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Healthcare organizations are a focus of ransomware attacks

The adoption of electronic health records (EHRs) and even faster adoption of wireless medical devices and telemedicine has made patient information more accessible by more people. Over the past year and a half that’s been tremendously beneficial. The shift to remote care and the widespread adoption of EHR solutions by health systems have shaped digital transformation in healthcare. The challenge now is to understand how hospitals and care centers expect to protect patient information and maintain network performance when threats like Ransomware are lurking. Ransomware is tough to defeat. It can infiltrate your network, move laterally to other connected systems, and proliferate within interoperating systems of care.

Ransomware is a current and real threat in any industry as attackers scale and automates their efforts to discover vulnerabilities. A lack of investment in effective security technologies could be a precursor to disrupted systems for periods on end. For example, imagine a healthcare professional opening what appears to be an invoice of medical services performed on a patient, but it’s an attachment with a malicious ransomware virus. Then, instantly and without warning, everything, including patient information, is inaccessible or, even worse, exfiltrated!


In May of 2021, a series of events forced the Health Service Executive of Ireland’s healthcare and social care services to take its IT Systems offline, affecting their entire Healthcare system. A series of clicks by an unsuspecting healthcare worker created a backdoor that threat actors used to access Ireland’s healthcare and social care system. The bad actors immediately encrypted servers and downloaded sensitive information. The perpetrators demanded $20 million to secure the patient, employee, partner, and sensitive business data release. The overall estimated damages exceeded a whopping $600 million; significantly more than the ransom itself. The damage is not just financial; its full extent is, in fact, immeasurable.

How do you plan to keep all potential threats out of your on-premises or cloud-based system?

Ransomware invades organizations in multiple ways and, so fighting it requires a multi-faceted strategy. Cisco Secure Email protects against email-borne threats no matter the threat’s volume or complexity. With built-in capabilities from SecureX visibility and integration across the entire security portfolio can enhances and simplifies your workflows + search and remediate threats. Cisco Secure protects against ransomware with an integrated platform approach across a breadth of critical control points backed by best-in-class threat intelligence and research from Talos. Starting from who sees it first: Email.

Learn how Cisco Secure Email provides the best protection for your email against cyber threats