Updated: Oct 2, 2019
Over the past few years, there has been a spike in malicious software intending to take advantage of encryption and hold people's personal information for ransom. The purpose of this software is to extort money from the victims with promises of restoring encrypted data. Like other computer viruses, it usually finds its way onto a device by exploiting a security hole in vulnerable software or by tricking somebody into installing it. Ransomware, as it is known, scores high profile victims like dental offices (a ransomware attack has crippled an estimated 400 dental practices across the US), hospitals, public schools and police departments. Now it has found its way into home computers.
For many years, Google Drive, Dropbox and email were the only document exchange platforms available to dental offices. Unfortunately, none of these services are HIPAA compliant which puts patient privacy in an extremely vulnerable state. Recently, a new company called eDossi™ has surfaced and is paving the way for the data security industry. Currently, eDossi™ only caters to dental offices, providing them with an all inclusive document exchange service that promises HIPAA compliance, security and efficiency. Check out more about eDossi at www.edossi.com. As well as relying on a trusted data security service, there are a few things you can do every day too ensure your data is safe and protected. Here are our 7 tips for preventing ransomware attacks-
There are a few Do's and Don'ts when it comes to ransomware.
1. DO NOT pay the ransom. It only encourages and funds these attackers. Even if the ransom is paid, there is no guarantee that you will be able to regain access to your files.
2. DO restore any impacted files from a reliable backup service. Restoration of your files from a backup is the fastest way to regain access to your data.
3. DO NOT provide personal information when answering an email, unsolicited phone call, text message or instant message. Phishers (fraudulent companies intending to scam individuals into revealing personal information) will try to trick employees into installing malware, or gain intelligence for attacks by claiming to be from IT. Be sure to contact your IT department if you or your coworkers receive suspicious calls.
4. DO use reputable antivirus software and a firewall. Maintaining a strong firewall and keeping your security software up to date is critical to avoid illegitimate software.
5. DO employ content scanning and filtering on your mail servers. Inbound e-mails should be scanned for known threats and should block any attachment types that could pose a threat.
6. DO make sure that all systems and software are up to date with relevant patches. Exploit kits hosted on compromised websites are commonly used to spread malware. Regular patching of vulnerable software is necessary to help prevent infection.
7. If traveling, DO alert your IT department beforehand, especially if you’re going to be using public wireless internet. Make sure you use a trustworthy Virtual Private Network (VPN) when accessing public Wi-Fi.
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