Ransomware Attacks on Healthcare Industry Ramp Up

February 26, 2020 | Eric D. Fader | Cybersecurity | Electronic Health Records | HIPAA | Hospitals | Private Insurers

A recent article in HIPAA Journal, “Ransomware Attacks Have Cost the Healthcare Industry at Least $157 Million Since 2016,” discussed a new study by Comparitech that examined ransomware attacks on the healthcare industry. In the past three years, at least 172 ransomware attacks on healthcare entities in the U.S. have affected 1,446 facilities, providers and insurers, as well as over 6 million patients.

While some providers have made payments to attackers in order to regain access to their patient records and other files that have been encrypted, others have permanently lost access to the records, and some have even had to shut down their practices. In addition to the actual ransoms paid, the costs of rebuilding systems and restoring data are high. The researchers pointed out that healthcare providers are often viewed as easy targets for hackers, making further attacks “a growing concern for organizations and patients alike.”

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