DPRK-Led Ransomware Attacks on Healthcare Organizations in 2023

Healthcare providers are a prime target for ransomware attacks due to the sensitive nature of their data. In November 2021, the United States Cybersecurity and…

Healthcare providers are a prime target for ransomware attacks due to the sensitive nature of their data. In November 2021, the United States Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued an alert about an ongoing ransomware campaign by North Korean threat actors targeting healthcare organizations. In February 2023, following a new string of attacks, CISA has renewed its recommendations.

This attack, and others like it, seeks to extract money to fuel the DPRK’s foreign policy objectives and highlights the need for robust security measures. Data leaked through these breaches can be used in future attacks.

In the recent wave of attacks, hackers have used a variety of tactics to gain access to their victims’ networks, including phishing emails and exploiting vulnerabilities in software systems. Once they gained access, they deployed ransomware to encrypt files and demand payment in exchange for the decryption key.


The CISA Alert Recommendations for Preventing Ransomware


In response to this ongoing ransomware campaign, CISA (in conjunction with other organizations), updated a previous cybersecurity alert.

One of the key recommendations from CISA is to ensure that all systems are patched and up to date. You should also limit access to data by authenticating and encrypting connections.

Implement strong access controls, including two-factor authentication and the use of strong passwords. You should also be sure to train employees on how to identify and avoid phishing attacks and other social engineering tactics used by ransomware attackers.

Another CISA recommendation reads: “Secure the collection, storage, and processing practices for personally identifiable information (PII)/protected health information (PHI), per regulations such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). Implementing HIPAA security measures could prevent the introduction of malware to the system”.

While this is a good starting point for preventing ransomware attacks, they are not fool proof. Attackers are constantly evolving their tactics, and healthcare organizations need to be prepared to respond quickly and effectively to new threats.


Impero Connect can help prevent ransomware attacks


What Features of Impero Connect Can Help in Preventing Ransomware?


Connect is the remote access software solution from Impero that can help healthcare organizations prevent ransomware attacks. Here are some of the most important ones:

  1. Secure Remote Access: Impero Connect provides secure remote access solutions that allow employees to access their work computers and files from anywhere while ensuring the security of the organization’s data. By using a secure remote access solution, employees can work from home or while traveling without risking the security of the organization’s network.
  2. Network Monitoring: Impero Connect includes network monitoring tools that allow administrators to monitor network traffic and detect any unusual activity that may indicate a ransomware attack. Administrators can set up alerts to be notified of any suspicious activity, and they can quickly take action to stop the attack before it causes any damage.
  3. Endpoint Protection: Impero Connect includes endpoint protection tools that can help prevent ransomware attacks. These tools include anti-malware software that can detect and remove ransomware from infected computers, as well as firewall protection that can block unauthorized access to the network.
  4. User Access Controls: Impero Connect provides user access controls that allow administrators to restrict access to sensitive data and systems. By limiting the number of people who have access to sensitive data, organizations can reduce the risk of a ransomware attack.
  5. Compliance: Impero Connect is a HIPAA-compliant remote access solution that meets the stringent security and privacy requirements set forth by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Impero Connect uses advanced encryption and secure remote access technologies to protect patient data and prevent unauthorized access.


Conclusion: Impero Connect can help prevent ransomware attacks


Ransomware attacks are becoming more common and more sophisticated, and healthcare organizations are particularly vulnerable to these attacks. However, by following the recommendations from CISA and using tools like Impero Connect, organizations can greatly reduce the risk of a ransomware attack and protect their data from theft and corruption.

By implementing a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy that includes secure remote access, network monitoring, endpoint protection, user access controls, and data backup and recovery, organizations can prevent ransomware attacks and ensure the security of their data.

Interested in learning more? Start a free trial of Impero Connect today to see what our technology can do for you.



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