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Government Warns Increase In Cyber Attacks Targeting Hospitals

By November 6, 2020May 18th, 2021Cybersecurity

Is your business in any way affiliated with or connected to the healthcare industry? If so, be advised that recently, the FBI and the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) have issued a statement in conjunction with the Department of Health and Human Services warning of an “Increased and Imminent Cybercrime Threat.”

According to the jointly released statement, the agency Directors warned that hackers around the world are specifically targeting companies in the healthcare industry with the Ryuk ransomware strain. They’re warning IT professionals in the industry to be both watchful and even more vigilant than usual.

In addition to issuing a warning, the government agencies also spelled out a list of specific action steps your company can take to prepare for a Ryuk attack.

These things include the items you’d expect, such as:

  • Making sure you’ve got the latest security patches installed for Windows and the other software you rely on
  • Reviewing your incident response plan, or if you don’t yet have one, making one as quickly as possible, coming up with plans to redirect your patients in the event of a successful attack
  • Making sure your backups are current
  • Limiting personal email/employee education about email

One of the less obvious recommendations to come out of the advisory was that all devices connected to the network should be turned off when not in use, so that in the event of an attack, those devices at least, are spared.

In any case, there are three big, well-known, well-respected government agencies, all saying that these attacks are coming and are much more likely in the weeks and months ahead. With that in mind, be sure your staff is on high alert and that your network is as secure as you can reasonably make it, with contingency plans in place in case the worst happens. Stay vigilant out there.

Chris Forte

Chris Forte

Chris Forte, President and CEO of Olmec Systems, has been in the MSP workspace for the past 25 years. Chris earned his Master’s Degree from West Virginia University, graduating Magna Cum Laude. He was a past member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization, a current member of the New Jersey Power Partners and Executive Association of New Jersey, where he has previously served on its board of directors. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his family. He also admits to being a struggling golfer and avid watcher of college football and basketball. He currently lives in Boonton Township, NJ with his wife, two daughters, son, and black lab Luna.

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