FBI Warns Ransomware Assault Threatens US Healthcare System

FBI Warns Ransomware Assault Threatens US Healthcare System

US government agencies have issued a joint security advisory following a series of ransomware attacks against hospitals across the country. The activity follows an increase in ransomware attacks throughout this year as well as recent surges of coronavirus in the United States. The FBI, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) claim to have “credible information of an increased and imminent cybercrime threat to U.S. hospitals and healthcare providers,” the joint advisory states. “CISA, FBI, and HHS are sharing this information to provide a warning to healthcare providers to ensure that they take timely and reasonable precautions to protect their network from these threats,” officials say.

Ransomware attempts jumped 50% in the last three months, over the first half of 2020, and hospitals and health care organizations were the hardest hit. According to USA Today article this week.

As a result, health care personnel reportedly began keeping records on paper as computer systems began failing over the weekend and some hospitals have sent incoming ambulances to other neighboring hospitals.

The percentage of healthcare organizations impacted by ransomware globally nearly doubled, from 2.3% in the second quarter to 4% in the third quarter. Healthcare was followed by manufacturing, software makers, government/military, and insurance and legal firms.

As a healthcare provider when was the last time, you did a checkup on your security?

The most critical thing hospitals can do to prevent ransomware attacks is to ensure systems are up to date. Starting with a security assessment is the best place to start.  Hospitals should think of it as the annual checkup on their vulnerability. In light of recent events, eCloud Managed Solutions is offering free security assessments.

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