Daily Brief: 2017.1.16

THREAT ANALYSIS

Ransomware attacks expected to continue to increase in 2017

According to the FBI, ransomware payments were said to have reached a billion dollars across all industries in 2016. That compares to just $24 million paid in 2015. Hospitals across several states, including Texas, California and Indiana were impacted by ransomware attacks in 2016.
(Sources: Becker’sNBC News

Ransomware is a form of malware that locks all of the computer’s functions until the owner of the computer or network pays a fee/ransom. The computers usually display a message with a countdown timer stating that the data stored on the computers will be wiped if the ransom isn’t paid in time. 
(Source: Tech timesIBT)

Experts have suggested that 2017 will be worse than 2016 for the healthcare industry as attackers now recognize the value in rich medical record data. Personal health information is said to be 50 times more valuable on the black market than financial information. Stolen patient health records can be sold for as much as $60 per record.   
(Source: HIT Consultant)

ACTION STEPS

  1. Apply best practices to ensure that staff members can identify and avoid potential harmful emails.
  2. Make sure all software on your system is up-to-date. One of the most common infection vectors is a malicious exploit that leverage a software vulnerability. Keeping software up-to-date helps minimize the likelihood that your system has an exposed vulnerability.
  3. Ensure that your organization backs up all of its data. A good backup process will be able to recover much of the data encrypted by the attackers. 
    (Sources: NortonPC World)