On ransomware, FBI Director James Comey has 2 pieces of advice for providers

During a keynote speech on March 8, FBI Director James B. Comey took a moment to comment on the cybersecurity landscape for healthcare providers, according to the National Law Review.

At the inaugural Boston Conference on Cyber Security, organized through a partnership between Boston College and the FBI, Mr. Comey discussed various cyberthreats, alongside how the FBI works to address them.

When asked what the biggest threat facing healthcare providers is today, Mr. Comey chose to focus on two pieces of advice related to ransomware, according to the National Law Review.

1. Don't pay the ransom. Although healthcare providers are often tempted to pay a ransom — since they need data access to provide patient care — Mr. Comey stressed that paying these cybercriminals encourages hackers to continue using healthcare as a lucrative market.

2. Routinely back up data. A healthcare organization with comprehensive data backup procedures will be able to continue at least some operations following an attack. With this solution in mind, Mr. Comey noted that testing these plans before an attack is especially important.

Mr. Comey also told the audience that healthcare providers should report cyberattacks to the FBI and work with law enforcement to address threats.

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