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Segmenting Hospital Networks with Secure VLAN Deployment

Protecting patient data is a top priority in the healthcare sector. The purpose of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) is to ensure that healthcare organizations safeguard the confidentiality and security of patient health information (PHI). By securely deploying a VLAN, healthcare organizations can safeguard PHI in one way or another. We’ll look into why segmentation and HIPAA compliance in healthcare require a securely deployed VLAN in this article.

What exactly is a VLAN?

A logical grouping of network devices that are situated in various physical locations is known as a VLAN (Virtual Local Area Network). VLANs are frequently used to divide a network into smaller, easier-to-manage segments. Network administrators can do this to control access to network resources and to limit the volume of network traffic.

What Justifies VLAN Segmentation for HIPAA Compliance?

Healthcare organizations are required by HIPAA to protect PHI by putting in place the proper technical security measures. Segmenting their network is one way that healthcare organizations can adhere to HIPAA regulations. Healthcare organizations can control access to network resources and restrict the amount of network traffic by segmenting the network. This can lessen the likelihood of a data breach and help prevent unauthorized access to PHI.

Additionally, HIPAA mandates the implementation of access controls by healthcare organizations in order to safeguard PHI. By organizing network devices into logical groups and limiting access to those groups, VLAN segmentation can be used to implement access controls. For instance, a VLAN can be established for a set of computers that contain PHI and only authorized personnel can access that VLAN.

What Makes a Securely Deployed VLAN Important for HIPAA Compliance?

PHI is susceptible to risk when a VLAN is not deployed securely. For instance, if a VLAN is not properly configured, it may be possible for unauthorized users to access the VLAN and the PHI it contains. A VLAN may also be susceptible to attacks like VLAN hopping or MAC spoofing if it is not properly secured. Healthcare organizations should follow recommended network security procedures to make sure a VLAN is deployed securely. This includes managing the VLAN using secure protocols like SSH or SSL, implementing access controls to limit access to the VLAN, and using VLAN tagging to distinguish traffic from various VLANs.

Additionally, the VLAN should be regularly monitored and its activity should be recorded by healthcare organizations. This can support the detection and prevention of unauthorized access and offer data for forensic investigation in the event of a security breach. For HIPAA compliance and segmentation in the healthcare industry, a securely deployed VLAN is crucial. In order to prevent unauthorized access to PHI and lower the risk of a data breach, VLAN segmentation can help restrict the volume of network traffic and manage access to network resources. However, healthcare organizations must adhere to best practices for network security, such as using VLAN tagging, putting in place access controls, and using secure protocols, to ensure that a VLAN is deployed securely. In this way, healthcare organizations can comply with HIPAA regulations while also assisting in the protection of patient health information’s privacy and security.

Steps on deploying a VLAN securely 

  1. Plan your VLAN: Proper planning is critical to ensuring the security of your VLAN. This involves deciding which devices will be connected to the VLAN, what IP address range will be used, and what security measures will be implemented. You should also consider the needs of different departments or users, and configure VLANs accordingly.
  2. Use VLAN tagging: VLAN tagging enables you to separate network traffic into different virtual LANs, which can help prevent unauthorized access to the VLAN. To implement VLAN tagging, you need to configure VLAN IDs on your switches, routers, and other network devices.
  3. Implement access control: Access control lists (ACLs) can be used to restrict access to the VLAN. ACLs can be configured to block traffic based on IP addresses, port numbers, or other criteria. For example, you can configure an ACL to block traffic from a specific IP address range or to allow traffic only from specific devices.
  4. Use secure protocols: Use secure protocols, such as SSH or SSL, to manage the VLAN. These protocols encrypt network traffic, which can help prevent eavesdropping and tampering. You should also use strong passwords and regularly update them to further improve security.
  5. Monitor and log activity: Monitoring and logging activity on the VLAN can help you detect and prevent unauthorized access and malicious activity. You should configure your network devices to log activity and regularly review logs for signs of suspicious activity.
  6. Regularly review and update security measures: Security threats and vulnerabilities are constantly evolving, so it’s important to regularly review and update your security measures. This includes applying software patches and updates, testing and verifying backups, and conducting regular security audits.

Overall, deploying a VLAN securely requires careful planning, configuration, and ongoing monitoring and maintenance. By following these best practices, you can help ensure that your VLAN is secure and protected against unauthorized access and malicious activity.

