More than Half of Hospitals Hit with Ransomware

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A new survey conducted by Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics shows a majority of hospitals reported their organizations were targeted by ransomware attacks within the past year.

According to research from the new Healthcare IT News and HIMSS Analytics Quick HIT Survey: Ransomware, 25% of hospitals responding to the poll are either unsure or have no way to know whether ransomware attacks were perpetrated against them or not.

When asked if they would pay a ransom to hackers who encrypted patient data in order to get it back, 50.8% said they would not while 44.3% said they are unsure.

In regards to how prepared hospitals are for potential ransomware attacks, 73% of the health systems surveyed reported a business continuity plan is in place. Of the remaining 23%, only 3% answered they are unsure, while 23% said they do not have a business continuity plan in place.

To potentially avoid ransomware attacks, Brendan FitzGerald, research director for advisory solutions, HIMSS Analytics, recommends healthcare executives concentrate on educating end-users above all else because prepared employees, even more than whiz-bang security tools or more frequent back-ups, will be the biggest deterrent to hackers getting in.

“Moving forward,” FitzGerald said, “it’s going to be interesting to see how organizations respond to this.”

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