Hospital Ransomware Attacks: The New World We Live In - What to Know

Did you know, in 2020 alone, ransomware attacks impacted more than 18 million patient data records from more than 600 US health care institutions? We're talking about an estimated cost of over $21 billion to the healthcare industry.

Successful ransomware attacks on hospitals can have a massive effect.

Surgical patients had to be moved and ambulances diverted to other hospitals. The healthcare industry is dealing with a cybersecurity reckoning. More than any time before, we now have to face the importance of data protection.

Keep reading for our breakdown of crucial details to know about ransomware attacks on hospitals.

Ransomware Attacks on Hospitals: What Is Going On?

According to experts, hospitals have been targeted relentlessly in recent years. In short, cybercriminals are targeting hospitals daily.

Moreover, it only takes one person to fall victim to a phishing email. This victim can spread dangerous malware throughout a network.

The pandemic-related alterations merely increased the vulnerability of the population. Some hospitals had to lay off cybersecurity professionals due to economic difficulties. Therefore, there was more to protect but less capacity to defend it.

Experts say that certain hospitals are more susceptible than others.

For instance, medical schools may be more vulnerable to cyberattacks because of the increased flow of information occurring during biological research.

The Effects of Ransomware Attacks on the Healthcare Industry

Coronavirus-related hospitalizations are on the rise at the moment. Hospital emergency rooms are overflowing with patients. In some areas, children's hospitals are expected to reach 100% capacity within seven days.

The impact of a ransomware assault on an unstable group could be devastating.

Ransomware assaults on hospitals aren't only affecting coronavirus sufferers.

Even more widely, ransomware attacks aimed against medical facilities can cause catastrophic delays. These affect essential treatment and cause massive financial losses.

Loss of Life at a German Hospital

A lack of official data on ransomware's direct effect on patient death makes it difficult to draw conclusions.

A ransomware attack was connected to the death of an elderly German patient who was transported from one hospital to another in September 2020.

The police investigated the death of the patient. They analyzed whether the ransomware attack perpetrators were responsible for the patient's death.

As a result, they decided it was unlikely that the patient would have survived the procedure, given their current state of health.

Because of the crucial role of healthcare, ransomware is an attractive target for criminals. This could signal that hospital budgets frequently overlook IT infrastructure and cybersecurity.

Methodology of The Attacks

Known as Ryuk, this ransomware is one of the most prominent ways in which gangs attack hospitals.

The Business Club used to be the name of this group. These ransomware attacks account for a third of the 203 million ransomware assaults on US organizations in 2020.

According to cyber security specialists, Ryuk extortionists made at least $150 million last year.

How to Safeguard Hospitals and Medical Institutions

Cybersecurity in the healthcare business is in critical condition. As many as 70 percent of hospitals have had a "major security event" in the last year.

Many healthcare organizations often implement new technology. The problem is that these same organizations often neglect to put aside enough funds to safeguard these newly acquired assets. The new technology, on the other hand, opens up new pathways of assault.

In the United States, the typical hospital has 10-15 IoMT (Internet of Medical Things) devices per patient bed. A hacker could easily exploit these devices, which are simple to access.

IoMT devices provide a plethora of attack vectors. You need to protect your patients, data, systems, and resources—all for IoMT to function correctly.

Patient health records must be protected from attacks. Throughout the world, Patients are filing lawsuits against institutions that have not appropriately safeguarded their personal information. It is best to protect your cloud infrastructure against the most advanced cyber-attacks.

Network security solutions are also a part of the new normal. Sure, your business might have already implemented network security measures. But, there may be more measures to take to avoid network assaults.

Endpoint and mobile device security may also help safeguard your network. The same rule applies to hospital supply chain management as well.

The Aftermath of a Cyberattack: How to Prepare

We always recommend that hospitals have a contingency plan in place in the event of a large-scale cyberattack.

The University of Florida Health contacted pharmacies to fill in missing prescriptions. They transferred patients to outside doctors to guarantee continuity of treatment after hackers compromised a portion of its network in June.

Emergency preparations for hospitals should include teams from outside of the IT department.

When an assault occurs, all teams need to work together. Legal, communications, procurement – all need to collaborate on a single playbook.

Active shooters, floods, and pandemics are all dealt with in a hospital's event management approach. There is nothing less remarkable about ransomware. Thankfully, those in the health care industry are receptive to such a wide range of initiatives.

Data Protection and Security for Hospitals: Unlocked

Occasionally we see news coverage about a cyberattack on healthcare institutions. But, for those who deal with the attacks themselves, the aftermath can be quite traumatic.

Hopefully, this sheds some light on the significance of ransomware attacks on hospitals. It's reasonable to remain attentive. But remember that you don't have to protect your hospital infrastructure alone.

BlueBin's BlueQ suite of analytics and reporting tools consistently pass hospital and 3rd party regulatory auditing requirements.

Contact us to see how BlueBin's standardization and transformational solutions and BlueQ Analytics simplicity and to learn more about data integrity in hospital supply chain, check out our website and further blog posts for additional guides and explainers.


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