How hackers steal Medical Records for sale on the Black Market

Healthcare facilities are becoming more susceptible to cyberattacks as they continue to digitize patient records. Hackers are constantly looking for loopholes in the security of medical systems so they can steal sensitive patient data. PHI and PII are the terms used to describe this data. PHI refers to any data, including medical records, insurance information, and prescription information, that can be used to determine a person’s health status or level of care. PII is any information that can be used to identify a specific person, including that person’s name, address, social security number, and date of birth. This article will look at how hackers resell PHI/PII and medical records on the dark web.

An overview of the black market.

The underground economy of illegal activities is referred to as the “black market.”. The black market’s use of cybercrime has grown more lucrative in recent years. The average price of a data breach in the healthcare sector is $7.13 million, according to a report by IBM Security. As a result, PHI/PII and medical records have become valuable commodities on the black market. In order to commit various types of fraud, including identity theft, insurance fraud, and prescription fraud, hackers can sell this information to other cybercriminals.

Medical records and PHI/PII Obtaining Techniques.

Medical records and PHI/PII are obtained by hackers using a variety of techniques. Phishing is a popular technique in which a hacker sends an email purporting to be from a trustworthy source, like a healthcare organization. The email might include a link to a fake website that impersonates the company’s login page and requests the user’s login information. In order to access the organization’s system and obtain patient data, the hacker can use these credentials.

Exploiting system flaws within the company is another strategy. In order to access patient data, hackers can use software tools to search for systemic flaws and exploit them. Malware, a class of software created to infect a computer system and grant the hacker remote access, can be used to accomplish this. A system can get malware installed on it in a number of ways, including by downloading infected files from the internet or opening email attachments.

Lastly, physical devices that contain sensitive information, like laptops or smartphones, can be stolen by hackers in order to obtain patient data. This is a less common way to obtain patient data and is referred to as physical theft.

the sale of PHI/PII and medical records.

Medical records and PHI/PII can be sold on the black market once the hacker has them. The dark web, a section of the internet that is not indexed by search engines and is only accessible through particular software, is where the data is frequently sold. Cybercriminals frequently purchase and sell illegal goods and services on the dark web, which serves as their haven.

Since selling PHI/PII in bulk is more lucrative than selling individual records, hackers frequently sell medical records and PHI/PII in this manner. Information like name, date of birth, social security number, and medical history are frequently sold along with the data in packages. Depending on the quantity, quality, and market demand for the data, the price of the data can change. In general, the more complete and current the data, the more valuable it is on the black market.

Medical records and PHI/PII Breaches’ Effects.

Breach of PHI/PII and medical records can have catastrophic effects on patients and healthcare organizations. Identity theft, financial fraud, and even medical fraud can hurt patients. When a hacker uses the patient’s information to get prescriptions or medical services in their name, that is considered medical fraud. This may result in inaccurate medical records, incorrect diagnoses, and potentially harmful drug interactions.

The sale of PHI/PII data on the black market is illegal, and it has serious negative effects for the people whose data is stolen, as is important to remember. Selling this kind of data on the black market does not have any justifiable economic advantages. However, it’s important to talk about some of the causes behind cybercriminals’ actions.

Profit is one of the main drivers behind selling PHI/PII data. On the black market, this information is very valuable, and cybercriminals can make a sizable profit by selling it. The average price of a compromised medical record is $429, according to a Ponemon Institute study. This is a lot more expensive than the typical record theft cost in other industries. The high value of medical records and PHI/PII data makes it a desirable target for cybercriminals.

The simplicity of its sale is another element that encourages the sale of PHI/PII data on the black market. For cybercriminals to buy and sell stolen data, the dark web offers a comparatively secure and anonymous marketplace. Using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin also makes it simpler to carry out transactions covertly.

PHI/PII data sales on the black market occasionally serve political or ideological ends as well. For instance, cybercriminals with political motivations may steal and sell medical records in order to highlight security flaws in a specific healthcare organization or to draw attention to a certain issue.

It’s crucial to remember that the sale of PHI/PII data on the black market has serious drawbacks for both individuals and society as a whole. This kind of information can be stolen, which can lead to identity theft, financial fraud, medical fraud, and other types of harm. Healthcare organizations may experience financial losses, legal action, reputational harm, and other consequences as a result of a data breach, all of which can have a significant effect.

