Ransomware Attack on Hackensack Meridian Health

The latest cyberattack on New Jersey’s largest health network, Hackensack Meridian Health, deployed ransomware on its system and encrypted files forcing the shutdown of the network for two days.

Since the staff cannot access computer systems and medical records, Hackensack Meridian Health was forced to delay non-emergency healthcare procedures. Doctors and nurses used pen and paper to proceed with providing patient care.

Hackensack Meridian Health identified the attack instantly and informed law enforcement and data regulatory authorities. Cybersecurity professionals were consulted to find out what’s the best thing to do. The health network initially said it encountered external technical issues so the investigation won’t have any interference. Later, Hackensack confirmed the actuality of the ransomware attack.

Due to the ransomware attack, backup files had to be used to recover the encrypted files. This would need many weeks to accomplish. To prevent constant disruption to patient care services, the provider made the decision to give the ransom. Hackensack Meridian Health’s representative stated that it is their responsibility to secure the access of their communities to health care.

Hackensack Meridian Health didn’t divulge to the public how much was the ransom given. Nonetheless, it affirmed that its cybersecurity insurance coverage will take care of a percentage of the expenditure, which includes the ransom amount and repair work.

Hackensack Meridian Health has publicized the restoration of the primary clinical system. Nevertheless, other components of the system still need a couple of days more to be accessible over the internet.

Several healthcare companies and business associates likewise experienced ransomware attacks over the past couple of weeks. The Cancer Center of Hawaii claimed an attack resulted in the delay of giving patients their radiology treatments. A Colorado business associate additionally claimed that a ransomware attack impacted more than 100 dental practices.

The HHS’ Office for Civil Rights not too long ago mentioned the importance of HIPAA compliance in helping to prevent ransomware attacks and ensuring fast recovery of healthcare providers in case hackers breached the companies’ defenses.

Elizabeth Hernandez

Elizabeth Hernandez is the editor of HIPAA News section of HIPAA Coach and an experienced journalist in the healthcare sector. She specializes in healthcare and HIPAA compliance, making her a go-to source for information on healthcare regulations. Her work focuses on the importance of patient privacy and secure information handling. Elizabeth also has a postgraduate degree in journalism. Follow on Twitter: You can follow Elizabeth on twitter at https://twitter.com/ElizabethHzone