Ottawa’s Hospital network was the target of a ransomware attack after hackers broke into IT systems and encrypted four computers.

The hospital said that no patient data was compromised and the IT department cleaned the infected systems and restored data through back-up material. The remaining 9, 800 computers were not affected by the hacking.

The ransomware attack in Ottawa was the latest in a string of cyber attacks attempting to gain access to healthcare computers then hold data for ransom.

Last month, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Centre in Los Angeles was forced to pay $17, 000 with of Bitcoin in ransom to regain access to its IT systems. In the mention it had to revert to paper for its operations.

Recent alarms in cyber attacks have underlined the need for strong IT security within hospitals and training for staff to know how to deal with suspicious emails under the pressure of heavy e-traffic.

A recent HIMSS and Symantec report revealed that, in spite of increased IT operations in healthcare, the majority of hospitals devote less than 6 percent of IT budgets to data.

The incident at Ottawa Hospital showed that, when there is a solid back-up system in place for information retrieval, there would be no pressure to pay a ransom.


Source: Healthcare IT News

Image Source: The Ottawa Hospital

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