To sum up, selling PHI/PII data on the black market may be financially lucrative for cybercriminals, but it is also a prohibited and unethical activity that has serious negative effects on both the people involved and society as a whole. Both healthcare organizations and individuals must take precautions to safeguard their private information and guard against data breaches. This entails putting into practice robust cybersecurity measures, such as encryption, two-factor authentication, and regular security audits, as well as exercising caution and vigilance when engaging in online activity and disclosing personal information.

Incident Response and Recovery for Hospitals

Hospitals and other healthcare institutions are increasingly being targeted by cyberattacks. These attacks frequently involve the theft or ransom of patient data, the interruption of medical services, and the destruction of vital medical systems. A cyberattack can have devastating effects on the hospital as well as the patients who rely on it for medical care. Hospitals must therefore have an incident response strategy in place to quickly recognize, respond to, and recover from a cyber attack.

Incident Response Plan.

The procedures to be followed in the event of a cybersecurity incident are outlined in an incident response plan (IRP). It is a vital tool that enables organizations to react to incidents quickly and successfully. The IRP for hospitals should take into account the particular requirements of healthcare organizations and the patients they treat.

The identification of the vital systems and data that must be protected is the first step in creating an IRP. This includes patient monitoring systems, imaging systems for use in medicine, and other medical apparatus linked to the hospital’s network. The hospital should create a strategy to safeguard its critical systems and data once those systems and data have been identified.

The next step is to decide who and what teams will be in charge of responding to cybersecurity incidents. This includes the hospital’s senior management, security team, legal team, and IT department. To ensure a well-coordinated response, the IRP should also specify the roles and responsibilities of each team member.

Procedures for reporting and responding to incidents should be part of the IRP. Included in this is a precise explanation of what constitutes an incident, who needs to be notified, and how the incident can be escalated if necessary. The IRP should also outline procedures for recovering from the incident as well as guidelines for containing and lessening its effects.

Process for Incident Response.

The incident response team at the hospital should follow the steps outlined in the IRP in the event of a cybersecurity incident. The first step is to evaluate the incident’s seriousness and decide whether a security breach has occurred. The incident response team should immediately contain the incident if a breach is confirmed in order to limit further harm.

Investigating the incident in order to ascertain the size and type of the attack is the next step. This entails figuring out which systems and data have been compromised and gauging the effect on patient care. The incident response team should also compile data to back up the investigation and, if required, contact law enforcement.

Following the conclusion of the investigation, the incident response team should create a strategy to lessen the effects of the incident. This involves repairing damaged systems, retrieving lost data, and making sure patient care is not jeopardized. As part of its investigation into the incident, the incident response team should look for any weaknesses in the hospital’s cybersecurity measures and update the IRP accordingly.

Recuperation Method.

The incident response plan’s recovery process is an essential element. In addition to ensuring that patient care is not jeopardized, it entails returning the hospital’s systems and data to their pre-incident state. Following the containment of the incident and the conclusion of the investigation, the recovery process should start as soon as is practical.

Restoring the hospital’s vital systems and data is the first step in the restoration process. The restoration of EHRs, medical imaging systems, and other affected medical devices is included in this. The hospital should also make sure that backup plans are in place to stop data loss in the future.

Reviewing the incident and finding any cybersecurity defense gaps at the hospital is the next step. As part of this, policies and procedures must be reviewed, security controls must be evaluated for effectiveness, and improvement opportunities must be found. In order for the incident response plan to accurately reflect the lessons learned from the incident, the hospital should also update it.

Hospitals need an incident response strategy to quickly recognize, respond to, and recover from a cyber attack.

The top 10 hospital cyberattacks over the last 10 years

In the past ten years, cyberattacks on hospitals have increased in frequency. Due to the abundance of sensitive financial and personal data that hospitals store, the healthcare sector is a popular target for hackers. These attacks can have devastating effects, including the loss of vital data, a halt in business operations, and in extreme circumstances, even human life.

The top 10 hospital cyberattacks over the previous ten years are listed below.

  1. the 2017 WannaCry ransomware attack.

One of the biggest ransomware attacks to date, WannaCry affected over 200,000 computers across more than 150 countries. As patient data and medical records were encrypted by the malware, rendering them inaccessible to hospital staff, the attack was especially harmful to hospitals. Hospital operations were severely disrupted as a result of the attack, which delayed patient care and put lives in danger.

2. 2015 saw the data breach at Anthem.

One of the biggest US health insurance companies, Anthem, experienced a data breach in 2015 that resulted in the compromise of the personal information of 80 million patients. It was a prime target for identity theft because the breach exposed social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses.

