Posted by Tony Berning / February 29, 2016
It was recently reported that Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center paid a ransom to hackers to regain control of their computer systems. Although the amount of the ransom, $17,000, was not extraordinarily high for a hospital to cover, it does illustrate the risks that medical organizations face and the potentially high costs of not adequately protecting themselves from those risks. This type of attack is often launched via a weaponized email attachment that is opened by an individual, and subsequently infects the network. This illustrates the need to properly scan all incoming files for threats before they are allowed into a secure network.
In addition, since attacks like this are likely to be targeted and may not be detected by traditional anti-malware engines, some method of data sanitization should be performed on document files, which leaves the necessary content but removes any potentially dangerous embedded objects that could contain malware and aren’t necessary for the use of the document. With the potential damages so high to medical organizations, upfront investments like these are necessary to reduce the risk of ransomware attacks as much as possible.
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