New Jersey Healthcare provider Hackensack Meridian hospital paid ransom to hackers to stop a cyberattack

December 15, 2019
The targeted ransomware event at Hackensack Meridian Health brought the computer network systems down last week, causing interruptions across its network

The targeted ransomware event at Hackensack Meridian Health brought the computer network systems down last week, resulting in interruptions across its IT network, including Carrier Clinic in Montgomery and three sub-acute facilities.

The Edison-based healthcare company said it had insurance to help cover the costs associated with cyberattacks, including payment, remediation, and recovery efforts. The systems were down for 2 days, with no access to electronic records. The company had to resort to using manual patient records while an undisclosed amount of ransom money was paid to prevent further fallout of this cyber-attack.

Patients that were scheduled to be treated in those 2 days experienced issues and significant delays in services, while Hackensack Meridian Health worked on the situation that had to be remedied.

The company said the incident unfolded and quickly and the FBI, other law enforcement, and regulatory authorities were immediately notified. In addition, cybersecurity specialists and forensic experts were involved.

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Considering that even when all the IT network protection measures are in place, there is no guarantee that a targeted attack will not be successful. That is why it is so important not only to have cybersecurity in place but also to have a remediation and recovery plan for your organization.

As you can see from the Key findings of the 2019 state of ransomware report, ransomware continues to be a growing threat. 85% of SMBs experienced a ransomware attack in the past 2 years. Downtime costs are up by 200% year-over-year, and the cost of downtime is 23 times greater than the average ransom requested in 2019.

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