3. Dragon-sponsored operation (2012).

Hospitals were among the healthcare organizations in the US that were targeted in 2012 by the Chinese hacker collective “Comment Crew.”. Sensitive data including patient records, financial information, and designs for medical equipment were taken by the group. The assault was a part of a larger operation called “Operation Sponsored by the Dragon,” which hit a number of industries, including healthcare.

4. Data breach at UCLA Health System.

Over 4 million patients’ personal data were compromised in a data breach that targeted the UCLA Health System in 2014. An employee’s email account was used by a hacker to access the system, which led to the breach. Social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses are examples of sensitive data that the assailant was able to steal.

5. ransomware attack (2016) on Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center.

In 2016, a ransomware attack targeted Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, encrypting its computer systems and preventing hospital staff from accessing patient data. To regain access to its data, the hospital was required to pay a ransom of 40 Bitcoins, which were worth around $17,000 at the time.

6. Breach of data at Community Health Systems (2014).

Over 4 million patients’ personal data were compromised in a data breach that the Community Health Systems experienced in 2014. A hacker who entered the system via a third-party vendor was responsible for the breach. Social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses are examples of sensitive data that the assailant was able to steal.

7. Cyberattack on Blackbaud (2020).

Hospitals among other healthcare organizations, including the cloud-based software provider Blackbaud, experienced a data breach in 2020. Millions of patients were at risk of identity theft as a result of the breach, which saw sensitive data like social security numbers, birth dates, and addresses stolen.

8. Ransomware attack on MedStar Health. (2016)

A ransomware attack that encrypted the computer systems of the MedStar Health system in 2016 prevented hospital staff from accessing patient data. The attack severely disrupted hospital operations, which delayed patient care and endangered lives.

9. 2019 data breach at MultiCare Health System.

Over 500,000 patients’ personal data were compromised by a data breach at the MultiCare Health System in 2019. A hacker who used an employee’s email account to access the system was responsible for the breach. Social security numbers, dates of birth, and addresses were among the private data the attacker was able to take.

10. Data breach at Memorial Healthcare System (2019).

Over 115,000 patients’ personal data were compromised in a data breach that occurred at Florida’s Memorial Healthcare System in 2019. A third-party vendor who was using the system for maintenance purposes was the culprit of the breach. Due to the vendor’s credentials being compromised, the attacker was able to obtain private data including addresses, dates of birth, and social security numbers.

These cyberattacks show how susceptible the healthcare sector is to them and how urgently necessary it is for hospitals to take preventative action to safeguard patient information. The effects of these attacks may be severe and far-reaching, resulting in the loss of operations, the theft of private data, and in some extreme cases, even human life.

It’s crucial to implement strong security measures, such as installing firewalls, encrypting sensitive data, updating software frequently, and teaching staff to spot and report suspicious activity, to prevent cyber attacks on hospitals. A thorough incident response plan should also be in place at hospitals to ensure a quick reaction to any potential breaches. Hospitals can safeguard patient data and avoid a lapse in vital medical care by taking these precautions.

Medical Device Software Security

In today’s healthcare, medical devices are crucial tools. They are employed in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, the monitoring of vital signs, and the gathering and storage of private patient data. Medical devices are, however, becoming more susceptible to cyberattacks as they become more sophisticated and connected. The integrity of the healthcare system as a whole is seriously threatened, as well as patient safety and privacy. Making sure that their equipment is secure and that patient data is protected is therefore crucial for medical device manufacturers and healthcare organizations.

Threat Environment for Medical Devices.

Medical device security threats are constantly changing. Malware attacks, network intrusions, and unauthorized access to patient data have all occurred in recent years as part of numerous high-profile cyberattacks on medical devices. Some of the main dangers to the security of medical devices include:

Malware: Malware, including viruses and Trojan horses, can infect medical equipment and cause it to malfunction or steal private data.

Network breaches: Healthcare networks, which are susceptible to cyberattacks, frequently connect medical devices. If a network is breached, an attacker might be able to access the medical devices connected to the network and take private patient data.

Access without authorization: Medical equipment may hold private patient data, including test results, medical histories, and health records. Unauthorized access to this data may result in privacy violations, identity theft, and financial fraud.

Supply chain attacks: During any stage of development and production, including the acquisition of components, creation of software, and distribution of devices, medical devices may be subject to cyberattacks.

Employees who have malicious intentions are an example of an insider threat that can seriously jeopardize the security of a medical device. An employee who has access to confidential patient information, for instance, could steal that information or tamper with medical equipment to harm patients.

