As recently reported by Modern Healthcare, cybersecurity agencies have issued alerts regarding the growing number of ransomware attacks affecting healthcare organizations and noted that five have been hit by computer viruses in the past month alone. “The security of our IT networks have to be one of the top priorities at our surgery centers today,” stated Regent Surgical Health CEO and Founder Thomas Mallon. “We do a thorough analysis of IT systems at our partner centers and are proactive about addressing issues and securing our networks.” “The Locky virus is just one of several recent cyberattacks affecting the healthcare industry,” stated Sheikh Sadiq, a Regent Surgical Health IT consultant and president of ALIS Healthcare IT. “In our highly integrated world, security concerns are real and deeply impact businesses, no matter the size.” Sadiq and his team provide healthcare IT services to a number of Regent facilities. “We prefer to work with clients prior to a crisis so we can pinpoint IT security vulnerabilities and focus on assessing existing safeguards, identifying what policies or documentations are missing, and recommending solutions to resolve issues,” noted Sadiq. Regent takes many steps to ensure that centers are protected including keeping all Windows PCs and servers up to date, keeping all anti-virus and anti-spyware software up to date, and setting up regular scans of this software. Other steps included:

  • Disabling automatic macro execution in MS Office
  • Setting up proper rights on PC and network shares
  • Performing daily data backup of files
  • Performing monthly disaster recovery drills

“Viruses can propagate through emails so we spend time educating users on how to look for suspicious emails, files and website links,” stated Sadiq. Sadiq also noted that it is imperative to have a plan ready in the event a user PC or server is infected. “Such plans include isolating and disinfecting the PC, controlling damage and restoring data from backup,” stated Sadiq. “We know the stakes are high for our clients and we take our responsibility very seriously.” “Partnering with a Healthcare IT vendor, provides appropriate IT safeguards and assurances and allows our centers to stay focused on delivering the highest level of patient care,” stated Mallon. “Our centers need to operate as efficiently as possible and securing our networks against IT threats help us achieve and maintain operational excellence.” For more information on ALIS Healthcare IT visit www.alistechnology.com. For more information on Regent Surgical Health visit www.regentsurgicalhealth.com.