In the wake of the recent WannaCry ransomware attacks that left hospitals shaken—and showed there’s no such thing as being too prepared for cyber threats—the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services is urging hospitals and large healthcare providers to step up their own security measures. However, every healthcare operation, including single-unit urgent care centers, should increase their vigilance for and institute practices to guard against such attacks.
HHS recommends that all workers in healthcare settings should open emails only from people they know, and those they are expecting. Since attackers can “impersonate” senders, you should call the purported sender to verify they sent you something before opening any message or attachment that could be suspicious, or contact your IT department to ask their recommendation. Keeping antivirus programs up to date is also essential. IT personnel should be working to ensure that servers and desktop/laptop computers have the proper security patches applied.