Ransomware is a type of malicious software which is created with the purpose of denying users access to their data. Ransomware malware typically encrypts the data with a key that is only known to the hacker who deployed the malware. After the data is encrypted, the ransomware directs the user to pay a ransom to the hacker, typically in cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, in order to receive the decryption key. In other cases, ransomware may destroy the user’s data or initiate an unauthorized transfer out of the user’s system.

Because ransomware denies access to data, it is imperative for medical practices to maintain frequent backups. Medical practices must also be able to ensure their ability to restore their backups if needed in order to recover from a ransomware attack. Because some ransomware variants may remove or otherwise disrupt online backups, practices should consider maintaining backups offline that are unavailable from their network. Could your practice recover from a ransomware attack by utilizing offline backups?