Ransomware has been around for quite some time. The challenge for the ransomer has been to stay anonymous while receiving payment.
That has been difficult historically because methods of payment (credit card, check, paypal) require personal identification. With the advent of crypto-currency - bitcoin, ransomware has had a rebirth of popularity. Crypto-currency is completely anonymous.
Payments can be made, or demanded, without any knowledge of who is paying or receiving payment. As the payment side has been simplified, so has the software side. There are services to supply ransomware software.
Now all it takes is knowing one want to target. Large hospitals have been targeted, but private practices have not been a popular target. We believe that can quickly change. Practices of about 5 doctors and under generally are prime targets for ransomware.
Generally, the staff is not properly trained. Many times these practices are still using "free" email like Gmail, Yahoo! and AOL. Additionally, many practices of this size allow staff (including doctors) to connect their personal devices to the practice network, further increasing the opportunity for ransomware to strike.
Your practice should be fully training on ransomware prevention AND know what to do if they suspect ransomware has been introduced to the computer network.
Why should you Attend: Computer security is one thing, understanding Ransomware and how it is implemented is different. Because most medical offices have minimal IT support on site AND most medical offices are novices in computer use, they are PRIME targets for ransomware.
If your staff is not properly trained, they could cost you thousands.
Think of it like this: if you show at your office in the morning and none of your computers will access your EHR, how much would you pay to regain access? This is the question you'll be asking yourself during a ransomware attack.
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John Brewer is a former Air Force Computer Security Officer and Pilot. He founded a medical information technology firm that has transitioned to HIPAA compliance. His unique background in technology and experience in dealing with government regulations have given him the edge in HIPAA implementation and training. Med Tech USA, LLC takes the complicated volumes of HIPAA regulations and breaks them down into simple to understand nuggets.