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