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How Salem Health prepares for ransomware attacks

28 May 2017

By: Salem Health’s Information Security Team

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You may have heard about the global computer ransomware attack recently. This self-propagating ransomware worm has taken hospitals in the UK offline. Here’s an update and how it may affect you.

Was Salem Health affected?

No. We’ve found no known instances of ransomware. We pay close attention to trends, news stories and industry recommendations to ensure a protected environment.  

What are we doing to decrease vulnerability?

(1) We run Trend Micro OfficeScan antivirus on all our workstations, which blocks this virus from delivering its payload and encrypting machines.

(2) Although we are protected with our antivirus software, we rolled out the specific patch needed to block this vulnerability to all computers. If you’re working in our hospital, please check with the nursing manager in your area, in case you need to reboot the computer you’re using at your earliest convenience to apply this patch. You are protected by our antivirus software, but we like to have "layers of defense."

(3) We will run an additional scan of all devices on our network starting May 18 (including patient care devices such as pumps, monitors, etc.). If you find that a device you are using locks or becomes disabled, please call the Solution Center immediately.

How does this happen?

Virus infections happen in two ways:

  • Opening an email attachment containing an infected file.
  • Merely visiting a website that contains malicious code.


  • Don't open any email attachment sent from an unsolicited source or if it is something you were not expecting.
  • Don't visit non-trusted websites from a work computer, especially from within Citrix/Epic.


  • Before you open any email attachment, stop and think: “Is this something I am expecting from someone I know?” If not, do not open it before verifying it is a legitimate document. If you still question it, ask someone for advice. We all appreciate vigilance in keeping our patients safe.

Remember your home computer!

You should apply all Windows patches and run updated antivirus software. (See the Employee Perks area on the Salem Health intranet to get a discount in Trend Micro’s Titanium software for home use).