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The ransomware epidemic: What EMS agencies need to know

Don't get caught paying to access your data; use these tips to prevent, identify and recover from EMS ransomware attacks

The ransomware epidemic is spreading as we enter the latter half of 2017 and it shows no signs of stopping. International attacks are locking down the computer systems of thousands of companies, including healthcare providers [1].

In fact, the healthcare industry is the most targeted [2]. That means EMS providers and their vendors are at a high risk for a ransomware attack. Why?

  • Infrastructure. Many providers are still running on insecure, antiquated and sometimes unsupported systems that are very easy to hack.
  • Resources. The healthcare industry continues to lag behind other sectors in the amount resources and training devoted to data security.
  • Valuable Data. Providers and their vendors also hold critical data, such as employee records, social security numbers, member ID numbers and sensitive health information. Hackers know you need to access this data. They also know that medical information is worth much more than a credit card number on the black market today.

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1. Ng Alfred (2017, June 28). The global ransomware epidemic is just getting started. Retrieved from   

2. Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (2016). Hacking healthcare IT in 2016: Lessons the healthcare industry can learn from the OPM breach. Retrieved from