September 24, 2023

Pegasus Voyage

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Ponemon study finds link between ransomware, increased mortality rate

A report released Wednesday by the Ponemon Institute identified that ransomware attacks in the time of COVID-19 have had an influence on individual safety, details and total care availability.  

For the report, sponsored by the threat administration system vendor Censinet, Ponemon surveyed practically 600 IT and stability specialists in healthcare delivery organizations.

“Our conclusions correlated rising cyberattacks, specially ransomware, with damaging effects on individual care, exacerbated by the influence of COVID on healthcare vendors,” mentioned Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, in a statement. 

“We also analyzed steps that HDOs are taking to secure individual safety, details and care operations to identify what is working considering the fact that so a lot of respondents have been victims of a lot more than 1 ransomware attack,” Ponemon mentioned.  

WHY IT Issues

The COVID-19 pandemic released new problems – such as remote perform, staffing strains and scaled-up IT needs – into an by now fraught healthcare stability landscape.  

And negative actors have taken gain of that prospect, as evidenced by regular headlines about ransomware attacks on healthcare delivery organizations.

Ponemon’s new report indicates these incidents can have really serious penalties for individual care.  

More than the past two a long time, forty three% of respondents mentioned their HDOs skilled a ransomware attack. Of these, forty five% mentioned they believed the attack resulted in a disruption of individual care operations.  

When requested about that influence, seventy one% documented a longer duration of continue to be for individuals, 70% cited delays in techniques and tests, 65% mentioned there was an improve in individual transfers or facility diversions, 36% pointed to an improve in problems from professional medical techniques, and 22% mentioned mortality prices greater.  

It is critical to notice that this latter statistic would make up a reasonably modest share (4%) of overall IT respondents.   

Nonetheless, it reiterates the importance of shoring up stability measures from a individual care point of view.

These stability specialists say 3rd-bash threat administration is tough, and COVID-19 designed it a lot more intricate.

Only 40% of respondents mentioned their organization usually completes a threat evaluation of 3rd get-togethers ahead of contracting with them.  

“Re-assessments are a further essential section of 3rd-bash threat administration and are not executed as often as expected,” observed report authors.

THE Much larger Trend  

Even though ransomware attacks can lead to disruptions in individual care – this kind of as delays in techniques or obstacles to remedy – reports of incident-associated mortality are fairly significantly less popular.

They are not, having said that, outdoors the realm of chance: This earlier year, a German female died after Düsseldorf College Clinic’s servers had been encrypted and she had to be moved to a diverse facility twenty miles absent.  

ON THE History  

“The mix of details breaches, ransomware attacks, and COVID-19 has designed the best cybersecurity storm and the worst two a long time on record for IT and stability leaders in healthcare,” mentioned Ed Gaudet, CEO and founder of Censinet, in a statement. 

“The Ponemon Investigate final results are an urgent wake-up phone for the healthcare sector to renovate its cybersecurity and 3rd-bash threat courses or jeopardize individual life.”

Kat Jercich is senior editor of Health care IT Information.
Twitter: @kjercich
E mail: [email protected]
Health care IT Information is a HIMSS Media publication.