Top Computer Security Measures You Can Practice Amid Escalating Ransomware Threats

Top Computer Security Measures You Can Practice Amid Escalating Ransomware Threats

In recent years, ransomware attacks have become one of the most prevalent and destructive forms of cybercrime. Ransomware is a type of malware that encrypts files on a victim’s computer, rendering them unusable. The attacker then demands a ransom payment in exchange for the decryption key. Unfortunately, paying the ransom does not guarantee that the attacker will provide the decryption key, and it can also encourage further attacks.

As the threat of ransomware attacks continues to grow, it is important for organizations to have a plan in place for how to respond in the event of an attack. This white paper will outline best practices for operating under a ransomware attack, with a focus on marketing purposes.

What is a Ransomware attack?

A ransomware attack is a type of cyber threat where malicious software is used to infiltrate a computer system or network, encrypting the victim’s data and rendering it inaccessible. The attackers then demand a ransom payment, usually in cryptocurrency, in exchange for providing the decryption key to unlock the compromised data. Ransomware attacks can have devastating consequences, causing financial loss, data breaches, and operational disruptions for individuals, businesses, and organizations.

What can you do to avoid being the victim of Ransomware

When it comes to Ransomware, preparation is key. The first step in preparing for a ransomware attack is to ensure that all systems and software are up to date and patched. Many ransomware attacks exploit vulnerabilities in outdated software, so keeping systems up to date can prevent attacks from occurring in the first place.

Organizations should also have a comprehensive backup strategy in place. Backups should be taken regularly and stored securely offsite, so that they cannot be affected by the same attack. Regular testing of backups is also important to ensure that they can be restored in the event of an attack.

In addition, it is important to have an incident response plan in place. This plan should include clear procedures for responding to an attack, including who is responsible for what tasks, how to contain the attack, and how to communicate with stakeholders.

Finally, it is important to train employees on how to recognize and report suspicious activity, such as phishing emails or suspicious network activity. This can help prevent attacks from occurring and can also ensure that attacks are detected early, before they can cause significant damage.

What are your options if you become a victim of Ransomware

If an organization becomes the victim of a ransomware attack, the first priority should be to contain the attack and prevent it from spreading. This may involve shutting down infected systems or disconnecting them from the network. It may also involve disconnecting external devices, such as USB drives or backup tapes, to prevent further infection.

Once the attack has been contained, the next step is to assess the damage and determine what data has been affected. This may involve identifying which systems or files have been encrypted and determining the impact on the organization’s operations.

At this point, it may be necessary to engage a third-party incident response team or forensic investigators to assist with the recovery process. These experts can help with data recovery, forensic analysis, and incident response planning.

Communicating with stakeholders

Communication is key during a ransomware attack. It is important to keep stakeholders informed of the situation and the steps being taken to respond to the attack. This includes internal stakeholders, such as employees and management, as well as external stakeholders, such as patients,  customers, partners, and regulators.

It is important to be transparent about the attack and to provide regular updates on the status of the recovery process. This can help maintain trust and confidence in the organization, even in the face of a major cyber incident.

In addition, it is important to have a clear and consistent message about the incident. This can help to avoid confusion or conflicting information being communicated to different stakeholders.

Recovery and aftermath

Once the attack has been contained and the recovery process has begun, it is important to prioritize the restoration of critical systems and data. This may involve restoring from backups or working with forensic experts to recover data that has been lost or encrypted.

It is also important to conduct a post-mortem analysis of the incident, to identify lessons learned and areas for improvement. This analysis can inform future incident response planning and help to prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

Finally, it is important to review and update security policies and procedures to address any vulnerabilities or weaknesses that were exploited in the attack. This may involve implementing additional security controls, such as multi-factor authentication or network segmentation, to reduce the risk of future attacks.


Dealing with a ransomware attack can be a daunting experience, but by following best practices for preparation, containment, and recovery, organizations can minimize the impact of an attack and ensure a speedy recovery. Communication is key during an attack, and it is important to keep stakeholders informed of the situation and the steps being taken to respond to the attack.

While dealing with a ransomware attack can be challenging, organizations that are prepared and have a plan in place for how to respond to these incidents can minimize the impact on their operations and reputation. By following best practices and working with experts as needed, organizations can recover from a ransomware attack and emerge stronger and more resilient

About the author
Katalin Van Over is a patient data privacy and security professional who for the past 15 years, has designed and managed HIPAA compliance programs at various healthcare settings including inpatient and outpatient facilities, small practices, and the biotech industry.

Katalin is also the co-owner of ProLogic IT a Healthcare IT  company that manages computer systems for small and medium-size practices across the country. ProLogic IT offers HIPAA compliance services that support small healthcare practices. ProLogic IT offers complimentary HIPAA audit review services, to help providers identify compliance gaps and data risks. ProLogic IT also offers easy and affordable solutions to mitigate compliance gaps to help comply with State and Federal mandates that also preserve the integrity and the continued safe operations of a practice.

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