News Archive

Texas Medical Association Urges Physician Practices to Protect Against the Serious Threat of Ransomware Attacks

August 17, 2016

According to the August issue of the Texas Medical Association's (TMA) Texas Medicine, the use of ransonware, a type of malicious software that encrypts data with a key known only to the hacker and makes the data inaccessible to authorized users, is on the rise. This disturbing and expensive trend has reached Texas, and its emergence highlights the importance of data security.

Texas Medicine reports that prevention of a ransonware attack starts with strong data security training for staff, IT security, and making sure backup data exists. Insurance coverage in the event of a ransonware attack is also crucial.

Additionally, the article also indicates that TMA plans to raise awareness of the threat of ransonware and help physicians manage all security and technology risks. To this end, TMA is monitoring the development of the SECURETexas certification program as a potential cyber security risk-mitigation avenue.

SECURETexas was established as a result of House Bill 300 (82R, 2011), which states that certification would be a mitigating factor if a healthcare provider violates the Texas Medical Records Privacy Act, potentially leading to reduced civil or administrative penalties in the event of a data breach. SECURETexas is managed by the Texas Health Services Authority (THSA) in conjunction with industry collaborative Health Information Trust Alliance (HITRUST).

Read the Texas Medicine article here: https://www.texmed.org/Template.aspx?id=38010

To learn more about SECURETexas, the first state program of its kind offering certification for compliance with state and federal privacy and security laws, please visit www.SECURETexas.org.