Medical Device Security Regulatory Frameworks.

Depending on the kind of device and the nation where it is used, various regulatory frameworks may apply to medical devices. The following are a few of the main legal frameworks for medical device security.

FDA’s Cybersecurity for Medical Devices Guidance: The FDA is the primary American regulatory body for medical devices. It has released cybersecurity guidance for medical device manufacturers and healthcare providers, which offers suggestions on how to secure their products and safeguard patient data. The recommendations cover a wide range of topics, including risk assessment and management, device authentication and access control, data encryption and protection, and software security (Food and Drug Administration, 2019).

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA): HIPAA is a U.S. S. a piece of legislation that establishes guidelines for the protection of PHI. It covers medical equipment that manages PHI, including electronic medical record systems and personal health record gadgets HIPAA demands.

The P.A.T.C.H Act – The future of securing medical devices

The Protecting Medical Devices from Cyber Attacks Act, also known as the PATCH Act (S.1690), is a proposed legislation aimed at improving the cybersecurity of medical devices in the United States (Congress, 2019). With the increasing number of connected medical devices, such as pacemakers, insulin pumps, and ventilators, there is a growing threat of cyber attacks which could compromise the safety and efficacy of the devices, potentially leading to serious injury or death (FDA, 2021).

The PATCH Act was introduced in the United States Congress in 2019 and has been referred to the Committee on Energy and Commerce (Congress, 2019). The act aims to address the growing threat of cyber attacks on medical devices by requiring the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to establish cybersecurity standards for medical devices and to establish a process for addressing vulnerabilities in these devices (S.1690, 2019).

Under the PATCH Act, the FDA would be required to develop a framework for evaluating the cybersecurity of medical devices before they are approved for use (S.1690, 2019). This framework would include criteria for evaluating the device’s security features, the potential risks of a cyber attack, and the device’s potential impact on patient safety (S.1690, 2019). The FDA would also be required to establish a process for identifying and addressing vulnerabilities in medical devices that are already in use (S.1690, 2019).

The PATCH Act would also require manufacturers of medical devices to report any known vulnerabilities in their products to the FDA, as well as to take steps to address these vulnerabilities (S.1690, 2019). Manufacturers would also be required to provide cybersecurity training to their employees and to work with the FDA to develop best practices for cybersecurity in the medical device industry (S.1690, 2019).

In addition to these requirements, the PATCH Act would establish a grant program to fund research into the development of new cybersecurity technologies for medical devices (S.1690, 2019). This program would be administered by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and would aim to support the development of innovative solutions to protect medical devices from cyber attacks (S.1690, 2019).

Overall, the PATCH Act is an important step towards improving the cybersecurity of medical devices in the United States (FDA, 2021). By establishing standards for the evaluation and protection of these devices, the PATCH Act would help ensure the safety and efficacy of medical devices for patients and healthcare providers (S.1690, 2019).

References: Congress. (2019). S.1690 – Protecting Medical Devices from Cyber Attacks Act of 2019. Retrieved from

Food and Drug Administration. (2021). Medical Devices and the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Pandemic. Retrieved from

S.1690 – Protecting Medical Devices from Cyber Attacks Act of 2019. (2019). Retrieved from

The Many Faces of Phishing

With the increasing number of cyberattacks being carried out on several different organizations ranging from government entities to manufacturing companies at an all-time high, most, if not all organizations find themselves searching for cybersecurity solutions catered to their industry. One of the forms of such attacks that threaten the security and integrity of your data is phishing. 


Phishing can be defined as an attempt to steal personal or sensitive information through malicious email, website, or any such channel by posing as a trustworthy organization, brand, or company. Many phishers use fake websites contained within legitimate looking emails to obtain sensitive information or data, such as usernames, passwords and credit card details. These seemingly legitimate looking websites tend to disguise themselves as banking portals, online payment sites, or social media sites in order to lure people to their fake websites, which feel and look strikingly normal and official. This very convincing approach is what makes phishing so effective and falling into the trap so easy for even the most suspecting.   

According to survey data 38% of respondents said their coworker were victim to a phishing attack within the last year.  53% of people surveyed said that since the COVID-19 pandemic, an increase of phishing activity has been observed.  

Such exploitation of weak web security is driving people towards looking into cybersecurity solutions using which they can protect the integrity of their data and personal information.  

Therefore, you should always remain wary of any such attacks. The following is a list of the most common types of phishing attacks and below each heading we provide guidance on how you can identify and defend yourself against each type. 


