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    Ethical hacking a vital necessity to fight against healthcare randsomware

    Ron AvignoneIn February 2016, Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles was struck by hackers that shut down the hospital IT system for over a week.

    The hackers initially asked for $3.7 million in ransom to unlock encrypted files, but eventually they reduced their demands to 40 bitcoins, or about $17,000. As incredulous as it may sound, the hospital decided to pay the ransom.


    More technology news: EHRs are ruining the physician-patient relationship


    “The quickest and most efficient way to restore our systems and administrative functions was to pay the ransom and obtain the decryption key,” said Allen Stefanek, chief executive officer of the medical center explained.

    On March 24, 2016, Methodist Hospital in Henderson, Kentucky also became a victim of a ransomware attack. The hackers infiltrated its computer network and they are now holding encrypted data hostage for 4 bitcoins, or roughly $1,600.


    Related: Telemedicine empowers patients but challenges physicians


    Hospital and healthcare software security can always be marginally improved, but if we want to lower the risk of healthcare security breaches, we need to take a very different approach. Only marginal improvements can be made by investing more of the same resources in the problem, and the ROI has diminishing marginal returns. A better approach is to understand the root causes at the core of healthcare security breaches. 

    Next: What causes healthcare security breaches?

    Ron Avignone
    Ron Avignone founded Giva (https://www.givainc.com/) in 1999 and is based in Silicon Valley, California, serving customers worldwide. ...


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