Recent global ransomware attacks are providing a startling wake-up call to the healthcare industry, and reinforce a point that can’t be overstated: make sure your network security is up to date with the latest protections.
You may recall hearing about the WannaCry ransomware virus attack, which began on May 12 and was reported to have infected more than 200,000 computers in at least 150 countries. One of the affected organizations was Britain’s National Health Service, which saw its records and booking systems locked. Whereas many ransomware attacks are the result of phishing scams and trick a user into opening the malicious attachment or link, WannaCry was a network worm that used a vulnerable Windows SMB driver as a point of entry, thus illustrating the importance of keeping your operating system up to date.
This was the second major attack on a British healthcare system within a year. In late October, three hospitals in the Northern Lincolnshire and Goole NHS Foundation Trust were forced to cancel operations and outpatient appointments after being forced offline as a result of the Goole2 ransomware infection.
These are more than just isolated incidents. They’re becoming an alarming trend.
Here are 5 facts about cyber-attackers targeting the healthcare industry:
*Source for 1-4: The Conversation, “Why has healthcare become such a target for cyber-attackers?”, Myrsini Athinaiou
**Source for 5: WatchGuard Technologies, “Whitepaper: Keep Ransomware from Scratching at Your Door.
If ransomware is becoming more sophisticated and the attacks more frequent, what does that mean to businesses like dental practices specifically?
According to WatchGuard Technologies, a leader in the network security market, small-to-midsize businesses disproportionately fall victim to ransomware, as they often lack the technical skills and tools needed to prevent infection. This breaks down into real dollars and cents for dental practices.
Here are some statistics from WatchGuard Technologies’ report:
The costly setbacks of a ransomware attack could be devastating to your practice, not to mention the permanent damage it can do to your practice’s reputation.
Protect Your Practice
Henry Schein TechCentral offers dental practices a comprehensive, all-in-one network security solution provided by WatchGuard that is tailored specifically for the dental market. Key to the TechCentral approach is the ability to correlate network and endpoint security events with threat intelligence to detect, prioritize, and enable immediate action to stop malware attacks.
In an era of sophisticated attacks, it’s time to invest in sophisticated network security solutions. You owe it yourself and your patients. Your success begins with a free network assessment performed by a TechCentral technology professional who will evaluate your networks, servers, firewall and more. Call 844.206.1228 to schedule your assessment today.
To learn more about how small-to-midsize businesses can defend against the onslaught of ransomware attacks, download the free eBook, How to Avoid Falling Prey to Ransomware.
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