment is demanded in Bitcoin and other digital currency that provides criminals an anonymous way to get paid.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Experts say that ransomware exploits “the human element” – like employees, customers, and suppliers. Hackers have many ways to initiate an attack – everything from common malvertising and phishing methods to sophisticated thumb drive drop tactics. The infections can begin when users click on links in phishing emails, or if malicious ads or compromised sites redirect users to domains hosting exploit kits. Exploit kits can also be delivered via email attachments or infected thumb drives.
When the exploit kit successfully exploits a system, it makes a callback to a ransomware drop host to retrieve the private keys needed to encrypt the endpoint. Most popular exploit kits have to resolve a domain name to an IP address to initiate the callback.
WHAT CAN SMALL AND MID-SIZED HEALTHCARE ORGANIZATIONS DO?
Deploying technology and tools designed to combat ransomware alongside comprehensive company-wide strategies can go a long way toward preventing – and in the worst case – mitigating a ransomware incident’s impact.
While ransomware is expected to net cybercriminals $1 billion this year, organizations can still win with the right technology on their side. You Can Avoid Becoming a Victim of Cybercrime!
MTS can help you reduce your risk of ransomware, starting with an evaluation of your existing security program. The evaluation includes recommended steps you can take to avoid having your data held hostage by cybercriminals.
Ready to ensure your network is optimally protected against ransomware and other threats? Give MTS a call – we would be happy to set up a brief call to review our suite of security solutions.