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Glossary Terms

What is Ransomware?

Glossary

Ransomware is software designed to disrupt a computer system, and hackers will only stop the attack in exchange for a monetary payment - a ransom. They could attack to damage the system in place or provide the infiltrator with unauthorized access to sensitive information. Unfortunately, healthcare is often regularly targeted due to the data's high stakes. 

According to a recent Cost of a Data Breach Report 2021 from IBM, these unwarranted attacks amassed a sum of $9 million worth of damages in 2021 alone. This disrupts day-to-day runnings in a healthcare practice, but lives are put at risk. Due to its ever-increasing prevalence in the field, it's never been more critical to have staff trained in how to defend against malware.

How Does Ransomware Appear On A System?

Ransomware tends to manifest itself in three main ways:

  • Through malicious attachment links in phishing emails
  • Through links shared in things such as social media or on other websites
  • Through falsely leading advertisements

Hackers that create ransomware are often very duplicitous in their approach, and it becomes increasingly more difficult to spot a genuine link. TTPS (tactics, techniques, and procedures) used by the threat are what need to be blocked to prevent it and analyze the way it was executed to stop it from happening in the future. More platforms, such as RaaS (Ransomware as a Service), are also cropping up that make it easier than ever for those with malicious intent to launch a ransomware attack. They don't need extensive training or technical knowledge, making this a very dangerous system.

What Can Ransomware Do?

Once it has affected a system, ransomware can quickly become very dangerous. A past example includes Conti - a ransomware that targeted healthcare organizations specifically. These attacks targeted critical infrastructures such as emergency medical services and 911 dispatch centers. They threatened to steal data and publish sensitive information unless money was paid. Any access to data withheld from a medical professional can mean the difference between life or death to patients - something hackers are aware of.

How Do You Prevent Ransomware?

Keeping your healthcare systems protected needs to be of utmost priority. Luckily, you can do a few things to help defend against malicious ransomware attacks. These includes:

  • Keeping your computer systems all up to date
  • Training your staff in how to detect malicious links or emails
  • Investing in a robust security software
  • Protecting patients with payment security technology and ensuring your vendors are compliant with regulations such as AIPCA, HITRUST, and HIPAA

How TempDev Can Help Protect You From Ransomware

TempDev’s team of experienced consultants, developers, and trainers is here to support enhanced accessibility and customized features and templates. This enables you and your patients to have more control over data with improved transparency. 

As part of our streamlining process, we help you implement the Patient Portal, API, and other tools to better support safety, patient engagement, and security. TempDev offers the comprehensive resources and tools you need to ensure compliance from dashboards to automation and workflow redesign. 

Contact us here or by calling us at 888.TEMP.DEV to ensure compliance with protecting PHI and HIPAA regulations.

Related terms:

Protected Health Information (PHI)Read article
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