Ransomware Attacks Cost US Healthcare Organizations Over $157 Million Since 2016

  • A total of 1446 hospitals, clinics, and other healthcare organizations were affected due to 172 ransomware attacks.
  • Over 6.6 million patients were affected in total.

Ransomware attacks have become a major concern for healthcare firms across the world. These attacks have the ability to cripple key systems and networks or organizations, leaving no or little chance to access crucial patient data until a ransom is paid to hackers. Additionally, sever delays in the recovery process and other rectification costs also hamper the smooth operation of a firm, with the patient left untreated or appointment being canceled.

What does the report say?

A new report from Comparitech reveals that US healthcare organizations have lost over $157 million due to 172 ransomware attacks that occurred since 2016.

  • These 172 security breaches affected a total of 1446 hospitals, clinics, and other medical organizations. 74% of the affected firms were hospitals or clinics while the remaining 16% included IT providers, elderly care providers, dental, optometry practices, plastic surgeons, health insurance firms, government health, and medical equipment suppliers.
  • Overall, 6,649,713 patients were impacted by the attacks.
  • Of the total loss, $640,000 has been paid as ransom to hackers and the rest amount was used in the recovery process.

Most impacted states

California’s healthcare firms witnessed the highest number of ransomware attacks, accounting for 14.5 percent of the total attacks since 2016. This is followed by Texas that saw a total of 14 attacks against healthcare organizations.

Meanwhile Michigan tops the list when it comes to the number of patient records affected. Almost 1.1 million people were affected in the state by two ransomware attacks - one at Airway Oxygen Inc. and the other at Wolverine Solutions Group.

How much ransom was paid?

The report highlights that ransom demands from malicious actors varied from $1,600 to $14,000,000. Out of all the ransom demands, around $641,649 was paid out to hackers by some 21 different organizations.

What’s in store for the future?

With hospitals and other health providers often being seen as easy targets for hackers, ransomware will continue to be a growing concern for organizations and patients alike. Without the right safety measures in place, hospitals may soon experience ransomware attacks on life-saving equipment and technology as well as crucial data and connected systems.