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Ransomware-Proofing Your Agency

All EMS organizations share a commitment to keeping data secure. So with all the recent news headlines about the spread of ransomware and other forms of cyberattack targeting healthcare computer systems, it’s natural to be concerned. Here are some things you can do to increase protection for your agency’s computers — or your family’s:  

  1. Check to see whether you have Windows Update enabled. If you don’t, and if you haven’t yet applied the security update Microsoft issued in March, you should immediately deploy Microsoft Security Bulletin MS17-010.
  2. For versions of Windows no longer supported (e.g. Windows 2003): Download English language security updates: Windows Server 2003 SP2 x64, Windows Server 2003 SP2 x86,Windows XP SP2 x64, Windows XP SP3 x86, Windows XP Embedded SP3 x86, Windows 8 x86,Windows 8 x64
  3. Run Microsoft’s free scanner designed to detect ransomware threats, as well as many others: http://www.microsoft.com/security/scanner/
  4. Reinforce with your staff (or family) the importance of never opening email — and especially attachments — from unknown or suspicious senders.
  5. Update your virus protection.
  6. At work, consider engaging an outsourced company to conduct a penetration test of your local IT systems. ESO routinely does this to stay on top of threats and identify potential vulnerabilities. These specialized companies can also test to see if your staff will respond to phishing emails.

You should also make sure your technology vendors are protecting your organization against ransomware and other threats. As a major software/data company serving EMS and healthcare, our team at ESO takes security seriously, and our experts are constantly working to protect against potential attacks. We conduct full-scale vulnerability testing of both our systems and our internal processes. We also keep all of our production machines updated with the latest security patches to protect against ransomware. And Microsoft Azure, our data center vendor, is continually monitoring and updating against Ransom:Win32/WannaCrypt and other threats – not just the attacks in the headlines, but the ones that haven’t made the news yet.

Talk to an ESO expert to learn more about EMS data security.