Study: Healthcare ransomware attacks doubled in five years

The annual number of healthcare ransomware attacks more than doubled from 2016 to 2021, threatening patient safety and outcomes, a Dec. 29 study in JAMA Health Forum found.

The number of incidents increased from 43 in 2016 to 91 in 2021, disrupting care delivery about half the time, according to the cohort study of 374 ransomware attacks that affected nearly 42 million patients.

Hospitals were the organizations most likely to have their operations disrupted by the events, the report found.

The cyberattacks are growing in their "frequency and sophistication," wrote the study's authors, who are from Minneapolis-based University of Minnesota and University of Florida in Gainesville.

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