Ransomware Increasingly Seen in Healthcare IT

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Posted on behalf of Alex Casey, Marketing Manager

ransomware healthcare itRansomware is becoming an increasing concern among many healthcare providers. Cyber criminals have been able to encrypt files resulting in infecting PCs and restricting access to both files and PC access. In recent news, these criminals have also gained the ability to establish connections throughout hospital networks resulting in a wide range of information throughout the enterprise to be encrypted. This loss in data availability – whether lengthy or not – disrupts normal hospital operations and creates a significant problem surrounding patient care.

Choices to Make

Organizations effected by ransomware find themselves in difficult situations and moral dilemmas.  When important data a hospital needs to maintain standard operations is no longer accessible, hospitals have a choice to make. Find some kind of work around and maintain operations with no to limited access data. Or pay into the demands of cyber criminals with no promise of a solution or access key. Lately, we’ve seen many organizations paying the ransom with the hope to restore operations quickly and smoothly.

The Real Impact on Organizations

It’s imperative for organizations to have access to critical information at all times to ensure patient safety and care. Delays and disruption in communication and information may be the difference between life or death in some instances. Other impacted areas may include the inability to access information such as:

  • MARs
  • Census Reports
  • Orders
  • Rounds
  • Index Reports
  • Intake & Discharge Information/Reports
  • Various Monitoring Technologies & Reports
  • Pharmacy and Lab Orders/Results
  • Monitoring/Nursing Stations

Alternative Solutions

Unfortunately, cyber-attacks are just one of many reasons for disruptions in the distribution of information. Although hospitals have been able to recover from cyber-attacks, it does entail a lengthy process, and all expectations of hospital staff to ensure patient care and safety do not falter during this time. All organizations need to have contingency plans in place due to any type of downtime.

The thought of using paper charts just doesn’t cut it in the technology driven world we live in today. Downtime systemsnow have the ability to leverage existing critical reports within your system, protect that information and distribute it to various pre-determined “downtime machines” located throughout hospitals. These downtime machines allow end users the ability to view or print reports as needed. Not intended to be a long-term solution, these technologies allow staff and clinicians to maintain a necessary flow of information and care during downtime.

For more information on downtime solutions and data management — Click Here

By | 2016-11-15T18:55:49+00:00 October 17th, 2016|Computer Security, Healthcare IT|