Recent ransomware cyber attacks around the world have many organizations looking at their computer systems' security.

That includes Southern Health-Santé Sud. Regional Director of Information and Communication Technology Shaun Twist says they take the threat seriously, and response practices are embedded in their security programs.

shaun twist rhaShaun Twist"We take a very layered approach to our security," he says, "Which includes things like central patch management, for all of our devices out there, so we can make sure everything is updated and patched to the latest levels as quickly as possible. We also have a centrally managed anti-virus that pushes out updates to make sure our workstations are able to identify any new viruses as quickly as possible. We do a lot of things around port management -- anti-spam tools to reduce the number of e-mails that come into the system that may have an adverse effect, applying to blacklists. And something kind of new we're getting into a little bit more, around threat analytics. Which is trying to identify regular patterns of our users and the information they would access, and look for things that are out of the ordinary, and from there, identify different patterns that may be problematic."

Twist points out attacks like this aren't new.

"These types of threats have been out there for a number of years," he says, "I think what we're seeing today is they tend to be a little bit more organized, a little bit more targeted, so I think that's the new events that are taking place. So, for us, it's just part of our ongoing activities, that we've been doing for a number of years, and will continue to do in the future."

Twist stresses, Southern Health's prepared.

"These things do pop up from time to time, and they do get a lot of media attention," he acknowledges, "But for us, this is business as usual, and we're just continuing to perform the activities that we would normally perform on a day to day basis."

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