As a cybersecurity provider, you know that healthcare institutions are common targets for ransomware attacks. Generally, bad actors will encrypt vital medical data and demand a ransom to unlock access. Hackers are also stealing patient records at an alarmingly high rate, as it is one of the most profitable forms of private data that hackers can sell on the dark web.

Hospitals and practices also play host to a lot of Internet-connected equipment that cannot be secured with traditional endpoint solutions. To complicate things even further, staff at these operations typically lack proper cyberthreat awareness and mitigation training.

Of course, healthcare-focused attacks are nothing new. Numerous ransomware attacks were carried out against the industry in 2019. Here are a few*:

  • The Cancer Center of Hawaii on Oahu had to temporarily suspend treatments at two locations due to a ransomware attack.
  • A November attack on North Platte-based Great Plains Health forced them to restore email, EMR, and other computer services.
  • All three DCH Health System hospitals in Tuscaloosa were forced to close to new patients temporarily due to a ransomware attack in October.
  • Wood Ranch Medical announced that it would close its doors in December after losing all access to its patients’ medical records in a ransomware attack. The clinic closed on December 17th.
  • Campbell County Health suspended new inpatient admissions and canceled some surgeries due to a ransomware attack.
  • Premier Family Medicine in Utah had to alert 320,000 patients that their private health information may have been exposed in a ransomware attack.
  • Over 110 nursing homes and care facilities lost access to patient records after internet security provider Virtual Care Provider was hit with ransomware.
  • Cape Girardeau-based Saint Francis Healthcare System had to notify patients about a ransomware attack aimed at Ferguson Medical Group.

The Vijilan SOC team predicts that ransomware attacks against the healthcare vertical will rise sharply in 2020. Hackers go for low-hanging fruit, and Healthcare is such a known easy target now that attackers are not going to relent. The result? More healthcare providers will lose patients, lose public trust, or be forced to close down altogether.

The healthcare sector should take a proactive approach against ransomware by investing in preventive measures. This is where your MSP or MSSP comes in. Are you ensuring that your healthcare-industry clients are fully protected? If they’re not, your business is just as vulnerable to the risk, backlash, and bad press.

Ready to learn more about how 24/7 monitoring is part of the solution? Schedule a call with our team to find out.

* Source: https://www.beckershospitalreview.com/cybersecurity/15-notable-ransomware-attacks-on-healthcare-providers-in-2019.html