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Tuesday, February 23, 2021 1:00 PM

Another Ransomware Event, A Big Cybersecurity Reminder

Written by Rich Murphy, Product Director - iatricSystems

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It was recently announced that a ransomware group that stole sensitive data files during an October cyberattack on Chatham County’s government systems, released the information on the dark and light web. The group published two batches of data containing protected health information and personally identifiable information, which has been viewed more than 30,000 times.

This latest ransomware attack is another reminder that, yes, most organizations are still extremely vulnerable to cyberattacks.

A study conducted by the University of Maryland found that almost two-thirds of local governments who have succumbed to a cyberattack in the past didn’t know their networks were breached, and few had prevention systems in place.

Any industry that holds sensitive information is at risk, and unfortunately, they’re typically the most vulnerable. According to EMISOFT data, It’s estimated that at least 2,354 US governments, healthcare facilities and schools were impacted by cyber events in 2020.

Organizations are at greater risk when they…

  • Don’t have a proper security policy plan
  • Rarely perform risk assessments
  • Fail to encrypt sensitive information
  • Don’t budget for security initiatives

The healthcare sector continues to be a top target for cybercriminals. Just this month, an Iowa medical group had to notify 34,000 patients about a recent hacking incident that exposed names, Social Security numbers, birth dates, medications and more.

Why have we been seeing such a rise in ransomware over the past year? The answer is simple… money. Sensitive data equals dollar signs. Cybercriminals claim that upon payment, the victimized entity will receive a decryption key to unlock their data, but that’s not usually the case.

Today’s security experts say that the only way we’ll see a stop to ransomware attacks altogether is if organizations stop paying ransoms. Paying the ransom incentivizes criminals, and there’s really no guarantee that you’ll get your data back. Until the day comes when ransomware is no longer profitable, healthcare organizations need to be on the cyber offense instead of waiting to be the next target.

A great place to start is with proactive monitoring. This means having real-time visibility across your network, helping you detect cyber threats and vulnerabilities to measure, manage, and reduce attackable points.

We recently partnered with Field Effect to deliver Covalence — the most sophisticated cyber threat monitoring platform that’s so easy to use that you don’t need to be a security expert. You can learn more about Covalence here, or contact us at to meet with one of our team members to discuss your cybersecurity challenges and goals.