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Right now, healthcare systems are more vulnerable to ransomware

Cybersecurity and IT companies are offering free defenses during the pandemic.

SAN ANTONIO — Ransomware is a specific kind of cyberattack where criminals wriggle their wy into a system. Not only is it disruptive, but in order to retain contro, the criminals blackmail the system's owners into paying money. 

During the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, health care systems are strained and may not be following typical protocols in order to meet the needs of their patients. That makes them especially vulnerable to ransomware right now. 

"There are bad actors out there that are taking down healthcare organizations, in doing so putting patients their data and lives at risk," said Bob Layton, chief revenue officer at Digital Defense, a network security solutions company. 

"Hospitals not only have their patient information, they have all of their medical information," added Doug Goodall, managing director of Emtec. "All of their computer networks are interconnected. That's how they communicate with all the nurses and aids and people that provide their service." 

Not only are the networks vulnerable to attack, but so is life-saving equipment. 

"You'll find devices, carts going from room to room in the hospitals, operating equipment, many of them operating over wireless networks some of them are plugged in," Layton said. 

Many of those devices put out a signal making it that much easier for criminals to access healthcare networks. That's why Digital Defense and Emtec want to help. The companies are teaming up to give away $1 million worth of services to organizations that are intersted and could use the boost in cybersecurity defense. 

"It is a great service," Goodall said. "It is critically important to hospitals to make sure they are secure."

If you are a healthcare organization and you would like to apply you can email Emtec at information@emtecinc.com, and put "HEALTHCARE RANSOMWARE PROTECTION" in the subject line. You can also contact Digital Defense at 888-273-1412.

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