The threat of ransomware is real, and attacks are happening every day. The number of reported attacks rose 350% from 2016-2017, so more hackers are utilizing ransomware to extract money out of victims than ever before. Although there is not definitive way to stop an attack, the 3-2-1 strategy is your best shot for recovering your data.

About Ransomware
Hackers are taking advantage of advanced encryption technology to blackmail victims out of their money. Ransomware is a vicious type of malware that is designed to encrypt entire file systems, which can potentially result in the loss of data forever. Once the files are encrypted, some cybercriminals will offer to decrypt the information for significant sums of money.

The most targeted victims of ransomware are wealthy individuals and businesses. The hacker will want to extort the most money possible from the victim, so small to medium-sized businesses with plenty of important data are prime targets. A breach in security can result in more than just a loss of patient data as it will also infect your reputation as a healthcare provider.

The 3-2-1 Strategy
The most helpful form of defense against this kind of attack involves a thorough backup of your data. Make sure to have at least three copies of your data across two platforms with one of those being offsite. Having multiple copies in various locations will ensure that you can at least recover one in the event of a ransomware attack. For example, you can have backup hard drives in your office, at home, in an offsite storage space, and on the cloud. With varied locations and forms of storage, an attack on one drive should not affect the others.

I do want to emphasize that I require all my clients to use a secondary encrypted back-up device that is detached from their network. These external back-up drives come in different sizes and built-in redundancy and should be selected according to the size and type of data being stored. These devices can also be set-up remotely to back-up your data on a daily or weekly basis from an outside location such as a residence, to not only protect against hackers, but also catastrophic events like fire, earthquake, and flooding.

Other Forms of Defense
While the 3-2-1 strategy is a great way to prevent a complete loss of data, there are plenty of others ways to protect against an attack in the first place. You should be using top of the line spam filtering to avoid phishing emails and attachments embedded with malicious code. Make sure you have a reliable anti-virus and anti-malware product operating on all of your endpoint devices. It’s also important that your employees are aware of the dangers of Internet viruses and know what to look for when identifying an unreliable source. Using a variety of defense mechanisms in addition to the 3-2-1 backup method can virtually eliminate the chances of a complete loss of data.

Learn more about how you can protect your private practice from Ransomware by getting in touch with Enviromerica today — our IT team specializes in healthcare information technology and can help get you on the right track!

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