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Kentucky Hospital Defeats Ransomware Attack

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Finally some good news in the fight against cybercriminals.

Located just downriver from our location in Louisville, Methodist Hospital in Henderson claims to have been able to regain control of their IT systems without paying hackers who encrypted files and demanded ransom for their release. This is especially encouraging in light of the recent incidents affecting other healthcare providers, where authorities recommended payment as the only option for recovery of critical data. Ethical concerns about targeting hospitals aside, online extortion rings have realized that attacking sensitive public infrastructure can be a financial gold mine; meaning that these stories will almost certainly become more common.

In both attacks, the same ransomware known as Locky infected the systems via email attachment. For Methodist Hospital it ended up taking five days to resolve the problem; during which time they had to rely on auxiliary communications equipment and experienced limited online capabilities. Even though the ransom itself wasn’t paid, the cost of these curtailed capabilities and reduced efficiency still made an impact, highlighting just how important it is to have backups in place.

Security experts have repeatedly stated that ensuring reliable backup processes is one of the best ways of defending against ransomware attacks. Human error unfortunately occurs even in the most strictly controlled operating environments, and on-site backup systems are just as vulnerable to infection as the primary network. This opens the door for cloud based backups to fill a need, offering speedy recovery while remaining isolated from an infected location.

Since the fourth quarter of 2015, the use of ransomware by hackers has increased 58% worldwide. This threat will continue to be on the radar for the foreseeable future, and is crucial to keep in mind when considering disaster recovery strategies. Exploring cloud based backup provides faster recovery than magnetic tape when time is of the essence, restoring full functionality in a matter or hours instead of days. If you’re interested in learning more about how The Data Vault can help you implement these systems, contact us today and one of our expert team members will be in touch!

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