Continuing with the Healthcare Industry, Here are Some of the Numbers…

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As we covered Healthcare a fair bit last week, I just wanted to pass along some of the recent numbers that reflect the dire situation that the industry continues to find itself in.  Forbes published and article a couple of days ago that provides some telling numbers from the US Healthcare industry and a bit of history surrounding how it has been targeted since the first ransomware attack in 1989.  Unfortunately, ransomware continues to be the thorn in the side of healthcare even today.

So, down to the numbers.  According to a recent report from Comparitech, in the US Healthcare industry alone, 172 ransomware incidents have cost more than $157MM over the past four years.  The interesting thing to note is that the actual ransom demands only accounts for 11% of that figure.  The OTHER 89% of costs can be attributed to remediation costs and downtime!!

Damage has been incurred across the US, with attacks reported in ALL but five states: Maine, Montana, New Mexico, North Dakota and Vermont.  Interestingly, California has been hit the hardest during this time with 25 ransomware incidents reported.  Of the more than 1,400 clinics, hospitals and organizations impacted, 75% of attacks have been focused mainly on hospitals and clinics; the front lines of healthcare where downtime can cause life or death situations.

The unfortunate thing is that, although ransomware attacks result in network downtime, reduced patient care and lost time and resources, it is now also frequently targeting the databases that contain highly sensitive and confidential patient records.  This is a disturbing trend as, according to the Forbes article, medical records are a hot commodity on the Dark Web marketplaces, where they can often command more than 4 times the price of stolen social security numbers.  Factoring in the potential for identity theft, this could potentially cause the total related costs of these ransomware attacks on the healthcare industry to explode!

So, getting back to what the Healthcare Industry can do to help reduce the ongoing effects of ransomware, we refer back to our previous blog.  Healthcare has to take a long hard look at what its doing to protect itself.  Considering the fact that it’s now 31 years later and the attacks and severity continue to increase, it’s time for the industry to try something new.  Instead of the Detect and Remediate approach that has long been in use, and that can be attributed to 89% of the costs that have been incurred over the past 5 years, the industry really has to look at the Detect and Block approach; utilizing a solution that can literally STOP the ransomware from even entering the network.  Find out more by contacting our team at: and see how you can take advantage of the FREE 90 day trial of the Wedge Advanced Malware Blocker (WedgeAMB) which is spearheading some of the needed security changes in cybersecurity for the healthcare industry.

About Wedge Chief Scientist

Husam Kinawi, Chief Scientist Dr. Kinawi has a PhD and MSc in Computer Science from the Universities of Calgary, Canada and London, UK. In 1997, he co-founded Mpower Technologies Inc., a wireless telecommunications software company. In 1999, Dr. Kinawi co-founded (NASDAQ: AIQT), a Boston-based e-Business applications firm. Dr. Kinawi has over seventeen years of research and development experience working with industry leaders such as Newbridge (Alcatel), Siemens, United Technologies, and Apple in the areas of distributed information systems, embedded applications and wireless Internet solutions. Dr. Kinawi has also spoken at several major conferences, published several research papers, and is the holder of several patents in the area of mobile and wireless devices.
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