Ransomware attacks on healthcare organizations cost nearly $21B last year, study finds

Six-hundred clinics, hospital and healthcare organizations were attacked by 92 individual ransomware attacks, affecting 18 million patient records in 2020. The costs of these attacks are almost $21 billion, a Comparitech study found.

The report highlighted ransomware attacks published by HHS that affected more than 500 people. Data breaches affecting fewer than 500 people were included if the breach was reported elsewhere, a limitation the researchers said "only scratch[es] the surface of the problem."

Six things to know about the report findings:

  1. Ransomware attacks cost healthcare organizations about $20.8 billion in lawsuits, ransom paid, lost revenue, fees to rebuild lost data and more.

  2. Almost 50 percent of Maine's population was affected by ransomware attacks in 2020. Michigan had the second-highest population affected, with nearly 45 percent.

  3. Eighteen million patient records were affected nationally, a 470 percent increase from 2019.

  4. California had12 percent of the ransomware attacks nationally, reporting 11 individual attacks, followed by Florida (eight), New York (six) and Texas (five).

  5. Michigan had 3.37 million patient records affected by ransomware attacks. The second-highest number of patient records was in Arizona, with more than $2 million records affected.

  6. The University of California San Francisco School of Medicine paid $1.14 million to NetWalker, a strain of ransomware that attacks Microsoft-based systems, to regain access to its data in June.

To read the full report, click here.

More articles on cybersecurity: 
Centene sues cloud vendor over member data exposed in cyberattack
American Medical Collection Agency reaches 40-state settlement for data breach that exposed 21 million patients' info
39,000 affected in Texas medical lab email hack

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