Ransomware attacks targeting US healthcare up 89%: 5 things to know

There were 140 data breaches reported to HHS' Office for Civil Rights breach portal as IT or hacking events in 2017 — 36 of which were ransomware related, according to cybersecurity firm Cryptonite's 2017 Health Care Cyber Research Report.

Cryptonite reviewed data reported to HHS' OCR breach portal, zeroing in on incidents categorized as "IT/Hacking."

Here are five things to know.

1. In 2016, there were 19 events reported that involved ransomware, but in 2017, that number jumped to 36, representing an 89 percent increase.

2. There were 3.4 million records compromised in 2017, a decrease from 13.4 million compromised in 2016.

3. However, IT/Hacking incidents increased 23.89 percent, with 113 incidents reported in 2016 to 140 incidents reported in 2017.

4. In 2017, ransomware made up 25 percent of all data incidents reported to HHS' OCR.

5. All six of the largest IT/Hacking healthcare events reported in 2017 were attributed to ransomware. These include:

  • Airway Oxygen, June 16 — 500,000 records compromised
  • Women's Health Care Group of Pennsylvania, July 15 — 300,000 records compromised
  • Urology Austin, March 22 — 279,663 records compromised
  • Pacific Alliance Medical Center, Aug. 10 — 266,123 records compromised
  • Peachtree Neurological Clinic, July 7 — 176,295 records compromised
  • Arkansas Oral and Facial Surgery Center, Sep. 24 — 128,000 records compromised

Click here to download the report.

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