Global Ransomware Attacks Serve as a Reminder of Best Practices

June 7, 2017

Beginning at 8:00 a.m. on May 12th, a global ransomware attack known as “Wannacry” began infecting computers. As of May 15th, it was reported that there were as many as 213,000 detections of Wannacry in 112 countries. As a reminder, ransomware is a type of attack that encrypts a computer’s files and does not un-encrypt or release them until a ransom is paid. In response to the attack, HHS published the recommendations from US-CERT as a reminder of ways to prevent ransom ware attacks. Most HIPAA- compliant entities have already adopted the recommendations but it is always good to re-evaluate and assess computer security in light of new threats and technologies.

The recommendations include:

  • Installing designated software patches

  • Establishing strong spam filters

  • Performing regular and automated virus and malware scans

  • Managing the use of administrative accounts

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