Ponemon study finds link between ransomware, increased mortality rate

A report unveiled Wednesday by the Ponemon Institute located that ransomware attacks in the time…

A report unveiled Wednesday by the Ponemon Institute located that ransomware attacks in the time of COVID-19 have had an impact on individual basic safety, information and general care availability.  

For the report, sponsored by the possibility management system vendor Censinet, Ponemon surveyed virtually 600 IT and safety experts in healthcare shipping corporations.

“Our findings correlated expanding cyberattacks, specially ransomware, with damaging consequences on individual care, exacerbated by the impact of COVID on healthcare providers,” claimed Dr. Larry Ponemon, chairman and founder of the Ponemon Institute, in a assertion. 

“We also analyzed actions that HDOs are using to guard individual basic safety, information and care operations to figure out what is performing considering that so a lot of respondents have been victims of far more than a person ransomware attack,” Ponemon claimed.  

WHY IT Matters

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced new difficulties – together with distant operate, staffing strains and scaled-up IT wants – into an by now fraught healthcare safety landscape.  

And undesirable actors have taken edge of that prospect, as evidenced by recurrent headlines about ransomware attacks on healthcare shipping corporations.

Ponemon’s new report suggests these incidents can have really serious implications for individual care.  

Over the final two several years, 43% of respondents claimed their HDOs experienced a ransomware attack. Of these, forty five% claimed they believed the attack resulted in a disruption of individual care operations.  

When requested about that impact, 71% noted a more time duration of continue to be for people, 70% cited delays in treatments and exams, 65% claimed there was an maximize in individual transfers or facility diversions, 36% pointed to an maximize in difficulties from healthcare treatments, and 22% claimed mortality rates increased.  

It is significant to take note that this latter statistic makes up a comparatively small proportion (four%) of overall IT respondents.   

Still, it reiterates the importance of shoring up safety actions from a individual care point of view.

These safety experts say third-get together possibility management is difficult, and COVID-19 manufactured it far more intricate.

Only 40% of respondents claimed their business normally completes a possibility evaluation of third parties prior to contracting with them.  

“Re-assessments are yet another essential part of third-get together possibility management and are not carried out as often as essential,” observed report authors.

THE Larger Pattern  

Whilst ransomware attacks can direct to disruptions in individual care – these kinds of as delays in treatments or obstructions to treatment method – reports of incident-linked mortality are considerably much less prevalent.

They are not, nevertheless, exterior the realm of risk: This earlier yr, a German lady died after Düsseldorf University Clinic’s servers were being encrypted and she had to be moved to a different facility twenty miles away.  

ON THE Record  

“The mixture of information breaches, ransomware attacks, and COVID-19 has made the fantastic cybersecurity storm and the worst two several years on report for IT and safety leaders in healthcare,” claimed Ed Gaudet, CEO and founder of Censinet, in a assertion. 

“The Ponemon Study success are an urgent wake-up simply call for the healthcare marketplace to renovate its cybersecurity and third-get together possibility courses or jeopardize individual life.”

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