The first ransomware attack in 2018 hits HCO – healthcare company

The very first company that was hit by ransomware this year is HCO – Hancock Health Organization. The company located in Indiana had been advised not to release an official report regarding the magnitude of the attack or the amount the money that the hackers demand in order not to encourage this type of vicious acts.

At first, the entire company was forced to return to old pen and paper methods. Then the whole company showed a perfect and fast recovery because all its data have been backup frequently, so the attackers didn’t have any leverage on them.
Aided by skilled, fast incident response team all the data regarding all patients have been restored and no losses were cause for the HCO. The company and quick response team are now working with various law enforcement agencies to investigate and collect more data about the incident.

The reason why the cybercriminals attacked HCO is that they have a large number of devices connected to their network and some of them are very unsecured in front of cyber attacks.
Most likely the ransomware was deployed through one of this unsecured devices, and all network has been compromised.
This isn’t the first time that US healthcare system is affected by ransomware, showing us that nothing has been learned since the WannaCry attack in May 2017 when more the 19.000 operations and appointments have been canceled just in the US after the attack occurred.

In the medical world, they say: prevention is better than treatment. The same words have the exact sense of the cybersecurity world too. All companies have to rebuild their cybersecurity systems form zero: starting with regular updates of all their OSs and software as soon as they are available
A habit that narrows very much the chances for an attack to succeed and like în this case all the endpoints of a network must be secured with a top antivirus available on the market.

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Most of the companies don't care about cybersecurity until they suffer a breach.
A healthy company must perform a penetration test from time to time. The penetration test must execute against all the assets of the company, including the workers who are the most vulnerable to the social engineering attacks.
A penetration test can be done either by a security specialist from inside of the company or by hiring an external cyber security company who can take care of everything.
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