Deceptive Phishing 

This type of phishing consists of attackers posing as an actual website or brand and asking for personal details and credentials by taking you to their fake URL which is a carbon copy of the original.  

Such can be avoided by detecting any unprofessional language or grammar mistakes in the email or anything suspicious in the URL of the site you are taken to. 

Spear Phishing 

Over 91% of the phishing attacks carried out on the internet are spear attacks and are often quite successful. By collecting personal information on the victim including their name, location, position at the company, address, phone number etc., it creates a sense of trust, which increases the chances the victim will be convinced into clicking the malicious URL.

There now exist many services that can offer you solutions for this problem in the form of phishing analyzers that scan out suspicious mail. Employee training is also an effective way organizations can defend themselves from this effective method of bypassing your security controls.

Search Engine Phishing 

With the popularity of ecommerce and online shopping on the rise, it is understandable that attackers are also modifying their approach to avail their chances. Phishers would set up online shopping and service sites, utilizing effective Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, which one in-turn land them on a search engine index. As a result, many more people are tricked into giving these sites their sensitive information such as banking information or credit card details.   

In order to avoid falling for this tactic, look out for suspiciously cheap offers and avoid signing up on unfamiliar websites or registering for free offers.  


Email gateways can help you achieve the kind of impenetrable security that will protect you from all kinds of phishing attempts and make your accounts fully secure. You can ensure that your email accounts are as safe as they should be and that your information and conversations remain at low risk.  

Protect Your Network from Ransomware Attacks

In 2016, there were more than 638 million ransomware attacks. Ransomware software is one of the most dangerous malware attacking software that has surfaced in recent years. It has crippled networks in public healthcare, banks, universities, defence installations and what not. Millions of systems have been affected around the globe. The use of this particular virus is widespread because you don’t require any coding or programming experience to launch attacks through it. It is openly available for download and reuse in hacking circles prevalent on the dark web. There are even basic hacking teams offering their services of Ransomware attacks and charge a certain amount to you. Since payment is made via cryptocurrency, there is even lesser chances of the authorities catching the hacker.  

So, the basic question arises is; how can you stop these attacks from happening? 

Most organizations don’t have a dedicated budget for stopping such attacks so what can they do? All of their data and day-to-day workings are on their networks and they just cannot go offline. Ransomware corrupts the system and as a result, whole databases can be lost. The recent attacks on the medial healthcare system in US and UK show that patient histories and other critical data was wiped away from the system and there was no backup available at all. It was an extremely dangerous situation for patients and became a new cause of concern for the insurers and the healthcare industry.  

To prevent from future attacks from ransomware and other malware, organizations including the health industry need to take at least some precautionary measures as the PR alone can do everlasting damage to an organization being held for ransom. If you pay the attackers, the customers and clients won’t trust in your ability to protect their data in the future. 

Here are some remedial measures to prevent a ransomware attack: 


Most of the organizations do not have a credible backup database in place. Not only your backup system should be in place, you need to document everything. The process must be centered around the Recover Point Objective (RPO) and Recovery Time Objective (RTO). It is essential that you set both of these according to your customers’ requirements. If your recovery is fast enough, you can reset the whole system easily and not be laid hostage to a ransomware attack. 


Testing the strength of your system is paramount to knowing how long can your system be back up if you take it down. Once you know how long it will take, you can take appropriate actions. Never place your backup drive on the same VLAN. It will compromise the entire system in case of a ransomware attack. 


The mock ransomware attacks are a great way to introduce your employees to deal with such a situation. You can groom them to make appropriate decisions about the network. You should educate them about the primary way of ransomware attack initiation- Phishing. The more your employees know better, they better they will be equipped in case of such an attack. 


Antivirus should be updated and installed at your end points in a network. While ransomware is specifically designed to avoid being detected by regular anti-viral software, the you can still use different tools to detect suspicious behavior. Also use a simple web filter to prevent drive-by infections that result in a system being compromised just by the clicking of a website.  


All of the steps needed in case of a ransomware attack should be documented in a step-wise manner and your employees should know them by heart. It should also include a plan to contact the authorities without letting the hackers know about it. It will give them time to figure out who is conducting the attacks and from where.  


An organization needs to mitigate the heavy risks associated with a ransomware attack. These steps ensure that your data remains secure even after the ransomware attack and they help you contain its advancement too. Remember that it is better to be safe and not risk your patients’ lives or customers! 

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