In the middle of a busy Tuesday, I stepped into my office to check my email. There was a popup on my computer that said, “All of your files are encrypted. You must pay a bitcoin ransom to retrieve them.” I didn’t really think much of it at the time.
I closed a few windows and saw my desktop—all the files were inaccessible. I sent a quick message to my practice management software company asking if I had a problem. I then received the fastest response ever that said, “This is an emergency. Unplug your computer now.”
Previously from Dr. Denton: 5 tips to keep your exams on track
We had suffered a ransomware attack, a type of cyberattack that locks the user out of critical systems and demands payment immediately. This type of attack is different than when patient health information (PHI) records are compromised.
Locking healthcare practitioners out of their systems and files and demanding immediate payment to retrieve them is a much faster way to make money for hackers. We are the perfect targets.
Here are the six tips I learned to help survive a ransomware attack.