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How to protect your clinic from ransomware?

October 4, 2016

 

Ransomware is a nasty phenomenon that seems to be taking over more and more servers and computers.  This malignant piece of software comes in different forms with the goal to prevent you from accessing your pc or data.  A common variation of ransomware is one that locks your folders with a complicated algorithm that can be unlocked only by a “digital key” held by the cybercriminal perpetrating the attack.  Once the folders are locked the hackers will hold your data for ransom, demanding payment to release them back to you.  However, even paying the ransom will not guarantee that you will regain control of your computer or files again.

 

How to find out if your network has been compromised

 

Although some forms of attack can only be detected by experienced technical staff there some tell tale signs that your system may have been compromised. Here are some signs that may indicate that your computer or network  have been compromised:

  • If you have ransomware, quite often the cybercriminals are blatant letting you know about it. You will get a pop-up message asking you to pay a ransom.

  • New shortcuts appear on your desktop

  • Your browser redirects you to different sites other than the one you intended visiting.

  • People in your contacts list receive random emails from you that you never sent.

  • You are unable to open files and folders.

  • You cannot start commonly used programs.

  • Your password(s) are not working.

  • Your internet searches are being redirected.

  • Your computer takes a long time to start and when it is finally running it is unusually very slow.

  • Additional toolbars appear on your web-browser.

  • Multiple pop ups appear when you use your browser

Should you experience any of these symptoms please reach out to our help desk. 

 

Non-technical tips to avoid ransomware attacks

 

While we help you protect your networks through the use of technology with managed security software, regular system and patch updates, firewalls, or closing possible entry points, hackers still find ingenious ways to circumvent those measures and attack your network.  Most of those ways include tricks to make you click on a link or open an infected email:

  •  Avoid visiting dangerous, suspicious, or fake websites.

  • Opening emails and email attachments from people you don’t know, or that you weren’t expecting.

  • Clicking on malicious or bad links in emails, Facebook, and other social media sites

  • Educate your staff on the above points

  • Reduce the number of staff with administrator privileges to your network

  • Use strong passwords containing a combination of lower and upper case letters, numbers and special characters and change them regularly.

  • Have a security policy for your clinic and make sure all staff adheres to it

  • Act now on strengthening your security measures.An attack can happen any time!

Fake websites and emails are often easy to spot as they use strange spellings of company names, have unusual spaces, characters, or suffer from grammatical errors and unconventional use of the English language.As a simple rule – If it seems fake – DO NOT CLICK!

 

Have a data back-up and recovery plan!

 

No matter how much you try, cybercriminals often still find a way to infect a system with ransomware.  The best solution to protect your data is to have a solid back-up and recovery plan.  This way, in case you are hit by a ransomware attack, you will have minimal data loss and will be able to have your computer network up and running in a short period of time. 

 

If you do not have a back-up and disaster recovery plan in place or looking to upgrade your current plan, please contact us.  We will set up a custom solution for your clinic so you can have peace of mind that your network and data are secure and protected.

 

 

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