How should health care organizations react when kidnappers grab the goods?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software that infects computers, servers, databases, and managed service providers, encrypting data on the infected platform. The individuals behind the nefarious attack request a price, or ransom, from the organization in order to release the information. Generally, they do not provide the data decryption key until the ransom is paid. According to Verizon’s 2019 Data Breach Investigations Report, ransomware incidents accounted for more than 70% of all malware occurrences across the health care industry.
How an Attack Happens
“Often, when a computer or system is infected, a blue screen, or some other anomaly, will appear with a message about the ransomware,” explains Ryan Patrick, MBA, CISSP, CCSFP, senior vice president of security products and strategy at Intraprise Health. “The attackers need to be paid via cryptocurrency to release the records. Health care is specifically targeted, as the health care industry, unlike other industries, has been slow to adapt to the security industry. In 1996, HIPAA went into effect, but people really didn’t pay attention to cybersecurity until about 2015 when there was a big breach at Anthem.”