#CyberFLASH: Outbreak of ransomware attacks hit hospitals, enterprises

image-4An outbreak of ransomware attacks have hit at least five U.S. and Canadian hospitals in the past two weeks, prompting renewed calls from experts to leverage automated backup to mitigate this type of attack.

“[T]his recent string of ransomware attacks targeted at hospitals proves that automated backup is no longer a nice to have, but a must for any professional organization,” said Norman Guadagno, chief evangelist at Boston-based cloud backup firm Carbonite. “In light of the ransomware attack on Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital, it comes as no surprise that attackers are turning their attention to hospitals now. It’s certainly not a coincidence.”

Hospitals are not the only victims, according to Dmitri Alperovitch, co-founder and CTO at cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike in Irvine, Calif. “We’ve seen ransomware attacks across many industries, including healthcare, state and local governments, SMBs and large businesses,” he said. “According to a Cyber Threat Alliance report, ransomware accounts for a total of approximately $325 million in damages. But, in reality, the numbers are likely much higher.”

“[A]ny organization — not just a hospital — that has valuable business data readily accessible and has the financial resources to shell over a lot of money is a bull’s eye for hackers,” Guadagno said.

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