Ransomware attacks on hospitals will worsen if security doesn't improve

October 11, 2019 Mayuri Kumar

Ransomware attacks on hospitals in Alabama forced a healthcare system to turn patients away last week.

The data and systems at three hospitals were held hostage until an undisclosed amount of ransom was paid, according to a press release. The hospitals gave into the demands despite another possible solution: reverting to a complete back-up of their data and systems.

In a press release, the health system said it was using backup files to rebuild certain system components, but received a key from the attacker to unlock the rest of its data. The lack of a complete backup, or the lack of good data recovery for timely system restoration, is a common occurrence for healthcare organizations, often forcing them to pay the ransom, according to Clyde Hewitt, executive advisor for healthcare cybersecurity firm CynergisTek.

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