A hospital in Hollywood recently paid a $17,000 ransom to hackers who were holding their computer systems hostage. The attack sends a clear message for healthcare facilities: step up your cybersecurity and recovery capabilities, or fall victim to a similar attack.
On Feb. 5, hackers used malware to infect Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, demanding the equivalent of $17,000 in bitcoin in exchange for the decryption key. The hospital paid the ransom to restore its systems and administrative functions as quickly as possible. The FBI is currently investigating the case.
According to hospital chief executive Allen Stefanek, patient care and hospital records were never compromised, though the attack forced the hospital to use pen and paper for its record-keeping during the attack.
While ransom attacks are considered rare, cyberattacks on hospitals have increased in recent years as hackers attempt to access personal information for fraud schemes. According to federal records, at least 158 institutions, including medical providers, insurers and hospitals, have reported being hacked or having information technology issues that compromised patient records since 2010.
Are you a healthcare professional looking for ways to better protect your facility? DRI International offers training in business continuity tailored to your needs. Healthcare Continuity (HCLE 2000) and Healthcare Continuity Review (HCP 501) teach healthcare organizations how to develop a comprehensive business continuity program that helps employees and patients by protecting service delivery and data availability when they’re needed most. Click here for more information on upcoming courses.