1. Are all employees using unique personal identities (user names) when they login to their computer?
    o Example: No use of generic user names for shared computers like: Station1, Lane1, Treatment1, Reception etc.
  2. Are employees required to create a new password every month or two?,
  3. Do all computers have Windows 7 or above (No Windows XP or earlier versions)?
  4. Are all computers being patched with security updates on a routine basis?
  5. Do you receive daily reports that verify that data has been backed up?
  6. Can you verify at any time that your business data is backed up off-site?
  7. Do you pay for an annual security subscription for your network router that includes Intrusion Prevention?
  8. Is your Antivirus checked regularly to see if virus signatures are up to date?
  9. Do you have a computer use policy that staff follow?
  10. Has your staff had at least some training around cyber security?

If you’re using an IT provider to help you stay protected, then you should already be getting these reports. If you’re not, you might be not be as well protected as you thought. A good IT management company will include routine reporting that confirms everything from your backups to your security patch levels.

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above questions, or are feeling unsure, sign up for our FREE 3-Step Security Assessment now!

This assessment is designed to address the following concerns: How secure is your data? How reliable is your endpoint software security? How long would it take your business to recover from a ransomware attack?

Knowing the answers to these questions is vital to the future of your practice. Protecting your practice from a ransomware attack should be a top IT security priority. If you wait until you’ve already been compromised to start taking care of your IT infrastructure, it might be too little, too late.

Why Do You Need to Be Concerned About Ransomware?

One ransomware strain in particular has been setting its sights on the healthcare field, with devastating results. This strain is called Cryptolocker, and like other forms of ransomware, once Cryptolocker ends up on a system, it can quickly spread across your entire network if steps aren’t taken immediately to contain the infection.

Why are these hackers targeting healthcare professionals in particular? There are several reasons for this trend. Hackers and scammers are constantly in search of an easy payout. This kind of cyber attack is a massive inconvenience for any business, but if a medical practice is suddenly without access to patient files and other vital applications, it’s not just an annoyance; it’s a crisis. The wellbeing of your patients relies on your ability to access their medical information quickly, making medical professionals more likely to cave to a ransom demand.

Another major factor is the level of unpreparedness for these types of attacks among healthcare professionals. When it comes to IT security, education and awareness typically begins and ends with privacy and compliancy regulations. If it doesn’t directly affect compliancy, it tends to not be a priority, or even a consideration. These oversights make tactics like phishing scams very effective. It also means your staff is more likely to panic when they realize something is wrong, because they don’t have a clear first step to take to start damage control.

The cost of buying back your data has been steadily increasing, with reports of demands in the $2000 range. But not only does paying this demand not guarantee that you will actually get your data back, in order to keep hackers from coming back an re-encrypting your data, your systems will need to be wiped clean to ensure any traces of malicious code are gone. You’ll still be faced with downtime while your software and applications are reinstalled, and your data is restored from backups.

Want to learn more about the steps you can take to protect your practice – and your patients – from these threats? Contact us today at info@onserve.ca or (613) 634-8125. We’re the trusted IT experts for practices in Ottawa, Kingston, Kitchener/Waterloo, Hamilton and other locations across Ontario..